One of the best things about the kids being at 7,6 and 4 is that they love to run these days, and wish to run with purpose.
Gone are the days where you have to stop them from running into danger (think the toddler years) and running with no idea of danger (think those years where the idea of road safety was still an obscure concept). These days my kids play tag a lot and race one another to finishing points at the playground, void deck and corridor and love the thrill of starting races.
Best time to participate in runs ever.
We’ve had tremendous fun doing the Safari Zoo Run earlier in February as a family when Nat finally turned 4, thanks to the kind invitation of HiVelocity and Wildlife Reserves. It was the first time 5 km became a reality for Becks and Nat and the second time for Ben (not counting the Hello Kitty Run in which we walked all 5 km in the rain). A while ago, late last year, we already did the OSIM Sundown with Ben in which I was super impressed by his stamina and ability to persevere at 6 years old then.
Doing a run almost always guarantees a host of life lessons the kids can experience which can never be taught in any other setting. First, it brings out the complainer in every pampered child I have; and with every run we do, we get to deal with the whining head on admist the heat, humidity and discomfort. Nothing beats telling Becks to deal with it and suck it up in a run more than anywhere else because there was nothing really anyone can do about her sweat / mosquito bite / need for water / blah blah blah except to finish the run (hurhurhur).
Second, it brings out the competitive nature of the kids – my boys, at least – and lets them show off their athletic flair and drives their desire to win and overtake. And sometimes, a run becomes an opportunity for the kids to realise that they ain’t as good as they think they are and that finishing a run is not as easy as one thinks.
Fatherkao and Ben had the opportunity to do just that – dash 800m – in the recent Cold Storage Kids Run which we were invited to. They did it in what? 6? 7? minutes and felt such a tremendous sense of accomplishment that I know Ben would remember for a long time, although I know the run also showed him that there were stronger, tougher, better 7-year-olds than him out there, and that he could have been better and faster than them.
This kind of healthy competition – un-said, un-verbalised and un-intended – and getting kids motivated together with a bunch of like minded people, is what I think is the best takeaway for my kids in any run organised here in Singapore.
And the reason why we would likely be participating in more since the kids are now at the age – the golden age – for any form of running.
Time to put on our running shoes this year!