Yesterday morning, the alarm went off at 6 am. It needn’t have mind you, as we were already awake, listening to the wind and rain beating on our roof. We lingered for another good 20 minutes before I dragged myself down to the kitchen: I had pizza dough to prepare and it was all part of an ingenious plan devised three weeks ago in the convoluted depths of Mr Tiger’s mind.
The idea you see was to encourage my daughter to run her first 5 km. It so happened that her 9th birthday fell on a Saturday this year, which, obviously also coincides with Parkrun Day.
Never one to let such an opportunity pass him by, Mr Tiger immediately elaborated a plan. This is, in his words, what happened:
When you’re a kid, a birthday is always a big stepping stone.
Yes, the day tends to be spoiled with carb loading and strenght works (cakes and serial gifts opening) but somehow, the challenge of the day is to live in the present(s)!
Though, the few weeks leading to B.Day day are a mixture of excitement and nostalgia. The passing of the 8th year was to be smoothed and eventually processed with the typical 7 steps review.
Surprise & Denial: I can’t believe it’ll soon be over, it’s impossible.
Anger: No way! I’m not giving up my 8th year comfort zone.
Bargaining & Guilt: Any option with the time zone? Why did I choose a birth place 11 hours ahead of Mumbles? Maman!!!!!!!
Depression: No way back, I know, I even have a brand new cool watch right there.
Acceptance: Thank you for the great times year n°8, I will remember you.
Now I have to move on, grab that new year with all my enthousiasm, let the adults prepare for the worst and I’ll be ready for the best.
From there, after this nice personal soul searching, the Parkrun challenge was a no brainer….though I guess, in the 7 steps process, you could swich the 8th year with the challenge announcement ! Twisted!
Whatever, this Saturday of December the 12th, Time and Space were aligned and it was the opportunity to kickstart her 9th year with a bang, and that she did.
Of course, like the first time you can swim the full lenght of the pool, the 5K run was not about the run. It is all about growing the self confidence. Just mix and shake a good share of love, fun and challenges and Cloud 9 is your new address.
So, back to our morning, and to the cub’s first day of being 9. Three presents on the table, all essentials for this morning’s challenge: one her first Parkrun barcode, another a super cool Zoot sports beanie, the last a brain challenging book (because brawn is nothing without brains).
The conversation went something like this:
Cub: It’s raining, do I have to go? I don’t want to go.
Me: I’ve prepared the clothes you need to wear, they’re on your bed.
Sometimes you’ve just got to ignore the explicit. We knew she was ready, expecting to go and actually would have been disappointed if we’d stayed.
We ignored the foul weather warnings, decided that it’s always better than it looks and went for it anyway, which is the only way to go really.
How did it go?
In her own words, the hardest part was running, but the best part was also running. Go figure. And then there’s a few other facts:
The good side of it?
Next time she does a MiniBurn, she’ll know that a 3 km run is actually not that bad and we might even go a little bit faster than the last two times!
She now knows that you have to run in the middle of the puddles to keep dry feet.
We got back just in time for “l’apéro”, cracked open a bottle of elderflower cordial for her and of Prosecco for us and savoured a 9 flavour pizza straight out of the oven (remember that dough I got up early to prepare?, well that one). And of course there was some recovery stretching with more presents to open!
She might have been a bit tired in the afternoon but she still managed a fun lifeguard pool session involving a giant inflatable crocodile before we went back home to some well deserved dinner.
Will she do it again?
It could well be that she’s hooked as she sounds like she’s set her sights on the t-shirt juniors get when they complete 10 Parkruns… Time will tell but today she noticed that DOMs are improved by running!