Running, Then and Now

You wouldn’t know it to look at me now but there was a time I was signing up at the Fullerton YMCA to run 1000 miles a year instead at WordPress to post every day in 2011.   But both are a reflection of something I told Terri of These Are Days in response to her comment yesterday – I am much more disciplined if I make a formal commitment to a measurable goal.   My diets work better if I commit to something like WeightWatchers or the South Beach Diet.   I’ve written more regularly since I committed to Postaday2011.   In 1981, struggling to keep my weight down, I began running and in 1982, I ran my first 10K.  The next year, a colleague at work talked me into training for the Long Beach Marathon.  Over the next ten years I’d run 13 marathons and be in the best shape of my life.

So, what brings on this running nostalgia?   Over twenty years have passed since my last marathon and Monday, before heading home to California, Muri and I got to watch my grandson, Reed, run at his school’s Running Club.  I’ve been known to question the value of youth sports here on Bud’s Blog because of the number of parents and coaches who bring a winning-is-everything to the field, even with kids as young as three or four.  But Patterson Elementary School’s Running Club is a perfect youth sports program.   Two days a week after school, over 200 kids run on the school’s quarter mile track.  Each time they complete a lap, they pick up an ice cream stick from a volunteer and after half an hour, they check in with a coach who records the number of sticks they’ve earned.   A few parents run with the kids, but it’s low key and low pressure.  Each time they complete five miles, they get a small plastic foot to keep on their chain.  Here’s Reed (in the white shirt with gray sleeves), picking up stick number six with a little coaching from Nana.

A year ago, Reed walked about half the time and would get three or four sticks.  This time, he got eight sticks … two miles … and he has five feet on his key ring, working on six.   What could be better for a generation of kids that may spend the rest of the afternoon playing games on a Nintendo DS?

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3 Comments on “Running, Then and Now”

  1. marjulo Says:

    Excellent program! I like it a lot! Both of my daughters and my two grandsons are very into running and sports, for which I am very happy. My granddaughter is less thrilled with athletics, although she is a good swimmer. I’ve joined 24 Hour Fitness (with the Silver Sneakers program) to work on my cardio, strength, balance and flexibility. I’ve never been a runner, though.

  2. territerri Says:

    That does sound like the perfect sports program. Everyone can participate. They compete against themselves. It encourages physical exercise in a fun way. Makes me wonder why more schools and communities don’t do this. I’ve never heard of such a thing in this neck of the woods.

    Measurable goals ARE good. I signed up for the December NaBloPoMo and already feel more motivated. And I’m not going to get all down on myself if I don’t make it every day. I just want something that nudges me to do something I love, that challenges me and to do it as best I can.

  3. Rick Gleason Says:

    The running club sounds good… at least for the younger among us, it’s certainly IS better than video games.

    But among adults, walking or bicycling is much more appealing to me and far-less jarring to the lower joints, etc. A Podiatrist friend of mine says his best patients are runners. IF you’re gonna do it, best be well-versed and well-equipped.

    “I’ve never seen a jogger with a smile on his face.” ~~ Rick Gleason

    Must mean something… 🙂

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