The Kid has an enormous amount of energy.
To be honest, it’s exhausting.
But it’s who he is and, for the most part, it’s good for him. As a general rule, we all are too content to sit. He often can when he needs to and the rest of the time? In motion.
He received a small indoor trampoline for his birthday last fall, and while not aesthetically pleasing, it was a welcome addition to our living room. He used it frequently.
By mid-July, the beginning of our 5th month of shelter-in-place, I noticed that his energy was waning. He was more content to sit and almost never used the trampoline. Easier for me, sure, but a definite red flag.
School started online in early August, and while he doesn’t have hours upon hours in front of the computer, he does have hours of school work, and no playground to run around on.
This is not evidence that we need to go back to school. This is evidence that I need to do more to keep him moving.
I decided to bring him in to my morning running routine. We started with a plan of two weekday morning runs per week and one run on the weekends. We chose a short loop in our neighborhood dubbed The Cat Lady Loop and two mornings each week, we’d go out and run three quarters of a mile. He can usually do that distance without complaint and we didn’t need a ton of time to get it done.
We did two runs as planned that first week, decked out in bathing suits so we could swim for 10 or 15 minutes when we got home.
Over the weekend, we ended up hiking instead.
The Kid has a couple of podcasts he listens to regularly, including one called The Big Fib. The Big Fib is in the midst of a several-part series and he was anxious to hear the next episode, telling me he couldn’t wait until Thursday when it was available.
Thursday morning last week, I downloaded the new episode onto my phone and we listened to it while we ran a new route.
Together, we easily went just over a mile without any of the usual “this run is too long” complaints.
“Mom! That wasn’t even hard!”
In our post-run swim, we talked a bit and he suggested we go three mornings before school instead of just two. At first, we decided Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but then we decided to change Friday to Thursday. So we could listen to the new episode of The Big Fib on our run. The episodes and our time running nearly perfectly line up.
Yesterday, we easily ran a mile while listening to the new episode. Wednesday, without a podcast, we ran a mile on a new loop, as yet unnamed. No problem.
This weekend, we’re going to try the Starbucks loop (without a stop for a drink)—1.6 miles. He’s done it quite a few times with a fair amount of walking. I will definitely bring podcasts for that one but with him running more consistently, I’m curious to see how he does compared to last time, maybe a month ago.
This week, his energy is higher. He’s bouncing on his trampoline again. He’s walking around to tell stories again.
I’m relieved. And I’m happy to have a morning running partner. Even if we’re only running a mile.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
As an aside, here are the podcasts he listens to:
- The Big Fib
- Brains On!
- Smash Boom Best
- Big Life Kids Podcast
- Eat Your Spanish
- Tumble Science Podcast
- Wow in the World
- Stories Podcast
- The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian