Friday, March 4, 2011

We Must Endure

So Wednesday afternoon Julian elected to join me on a 45 minute jog.  I made it very clear beforehand that the goal wasn't speed but simply to put the time in and complete the run.  You see, Julian only knows one speed and time/distance are irrelevant.  He'll run that pace over a short distance and get clobbered by the competition, but start stretching out that distance and as others fade dramatically he just keeps chugging along at the same pace to overtake them.  I thought for sure he'd constantly be ahead of me and I'd have to be a nagging reminder to go easier on this particular day.  That was not the case.

For whatever reason only a quarter-mile into the run the complaining began.  As a parent we sometimes have to discern the validity of those complaints.  Is there a real physical issue or is this just a case of "I don't wanna do it"?  This time I felt strongly it was the latter.  Fortunately Angelia and Connor were out shopping for new baseball cleats which meant I couldn't just leave Julian at the house.

"Sorry buddy, you're just gonna have to stick with me till we're done."

10 minutes --- Julian: "My legs hurt."

20 minutes --- Julian: "I just want to go home."

30 minutes --- At this point even he was getting tired of complaining.

35 minutes --- Me: "Julian, they don't call them easy sports.  They call them endurance sports.  That means we endure.  We fight through the pain.  We fight through our minds telling us to quit.  We fight through it for the sense of accomplishment that waits at the end.  We endure.  That's what we do."

40 minutes --- Is it just me or has the pace picked up?

45 minutes --- Back at home.  Before he walks inside we have one final chat.

Me: "You tired?"
Julian: "Yes."
Me: "Did you keep pushing through?"
Julian: "Yes."
Me: "Do you remember what I said our goal was today?"
Julian: "Not to run hard. To go for 45 minutes."
Me: "And did we do that?"
Julian: "I don't know."
Me: "Well, we did."
Julian (with a stunned look of surprise): "We did?"
Me: "Yep, and look at you.  You're still standing here.  You may be tired and you may even hurt a little but now you get to go inside, rest, and recover and you get to do that with the knowledge you just completed a 45 minute run.  Nice job."

I hold up my hand for a high-five and he smacks it then takes another sip of water before heading into the house where Angelia and Connor are now waiting.  An hour later he feels perfectly fine and even heads out to the track with Angelia the following day.  Me?  I'm thankful my next day's training schedule says to "stretch and relax".  Oh, to be 9 again.

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