I burned her out. I was trying to catch up on a decade of my own lethargy and apparently, dragged her along.
Last summer, as I just began to run, I'd bring my youngest daughter, who ran cross country and track, with me. Most of the time it was a great time. But it was always early, and even so, still hot.
She got burned out.
The following school year, she still participated in cross country but it became quite obvious that her heart was not into it. I didn't think I was pressuring her to do well at the time, but now see it differently. Regardless, from the advice of a friend, I backed off, entirely, gave her an open invitation to join me anytime on a run, and left it alone.
In the past, even before burning out, she would say that she loved running, but didn't like the race environment, especially in track. After a race she was always distraught, sometimes inconsolable. It was heart breaking at times. Her coaches have the right attitude for kids that age, I certainly was thrilled to see her participating and didn't care what place she got. We all just wanted her, and the others, to get involved, have some fun and get some exercise. But she was a wreck after each race, even before running with me.
It surprised me this year when she said she was going to join track again. I figured she was joining to hang out with her friends. I just said, "Cool."
It shocked me when she started saying things like, “I hope I get invited to this meet.”
Then, I was almost sent into cardiac arrest when in preparation for the possibility of being invited to this Saturday's meet, she ran on her own, like her coach said to! She did get invited. Unfortunately, due to weather, the meet was canceled.
Regardless of that outcome, I am so happy that she is enjoying running. She’s having a great time. She’s not fast, usually finishes in the later part of the field, but she’s getting faster and is now interested in how she’s improved, not her placing! As soon as she finished running the 4x400 relay on Tuesday's meet, she ran over and asked if she ran it faster than her second quarter in the 800.
Music to my ears!