What did you do with your rainy Sunday?

Do you remember just a week or two ago when I told many of you that our soccer season had ended so our weekends should be a little more free? Well, it turns out that that was a lie...

Saturday was spent driving to and from soccer fields in DC so that Maddy could play in a soccer tournament. After leaving DC, we stopped to grab a quick bite to eat before shooting over to an indoor soccer game against the first travel team that she played for! Not exactly a quiet day, but it was a lot of fun to watch her play. And if we count correctly, that means that she played 3 games in one day... That's a lot of running!

The following morning, Emma, Molly, Carol and I drove up to Westminster to participate in the Girls on the Run 5k. Emma has been participating in Girls on the Run for years and has enjoyed the program and the time spent with her friends. This was Molly's first year participating. For those who are unfamiliar with Girls on the Run, it truly is a wonderful program that spends as much, if not more, time teaching young girls about emotional and social health as it does about physical health. 

In the past several races, Carol has done the 5k with Emma. Since I had never had the chance to run with Emma, and I spent a lot of time with Molly during the soccer season, Emma and I got to run this race together. As we stood at the starting line, Emma, visibly excited, turned to me and said "Dad can you keep our time on your watch?" She wanted to know how fast she could run the 5k. She was going to challenge herself. At that moment, I felt a tremendous amount of pride.

As the race started, we came out of the blocks HOT! For those who know me, I am not a runner. I often joke that I will run all day if there is a ball involved, but other than that I am just not interested. Within the first quarter mile, I knew that the pace that we were running at was not going to be sustainable, for me, for 3 miles, and I was pretty sure that it was not something that Emma could maintain either. I was not going to be one to rain on her parade though. We kept the pace going for almost a mile. Very surprised at our ability to keep that pace, again I found myself beaming with pride. Shortly before passing the mile marker, we stopped to walk for a bit to catch our breath, which was a relief for me because I needed the break. We did a jog/walk combo (with much more jog than walk) for the next mile or so. During this portion of the run, she asked me several times what our time was, and how much we had left. She was paying attention and wanted to finish at a certain time. She was focused on hitting her goal. 

A little after the 2-mile mark, we caught up to one of Emma's friends. Her friend was doing more walking than running at this point. She was dragging a bit, and at that moment, Emma showed a great deal of empathy for her friend. Rather than continue to focus on her time, she shifted her focus to helping her friend and making sure that she was OK. We walked for the majority of the remaining mile. The girls talked. They laughed. They jogged. They enjoyed the time spent together. 

My daughter prioritized helping her friend, over reaching her own goal. In the end, I guess Emma realized that it was not about the race as much as it was about who you run with.    
In that moment, my daughter taught me that sometimes we need to let go of our selfish goals, so that we can help someone else reach theirs.

Movement is my medicine,

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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