I went for a different kind of training run today. Andrew wasn't up for the Y, but was excited when I asked him if he wanted to go for a bike ride. So we went to a local park. I ran with Natalie in the jogging stroller, and Andrew rode his bike (mostly) alongside us. Initially, I thought that we were in the midst breakthrough moment; I would finally be able to complete all of my running with my kids! But after 5 minutes on the bike, Andrew was starting to tire.
The park's paths weren't particularly hilly, but even so, there were several times where Andrew would stop at the bottom of a "hill" and ask for a push. "Mommy, I can't do it," he would say. He seemed to be intimidated by the grade and the length of the hills. He's pretty new to bike riding, but experienced enough to know that he would need strong legs continually pedaling to keep the bike from moving backward, the default direction. He wasn't sure that he was powerful enough to make it up the hill.
I'm having an I can't do it kind of day. I feel like I'm marching upward on an escalator that's going downstairs. The hills are working against me. I'm looking for someone to push me so that I can achieve today's goals: a run long enough to match that on my training plan, a blog entry, a basket full of folded laundry, quality time with my husband and kids, some time in prayer for friends.
At the park today, when we approached the steepest of the hills, I told Andrew that he should try pedaling the bike up the hill, on his own, without a push. I was confident of his abilities. I wanted him to see that he could do it.
"Keep on going! Use your momentum!"
"What's momentum mommy?"
"You can do it!"
He was frustrated. He wanted his push. He was a little mad at me. I was challenging him to think differently about himself and his obstacle, and that can be hard to accept. But as he approached the crest of the hill, a huge smile grew across his face. He had indeed done it. He pedaled the bike up the hill, on his own, without a physical push.
I want to be like Andrew today. I want to step up to the challenge to think differently about myself and my obstacles and my goals. I want to listen to encouragement, even when it's different from the thoughts swirling around my head. I want to keep pedaling when my muscles are screaming for me to stop. I want to be pleased with my efforts and grow in confidence. Thanks Andrew!