“My earliest running memories start when I was 5 years old.
My dad was a runner as well, so I would wait for him
to come home from work so that he could time me!”
Once in a while, I get the honor of running with one of my kids. Three of my six kids have run cross-country and one of the other three has recently become a personal trainer. Did I cause this? Probably not. Perhaps cause is too strong of a word. Influenced might be more appropriate. When they were younger, they saw me work out periodically and go for a run once in a while. That was before I started my second running career. What was I doing to influence them towards fitness activity?
- I was working out and jogging for general fitness and I talked about the benefits.
- I did not require them to join me, but I would invite them to join me periodically.
I must have talked about it and/or invited them to join me hundreds of times before it started to happen. We had weights in the basement and periodically, the boys would give it a go for a while. Gradually, one or two kids would periodically ask me to go run a mile with them because they wanted to “get in better shape.” Each had their own reason, usually for sports or just to look more fit.
Other adults and some of their peers added to the invitations. Their school added cross-country to their sports and peer pressure pushed one daughter over the edge. The next year, one son joined the cross-country team. His stated reason was specifically to add an activity for his college applications. One more daughter joined the team the third year. She just wanted something to do. I don’t care why they decided to start running. I’m just happy to see them out there doing it!
In the last few years, I increased the intensity and frequency of my runs. I call it my second running career. I was fairly competitive in high school cross-country and track, but my first career was stopped short by injuries. Once I began to give all I had to running, my trips to the gym to lift weights have became few and far between. At that point I offered my gym membership to my oldest son. He loves to work out, so he jumped at the chance. He eventually worked his way into a job at the gym and just recently became a certified personal trainer. He runs nearly every day as a part of his overall program.
I did not cause my kids to become runners, but I was a part of what influenced them to make that choice.
How do you lead your family and friends into fitness & running?
- Be excited. Display your excitement about your fitness and running activities! Excitement is infectious. Talk about the positives for yourself and others.
- Invite them to join you. Be persistent and positive. Never require. Never argue.
REMEMBER: You cannot argue someone into fitness. Fitness takes commitment. Even if arguing does somehow manage to get them to do something, they are unlikely to be motivated enough to stick it out long enough to begin feeling the benefits. They need to want it. So, stick to the positive influence approach: Just invite.
Enjoy the run!
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– Ebook Version – Kindle Store $2.99
– Ebook Version for Nook $2.99