How Running Strengthened My Relationship With My Daughter

My tween daughter and I formed our own mother-daughter running club last fall. I wanted her to use it as cross-training for soccer, build endurance and speed and maybe, just maybe, run every step of a race.

She, on the other hand? Well, she wanted to make matching T-shirts.

I learned in the first two weeks that our goals were never going to align. She didn't care how far we ran before we walked or if she had gotten any faster on the field. She liked the idea of running a race together (because, matching T-shirts!), but was just as happy to finish that race at a walk.

Here's what she did like:

-Spending the morning together.
-Pointing out a beautiful sunrise or pretty pattern of dew on the grass.
-Feeling accomplished, and telling her friends that she had "already gone for a run" before school even started.

So I abandoned my running-based goals and we focused on other benefits. I'm so glad we did, because what we both gained from Mother-Daughter Run Club has little to do with speed or endurance and everything to do with the mental and emotional benefits of running together—things I hope will last throughout her life.

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