|Départ: On Your Marks|
So when my daughter said that she wanted to run cross-country this year I was enthusiastic. I bought her some leggings and special shoes to try to encourage her, and she and I started going for 5-K walks on the weekends. I also decided to take a personal day off work to see her run in the 42nd RSEQ Championship at Jean-Drapeau Park.
October 11 was an exciting, crisp day, and the sun was shining amidst the many colourful leaves. Running next to the St. Lawrence River brought down the temperature a few degrees, but the dark blue waves made the backdrop all the more picturesque. I have never attended a cross-country meet this big before: some 11,223 kids from elementary schools all over the city took part, and each race had about 300 participants. It was even difficult for me to make my way through the crowd to take pictures.
|Grade 5 Girls at Orange Starting Line|
I pointed out runners throughout the day to her to show her their different qualities. The top third of the field were all good, experienced runners who still had plenty of speed at the end of the race, and then the second third of participants who were in fairly good shape, but had less energy at the end. Then I showed her the last third who looked very tired, were overweight or were walking. I also showed her some "girls" in the other grade 5 races who were at least a head taller than my daughter and who already looked like young women. I emphasized the importance of finishing the race and explained that every race was different and that something could be learned from each one.
|The race is on.|
When I asked her if she had enjoyed the run, she said, "How could I? Everyone was running past me. It was terrible." I turned my face away to smile. "That's what cross-country is all about," I said. "You didn't expect to stay ahead of 299 girls in the elite group did you?" Then she smiled and said, "I guess not."
This morning she looked tired, but she told me that she wanted to start training for next year. She said that it wasn't enough to train in gym class at school. She had to train at home too.
I hope this will translate into her prying herself away from the computer and going outside more often. I really enjoyed this day at Jean-Drapeau Park. There's something very inspiring about kids showing enthusiasm about physical activity.
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Downtown Los Angeles With The Kids