Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Austin Marathon - 5 days and counting... and youth
It rained last night, so my 14 year old son who will be doing his second half-marathon in Austin (just did his first half-marathon in Houston last month and it was truly one of the most cherished experiences of my life to see him cross the finish line) went with me to the YMCA to run on the treadmill while I did the stationary bike. We just joined the Y a few weeks ago, and this was his first time to go, and his first time to ever run on a treadmill. Now you have to know, my son is my best buddy in the world, but I'm still Dad, and regardless of the fact that I've done x number of marathons, have given countless motivational speeches to running groups as well as talks on running tips, I'm still Dad, which means that I know nothing (and my parents knew nothing, and your parents knew nothing, you get the picture). So, he gets on the treadmill and I get him started. He insists (Dad advises otherwise) to set the machine to a pace that I knew was too hard, so I let him do it. I go over to the bike and start my routine. Not 10 minutes later, there he is standing beside me pouring sweat insisting that I had set the machine too hard. I just smiled and told him to get on the stationary bike next to mine. He does. I tell him to set it this way and that way, and try to keep it around 75-80 rpm. Then trouble. A group of teenage girls from his school walk in and start exercising around us. I look over and he's about 100 rpm. I leaned over and said as softly as I could, "Buddy, slow down." The response, "Oh Dad, don't worry, I can keep this up." About 5 minutes passes and he is done. I just smiled and leaned over and patted him on the back. He takes a break and starts up again, this time wanting to increase the tension (again, against my advice). Same results. He looks at me and says smiling, "I hate it when you're right." One thing I love about him, he learns from his mistakes, so I don't mind letting him take a bit of a fall every now and then to help him learn how to pull himself back up.