The same facet of her personality that makes her an ultra-competitive sore loser is the same part that makes her stress/anxious about being the best/fastest on the field. All of these traits she obviously inherited from Donnie because I’ve never stressed about losing or winning anything in my entire life.
We took her on these Tuesday night cross-country runs this summer sponsored by our local track club. She would run the one-mile and the course is tough. It’s all on trails/grass and it’s got some elevation to it. Her best time was 9:25 but – once she started doing them on her own – she always finished under 11 minutes.
We can tell she is fast. Or that she could be fast if she could figure out how to control her breathing and her anxiety. One mile she can push herself and not have to stop, but more than that and she has to stop because she’s breathing awful, or because she’s upset. It’s weird – she gets upset for no reason. I’m constantly offering her to take walk breaks or water breaks and she just gets more and more upset, not doing either. And getting upset makes her breathe worse and I worry she’ll hyperventilate.
She’s done three miles a few times successfully in various patterns of run/walk. Her best was running 2 miles at the CC run, taking about a 10 minute break, and then doing a One Mile run. She’s also done some run/walking with Donnie for 3 miles.
So – we signed her up for a 5K.
My hope is that she has SO MUCH FUN that she’ll quit getting so anxious and upset. I want her to learn to breathe (we have tried everything to coach her about breathing…to no avail) properly, but mainly I want her to have FUN. I want her to see how proud you can feel after running a 5K and I want her to want to do more.
We’re going to do 5/1 run/walk intervals. She doesn’t want to, but I’m going to make her. I think that will give her time to catch her breath as she’ll inevitably be hyperventilating. Her body can run 3 miles no problem, it’s her horrible breathing that gets her every time. But mainly? I want her to HAVE FUN. I told her there’s no getting upset, there’s no crying, we can take as many walk/water breaks as we need…but I want us to finish with a smile on our face.
So…wish her luck. It’s frustrating as a parent to see the full potential of a child and them not see it too. It’s frustrating when they won’t just listen to you (Her best run came when she ran with one of my coaches and that coach told her the same thing we’d been telling her and you know what? SHE LISTENED THEN.) even though what you’re telling them is spot on. She’s athletic. She’s fast. She’s competitive. Everything I wasn’t. If she could learn to have fun while being all of those things? She’d be great. But I don’t want her to be stressed out all the time. I don’t give a crap if she wins or loses anything…so obviously that edge is genetic. I just want her to have fun.
I made a bunch of signs for everyone to hold the finish line, I’m hoping that will give her a push at the end. She always finishes strong…so strong I’m waiting for the day she pukes across the finish line.
Either way…she’s so much better off than I ever was. She is running her first 5K at the age of 6. I was 31 when I ran mine. If she crosses the finish line? I promise you I’ll be so proud I’ll be crying.