Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sssshhh. Don't look now, but ...

My oldest daughter has been running. I suspect she's secretly interested in running a 5K race with me in a few weeks. Yesterday she ran 2 miles on the treadmill in the morning, then 3 1/2 in the evening. I came come and she asked, "How long is 5K again?"

When I told her she said, "Wow, I was soooo wrong. I can run 5K."

Now, she's not setting any speed records, but this is the really the first time she's shown interest in any sort of athletic endeavor. She's a musician and will be a senior in high school this year.

Two nights ago we (my family) watched "The Marathon Challenge." (We got it from netflix.) It's a show put on by Nova where they take 13 sedentary people from all walks of life and see if they can run a marathon with 10 months of training. It was a neat show because you really got to see the human element of running. Why people run, to get away from things and somehow inside their own head.

I think this motivated my wife. She used the treadmill that evening more vigorously than normal. Poor girl is having some foot and knee issues though and I know they're painful problems! Shoes might help the foot (big toe joint), and the knees...tough one there as she's had knee pain her whole life.

My youngest daughter has been less interested in running as the summer has worn on, and that's ok. She'll run once or twice a week and has a great time doing it. She's active and healthy and not being a total vegetable watching TV and playing video games this summer. She's making wallets and jewelry from duct tape instead!

So, ssssshhh, don't look now but there are some intentional changes being made by my family members! The only verbalization or outward action I've taken in my lifestyle change has been requesting certain foods, skipping certain foods that are served, and throwing away a bag of potato chips that my mother-in-law gave us.

I never intended for my family to follow my lead, my motivation was purely selfish. I wanted to live healthier for my own health.

One thing I've learned is that if your intentions are true to your actions, ancillary positives can happen. But if your intentions don't align with your actions, futility is your reward.

Example: In teaching math when the focus is on learning math and promoting work-ethic, a lot of other positives are taken from the experience by my students. They come away with pride and accomplishment. This translates to other areas of their lives. But, my goal in the classroom is single-minded: To help them learn math by learning to work hard.

If my goal was to make my student feel proud and have senses of accomplishment, I'd fail at that and they'd not learn. I see it happen all of the time with other teachers. They want to help the kids, but aren't going about it correctly. They need to be in social services so their intentions match their actions.

The other day, CompulsiveRunner discussed how running isn't the best method for losing weight. Pennsy also mentioned that when he ran in college to lose weight there was no joy in it. It struck me that running for him then was more of a flagellation than exercise. He said, "But running to lose weight was just another way of affirming how fat and ugly I thought I was." In The Marathon Challenge, only one person lost weight and she was doing other things beyond running to do so.

With dietary and exercises changes, my goal is to be healthier. Turns out I get the bonus of being happier, more content, and my family is participating as well. Who knows what they'll get out of it. I am happy about it though because they're doing it on their own, for their own reasons, not to please me!

I just wanted to share these thoughts and observations with you and brag a little bit about my family. Thanks for reading and happy running!

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