LET'S FACE it. Sometimes life can feel fairly mundane. As we move from one moment to the next, much of our focus is on dealing with the seemingly insignificant minutiae. Then, we get a wake-up call of sorts. Something happens that forces an epiphany: Those few, precious moments in life when we gain a genuine insight into the reality or essential meaning of something important. It requires us to take stock of what's truly important and, really, what we're doing here in the first place.
These moments of clarity might be precipitated by an acute event like the birth of a child or the death of a friend. I have experienced several of these moments. One of them occurred today.
For my Ironman training, Sundays are allocated to the "long run." This is up to 3 hours in duration. It is analogous to an "insurance policy." These sessions ensure that you can finish the Ironman if/when things go wrong. The idea is that if I can run 3 hours in my sleep, then even if things get terribly bad on event day, I can get through a 3-hour marathon.
Today was like any other Sunday. I was preparing for my run, and my 5-year-old daughter, Vivienne, asked if she could join me. I am all about empowering her and jumping on every opportunity to do that. So, I cuddled her and said: "Sure, honey! Let's do it." She said: "Papa, no I want to run the full 3 hours with you." She was serious.
We agreed that she would run "until she was tired and ready to get into the car with mom" (who was following us). She put on her full running regalia, Adidas running shoes and all, and we set out. I thought we would make it to the end of our street and she would stop. Instead, she said: "Keep going." We ran all the way to a park near our home (1-mile away) and I was floored. I was certain she would be done. I kept asking her when we might stop.
"Papa, stop asking me. I will stop when I am tired."
We made it into downtown Fairfax. Then out of town into the neighboring town of San Anselmo. The girl was running so strong, so powerfully. I went from befuddlement to profound pride to concern about her health! Eventually, I had to physically stop her and put her in the car with a cookie and some cool water.
My wife and I continued on to the health club (where I meet them). I was so inspired by Vivienne's present-moment-running and her irrepressible spirit, that I had the best run I've had all year. I averaged 5:53/mile for two and a half hours.
I'm so accustomed to Vivienne being a little thing. She is becoming a young lady, and she is more powerful than I ever dreamed she would be at this age. She is inspiring me profoundly.
I always thought that having kids would take away from my ability to train and compete. But, quite the opposite has happened. I have never been stronger or faster. Watching Vivienne grow and thrive and blossom is so much better than I ever dreamed it would be.
And, I am a better, stronger -- and faster! -- man for it.
ORGANIC FOOD BAR is a company that believes deeply in creating healthy bodies and healthy families. Get out there and exercise with your children. It will reward you in ways you never imagined possible.