Running With My Daughter

A few days ago I offered my seven years old daughter if she wants to participate in the Vestingloop Willemstad 2016 for the 5km category. Although she doesn’t seem to be confident at first but eventually she wants to give it a try. I am very happy to hear that she is motivated to practice for it. We have 54 days left to train as per the day I am writing this. I think what I am doing now with my daughter is not really about the running or health, but much more than that. I think she could gain something bigger for her life from this experience.

I am trying to teach perseverance and hard work to my children. Angela Lee Duckworth’s research has found that grit is the best predictor of success. When I started running, it was uncomfortable at first. If I remember correctly, I was only able to run for 1.3km on my first run. Eventually I was able to slowly increase my distance. Three years after I started running, I registered for my first running event. It was the Den Haag 2016 10k run. From that experience I learned that our running strength can be increased. It was a great feeling when I cross the line and eventually notice my running time, which was faster than I expected. It took me years to be able to run 10k but I believe if I were to register into a running event sooner, I would probably push myself much faster. My daughter already attended a running event two times. The first one was a 1km run in Rotterdam and the second one was the 2km run in Delft. Both times she only needed a short time to prepare. Both times she could do it easily. I was impressed by her running strength because I barely made it through 1.3km when I started running. After noticing her enthusiasm of attending running events and most of all getting medals for finishing the run, I decided to challenge her to reach a higher goal. When I told her that she should try to run 5km, she was not confident that she could do it. The feeling changes once we ran our first 5km. We took it very slowly with plenty of stop to rest. It took us almost 45 minutes to get to 5km but the her self confidence grew when she realizes that she is able to run that far. It will take many more practices to reduce the time. Those practices are the true learning point for her. Those practices will be the embodiment of perseverance and hard work. There will be times she will not want to run but I will try to motivate her and remind her of the goal.

I first heard the saying “the journey is the reward” in Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. I did not try to find out what it really means cause it must be obvious. I like what Craig Cincotta wrote on, “In a world where nothing is guaranteed, living in and appreciating the present can sometimes be the greatest reward of all.” Most of the times the journey is what makes the goal more satisfying. It would not feel the same when the goal is handed to us for free without much effort. Since my daughter is currently on a summer holiday, days filled with preparing for a 5km run would be a good way to fill it. Like all efforts, sometime it is hard to push ourselves to start. But the effort is what makes the journey more memorable. The journey will give some lessons to my daughter’s life that hopefully will help her to enjoy any journey she would like to pursue in the future.

It is currently summer and the schools are out. Some people with money would probably send their kids to some places or some camps that would give their kids activities. I do not have that option at the moment. The positive is that I get to see my daughter more often. Unfortunately, most of my daughter’s time spent during the summer holidays are filled with the use of gadgets. With spending time running with me, I get the chance to have a time together without any distractions. We could talk or just enjoy the scenery. Things that it is hard to get when there is wifi around.

Running near Delfshaven

I am currently living in Rotterdam, the second biggest city in the Netherlands. This is the seventh city and third country that I have lived in. Three were in the USA and the other three were in Indonesia. I have also visited many big cities around the world. Having seen all those cities, I found Rotterdam to be my favorite. I would probably need another post to explain why I love it here, but one of the reason is because it is a great place to run. Running between buildings. Running in a small park next door. Running in a beautiful huge park with ponds. Running besides canal. Running crossing beautiful bridges. It’s all there and always convenient and offers a beautiful view.

Around 50 more days until the event. It’s going to be exciting of course but due to the reasons above, preparing for the event is probably going to be more exciting.

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