Special guest post from Danie Koskan - Runner/Strider Mom extraordinaire!
I'm 36 now, but started running in high school. I was the girl who always finished near the back of the pack during cross country meets, but I was dedicated to the sport. I loved it then, and I love it now. One of my goals before I finished college was to run a marathon. It was so awful and wonderful at the same time that I kept running them into my post-college and professional life. These days I run half marathons. Sprinting to keep up with my kids on their bikes for a few miles has turned out to be a great way to train. When my boys grow up, I'll return to longer distances, but I'm not willing to sacrifice these fleeting moments with them to spend hours and hours training.
I have three boys; Lincoln, Reagan and Thatcher. The 10.4-mile Heart of the Hills race is a tradition in our family because it goes right past our driveway. Last summer Reagan biked the whole way, and Thatcher joined me the last three miles on his pedal bike. Two summers before, I'd just had Lincoln. He was younger than two weeks old, so I wasn't quite in running shape. But I promised Reagan he could ride the last three miles of the course on his bike for tradition's sake (the 7-mile marker is near our mailbox). So Reagan took off, but so did Thatcher -- on his Strider. He was 2.5 years old at the time, so I couldn't very well just let him go by himself. And I was pretty sure he would run out of the steam, but he didn't. He booked it all the way to the finish line. And I sprinted after him the entire 5K.
Six months later, he was riding a pedal bike like nobody's business. Seriously, these bikes are amazing. My boys are in such great shape. Fitness is something we've achieved and maintained together. As soon as they transitioned from the Strider, they kept riding alongside me. Or more truthfully put, increasingly farther ahead of me.
Running with your two-wheeled kid (or in my case, kids) probably isn't every running parent's idea of a good time. There are potty breaks, snack breaks, untied shoe breaks, look-mom-there's-a-bug-on-the-side-of-the-road breaks. Running with my boys has literally forced me to slow down and breathe all this wonder in, to notice what I didn't see before in my haste to get from Point A to Point B. And the really cool thing? Thanks to all this stopping and starting and sprinting to keep up, I've become a faster and stronger runner. But more importantly, I get to model to my kids what it means to be fit and have fun. And it started with a Strider.