What we learn by running with our kids – by April Palmerlee

Running is a sport that brings so much emotion in all of us. For women, there are so many reasons why we run. It might be to conquer fear, it may be to break a PB, lose weight, time with friends, fulfil spiritual enlightenment….whatever the reason, we run because, well, we love it right? We love the joy it brings us, the camaraderie it provides with other runners and the elation and satisfaction of crossing off that goal that we worked so hard for. But what about running with our kids? What brings some of us to love to do that, and motivate them to enter races also? I know that last year, running the Southern Highlands Challenge with my daughter brought me almost to tears, knowing that she worked so hard to get to that finish line with me by her side doing what I love. It overwhelmed me that I was helping her to make a difference in her life and perhaps light the spark inside that would see her love running as much as I do. This year, RMA Ambassador April Palmerlee ran the City To Surf with her daughter. Her son ran it with her other daughter. So it was a family affair with all Palmerlee kids and their mum racing down the streets of Sydney at the iconic event into Bondi. April shares her thoughts on running with her kids with us….
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Yesterday marked the third year I’ve run Sydney’s iconic City 2 Surf with one of my children. Jogging the 14km course with my eldest daughter yesterday to reach a 3- min PB for her proved to be almost as exciting as sprinting through to achieve a personal best for myself.
When I run with my children, I see a different side to each of them. Sometimes I see determination and perseverance. Sometimes I see joy and wonder. Sometimes I see frustration and annoyance. But mostly I see myself. I see all of the emotions I know I exhibit, reflected in the faces of my offspring. The only reason they are out there for any of the runs (and we do a lot of them: C2S, Sri Chinmoy, Southern Highlands Challenge, Carcoar Cup, The Bridge Run, etc), is because I love it so much. They want to be present in the activity that fills me with joy. And, in turn, it fills them with happiness, too.
Having my children with me completes the circle – the reason why I run:  To be a better person. Of course I want to be fitter, faster, leaner, but I also want to be capable, adventurous, determined. And I love seeing the proof that the kids get the message. They know I’m not out there just because I want to wear some new gear. They know that I don’t only enter races I have a chance of winning. They know I throw my hat in for races I’m not even sure I can complete. That must be how it is for each of them when they run their first C2S with me. Wondering, “How will I do this? It’s further than I have ever run in my life!”  But they do achieve it, without fail, and on Monday morning, my hope is that they go off to school just a little more convinced that Anything Is Possible.
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(finish Pic by Craig Thom – Sydney Striders)

One response to “What we learn by running with our kids – by April Palmerlee

  1. I love that you run with your kids. Not only are you showing them to be physically fit, but you are getting some very special bonding time with them. There is something very special about running with someone, whoever it may be, that creates a unique bond. I hope your kids keep it up with you.

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