His Mouth And His Feet Were Totally Not Agreeing!!! #UsFatGirls
Last month I got to run a family-fun 5K with a 6 year old. It was a total blast!
The 3.6 mile-run was scheduled for Thanksgiving morning. To prep for the big day, we watch running movies the night before to get pumped up and inspired. We watched Spirit of the Marathon & Dear Chelsey. By Thursday morning we were ready to workout before pigging out! After watching the movies together, we picked up a few more runners willing to try their first race! They were inspired and ready to RUN!
We got up early and headed to the start line for the Turkey Leg 5K.
As the air horn blasted our start, we spread out. Since there were several kids with our group, my plan was stay with them. The older ones took off and I felt confident they were safe and able to meet at the finish line. 6-year-old Jaxon landed in my site line and was buzzing by. As I spotted him I realized he had separated from the part of our group he was with and was running this race by himself. The moment I saw him, I decided to stay with him – if I could keep up. I could still see some of the other kids in our group just ahead of us. It wasn’t planned for me to run with him, it just happened. He and I were doing this thing together!
His little legs were flying and his face was turning red. I could hear him breathing. He was doing it. Determination was all over his face, but then something happened. The race didn’t end. Unlike gym class at school or playing with friends in the neighborhood, this was a distance race. The finish line was quite a ways away still, especially for a little guy who had never been in a race like this before. He was also carrying a water bottle as big as his torso while also managing winter gloves and a hat wiggling all around, shifting as he ran.
As with all of us at any age, he began to say “I can’t do this, I need to stop.” I told him we could walk or run, it was up to him. I grabbed his water bottle, opened it, made sure he got a hand ful of swallows and then carried it for him. As soon as he got a sip of water he was off again – running NOT walking. There were many moments he would skip. He had no idea this was a super smart alternative. A brilliant way to unknowingly change motion and muscles used to not fatigue his other muscles. He did it naturally, alternating between running and skipping. Whichever one he used, he just kept going, with small walking water breaks then he would take off again. I kept telling him how awesome and strong he is as well as reminding him that he can do this. I believe in him. I really do. If he couldn’t do it, I would’ve told him before we started.
Then a pattern emerged. He began to say with his mouth one thing, and with his body do something else.
As the race got difficult and long his head was telling him to stop, so his mouth was telling me, “Jenny, I can’t do this, I need to walk or stop.” Each time he would say it out-loud, I responded, “Ok, we’ll walk together and get water. I’ll stay with you.”
He would get a drink of water, and then keep running. He kept saying, “I can’t!” and yet he kept going. His feet kept running and skipping. He kept saying, “I have to stop!” But his little feet and wiggly hat kept going! Head/Mouth = “I can’t”! Feet = “Go, go, go!”
As we curved to the last 2/10th until the finish line, I asked him a question. I asked, “You know all those people at that finish line are there waiting for you, right? They are gonna cheer for you! I know you are tired, but do you want to walk or run across the finish line? I’ll do whichever one you want to do.”
His immediate answer was, “Whew! I’m tired! We’ll walk!”
I didn’t even have a chance to respond when he took off running faster. Again, his mouth said one thing and his little feet had a mind of their own! So I took off with him.
Just as he made the final curve, my son, Jacob (who had already finished the race) came back to cheer Jaxon to the finish line. In that moment, with those cheers, it was as if Jaxon grew 2 more inches. He was working hard, this was very difficult for him, and yet he was doing it – with a proud and determined look on his face. I was so stinking proud of the little guy. He kept going. Then he said, “I think I’m gonna throw up”.
I said, “You might, so let’s throw up at the finish line. Can you get to it before you throw up?”
He took off. He did it. He ran and ran and ran and made it! He finished and was fast and was proud and almost threw up! I was so honored to get to cross the finish line with him! I was proud and he was proud! Total Awesomeness.
Also running that day was one of my dear friends and running inspirations, Dee (who I’ve mentioned on this site prior – she has run multiple halfs, fulls, 50-milers and is attempting her first 100-miler New Years Eve). Jaxon also got to run with Epic Dee.
Later that day, post race, Jaxon knocked on my door. Dee was at my home. He asked if she ever feels like throwing up when she runs. This was a totally new experience for him. Epic Dee, being epic, explained she throws up EVERY race she runs. She said, “If you got to the throw-up point, that means you are a BEAST – you gave everything you have! BEASTMODE!” He smiled and stood tall and proud. He was hooked. He needed to bask in the post-race awesomeness a bit longer. I totally know that feeling. Do you? He can do anything. His future is bright. He can do anything. I can’t wait to see all that is in store for this sweet over-comer!
His mom later shared with me that he jumped around the house the rest of Thanksgiving chanting, “I’m a BEAST! I’m a BEAST! I’m a BEAST!”
I felt so inspired from sweet Jaxon’s race. I was inspired to hear his thoughts and mouth trying to convince him to quit, but his feet kept him moving. When my head tries to tell me quit I need to tell it to shut up and let me run! I was also inspired that he tried something he’s never done before and conquered it. Fearless. And it was completely appropriate for him to feel proud. He worked seriously hard and way harder than he expected when he crossed the start line. It reminded me to not stifle my own accomplishments, but rather celebrate the victories and achievements, even if no one else sees them.
Lastly, I was reminded how important it is to have a cheering section. Do you have positive people cheering you on? I’m surrounded and so blessed and grateful for the encouragers I have. They support me no matter what and encourage me toward my goals. Just when I think I can’t go another step, their posts, notes, likes, and words get me to the next finish line. I was honored to get to be alongside Jaxon reminding him he could do what he thought he could not. I was thankful for my son to pop in right when Jaxon was ready to give up and walk. I was thankful for those at the finish line cheering him in when he felt like throwing up. That combination helped him achieve something that felt impossible. Conquering the ‘impossible’ impacted him hugely.
Do you have dreams and goals? Are your thoughts and actions having a fight? Do you have a way to overcome negative thoughts? Are you surrounded by people that will cheer you to your finish line?
Go for it! You got this! If Jaxon can do the impossible at 6 years old, so can you! One step ata time!