The seasons must be changing, because we wound up at the YMCA yesterday. The YMCA became our winter default family activity earlier this year, with many a cold Saturday or Sunday featuring the 20 minute drive there. My husband and I would run a few miles on the treadmills while the kids played in the Kid Zone, and then we’d all go swimming in the indoor pool together.
The 6-year-old is now officially too old for the younger kids area. Unfortunately, the big kids area requires socks and sneakers. We didn’t know this, and he came in his crocs. We were informed we couldn’t leave him in that state.
What to do? We decided to split the time, and I took the kid first to the upstairs track to walk around while my husband hit the treadmill. Except then a funny thing happened. My son wanted to run. And he turns out to run fast. Even in his crocs, he was a little bolt of lightning shooting around the track. I had to pour on the speed to keep up with him. I ran on the outside lane, and as he ran the turns from the middle lane, I had to run as fast as I think I ever have in order to stay abreast with him.
He didn’t run fast for very long — I don’t think he’ll be pacing me on 7-mile training runs anytime soon — but it was a reminder of the boisterous way kids run. You can run fast so you do. You don’t think about preserving your energy. You don’t think about anything except the space in front of you. You just run all out. And when you do, you can zoom along at a surprising clip.
I haven’t done a whole lot of speed work lately. I’ve been running mostly for stress relief. But racing after my kid was a reminder of how fun it is to zoom. We did at least a mile alternating sprints and walking, and by the time it was my turn to hit the treadmills, I was well warmed up. So I did more sprints, amazed that what I assumed would be lost time had been the key to a great workout.
Have you ever exercised with your kids?
In other news: I’ve been having issues again with spam comments. I apologize to any real people whose comments have been sitting in the approval queue for a while. I try to check every 24 hours at least, and it’s more often than that during normal business hours. Thanks for your patience.
Photo courtesy flickr user timtak