Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)



I'm not much of a runner.  Even back in my motivated high school wrestling days, I only ran because they yelled at me if I didn't.  Left to my own devices, I would do just about any other form of aerobic activity than running.

Which makes it someone ironic that my older daughter has expressed an interest in running.  One of my biggest reservations about homeschooling was the potential lack of outside the house interaction for the girls.  Knowing this, my wife signed our girls up for various activities, one of them being a program called 'Girls on the Run'.  While it is a running program, there is also a fair amount of Rah Rah 'Girl Power' stuff, which I have been told is very important in proper development of young ladies.

Not being an expert in the social development of young girls, who am I to interfere with that. 

Today was the culmination of the first 4 months of her attending 'Girls on the Run'....participation in 5K run at one of the local parks.

Heck, neither my wife or I have ever attempted a 5K run...so for my daughter to complete one was very impressive.  Now, she didn't run the whole way(I'm not sure she actually ran half the way...but she did keep moving all the time.

I was very proud of her, and told her so.

It wasn't until later that I had a talk with my wife over something that had been eating at me. 

Being of a different generation, and a different sex than my daughter, I never once participated in an organized sporting like event where scoring wasn't emphasized.  Doing a 5k just to do it, with no real interest in where you finished, just that you did, was a foreign concept to me.  Seeing my daughter participate, with no real interest in dominating, worried me, at least a little bit.  I was raised that if you are going to go through the effort to do something...you are in it to win it. 

The conversation with my wife centered around how/when I should bring up the topic of not just participating, but the importance of winning.  I see the younger kids play flag-foot ball or t-ball with no score keeping...and I guess I am fine with that....just like I am fine with my daughters first(and hopefully not last) 5k being a 'just in it to do it' kind of thing...but I would like to install in her the drive that next time even if she doesn't compete against other people, she should think she is competing against herself. 

One thing that we agreed is that when she does this again in the fall, at least one(and hopefully, both of us) would do it with her, instead of just having the 'Girls on the Run' people support here.  While we were there for all of it, I think being out there running it with her will show even more active support.

As well as being good for us, and her. 


  1. Girls may not feel the need to "dominate" others in the competition, as strongly as boys; glad you get that. However, they REALLY need to build confidence in their abilities, and competing against their own past performance is a great way to do this. Doing it publicly and getting recognition for it is even better. Parents who are willing to participate (ugh!) are icing on the cake!

  2. The runners I know tend to not compete against anyone but themselves. It's about pushing yourself to improve. For the first one, merely finishing is usually enough.

    (And I am not any sort of a runner either. Good at sprinting, really horrible at any sort of distance running. Also, where I grew up, you only ran if someone was chasing you.)