The Zinger

7 miles
Sane Strides

Sometimes you just need a good run with a friend to clear your mind, right?  That was my last run…

Anyway, sometimes life teaches you lessons in short, little, knowledge packed nuggets.  Case in point:  Strawberry has been NAGGING me about running a 5k solo (he’s run about 7 races, so he knows the drill).  I can’t make up my mind about him being ready for it.  So tonight we’re having the 15,238th discussion about said topic.  I am going through all my hesitations (again) and hit one of the biggest ones (yet again).

“What if you blow out of the gate too fast and then burn out and can hardly finish?”


Unhesitatingly he quips out this zinger in a forceful, but emphatic tone:  “Mom, I know what you’ve taught me.  I don’t do that.

Dead silence filled the car as I sit there stunned and speechless (two things that don’t happen very often).

He reinforces the lesson by further explaining, “Mile 1, go comfortable.  Mile 2, get faster.  Mile 3, go even faster and at the end you go as fast as you can.  I can do this mom -you showed me.”

Crap.  Kid’s gotta point.

It’s these kick you in the pants, my kid’s growing up moments that are happening at a quicker pace than I realize and/or want.  For the last 8 years I’ve been next to him guiding, explaining, showing, modeling, and whatever else it takes to prove my point.  But tonight, in this moment, he was reminding me of one thing – he listened – or at least does sometimes, because every time I ask him to clean his room it doesn’t happen.

He’s shuffled next to me running enough times to know exactly what to do and honestly when his little feet hit the pavement, I don’t doubt for a second that he won’t be able to pace himself to get a new PR.

But this goes so far beyond racing, and seeps into every part of life – these precious little bambinos shuffle along beside you and learn (good and bad) how to navigate through this crazy thing called life and at some point, I have to cut the darn cord and let him go out and learn.  I only hope that he doesn’t clink his teeth on his fork like I do, or feel the compulsive need to rant or rave at every driver going under the speed limit…

Some days, he might go out of the gate to fast, other days, he’ll underestimate himself and fall short of his abilities…but the key word here is HE.  He has to do these things and learn.   Me?  I just really have to accept the fact that my role is changing- slowly shifting from doing to coaching.  Exciting?  Yes.  Scary? Worse than a Kardashian thinking of going in front of the camera without makeup.  It’s a slow transition, and I still have a lot of “doing” ahead of me, but these glimpses of the cord cutting, coaching moments only remind me that the days are going too fast.

When was the last time someone zinged you with one sentence?

Are you a too fast out of the gate 5Ker or a chronic underestimator?


6 thoughts on “The Zinger

  1. Loved reading this! I don’t have my own children (I’m a teacher) but I can only imagine the pride that you get when he is able to recite how to go about it all. I think you should get a couple of people stationed on the course for support and let him have at it! I’ve only race a couple of 5ks and they have all been in the dead heat of summer – and I went out too fast each time.

  2. I LOVE STRAWBERRY! This is both a heart-breaking AND heart-warming story, all in one! 🙂

    My husband is probably the last person who zinged me. But he’s so good, he doesn’t even need to open his mouth. He just raises an eyebrow at me…an eyebrow that says, “Ahem. Please replay whatever you just said back to yourself.” And that can be like hearing it with new ears. Ooops.

    And I’m a reforming under-estimator. 🙂

  3. Great posting! Out of the mouths of babes…. They get you with those zingers don’t they?!?!? Very “proud Mom moment” for you as you hear, as all good coaches do, when they’ve absorbed the lessons taught and are ready to head out on their own. Well done!

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