18 March 2011

Baby Steps

My youngest son is joining the middle school track team. He’s been looking forward to this for years. His older brother, now 20, ran track. His sister is on the high school track team, his 14 year old brother is also on the mid school track team. The youngest has wanted to do field events for years. Discus like his sister, long jump like his oldest brother. He doesn’t want to run but the middle school requires all athletes to run one event.

The hundred meter dash, one straight side of the track. The youngest is nervous. He doesn’t want to be last. He fears, with good reason, that he will be last, and not only last but way behind and walking. Asthma, 5’6”, 175lbs, he’s a big boy, football material, only he hated football. We talked about how track does not have to be a competition against others, how his oldest brother would keep track of his time each meet and try to beat himself at the next meet. The competition is only with himself. The youngest likes this idea. It is do able.

We got him running shoes.
Size 10. 
The same size his dad wears, he is 12, 6th grade. 
As we walked to the car, black and silver Asics in the bag, he said. “Tomorrow I’ll start running with my brother every morning.” (the 14 yo, 5’ 7½”, and so skinny I can’t find pants that fit him)

“I can’t even keep up with him. It would be better if you and I went running,” I said.

“Really?” he asked happy that I would do that with him. He’s making an effort taking a step toward better health.

A few days previous to this he observed, “I really should stand up straight.” So he has been working on standing straighter. Yesterday he said, “When I stand straight my belly isn’t so big.” He pulls his shoulders back and looks down at his front pleased. He goes and gets his new shoes and on the way thanks me again and says how much he likes them. I get mine. We slip the leash on the dog and walk down our long driveway. We do a slow jog to the corner. He is breathing heavy. The cold air hurts his lungs. We walk, briskly, along the next street then run again on the third. We stop to walk when his breathing is difficult. One lap around our neighborhood is one mile. We walk more than we run.

It is a start, a baby step in the right direction.  

Tell me about your recent 'baby step'.

Mine this week- learning to twitter, putting photos in the blog

(top photo- Hawaiian baby footprints, Kauai March 2010)