Family, Kids

Rudolph’s unexpected side effect.

“C’mon… you can do anything for 5 kilometres…”

These are the encouraging words I mutter to myself, as I dig around for some warm running clothes. It’s 5:34pm, dark and foggy out. The last thing I want to do is go for a run.

I always seem to think ‘challenges’ of most sorts are a great idea, and for the first few days I am so gung ho: Give up sugar? Yes! for about 31 hours. Plank Challenge! Yes! Until… meh.

So when the Run Rudolph Run popped up on Facebook, of course I was all over it. The basic premise is that you pick some variation of a run streak that lasts between December 1 to the 24th (hence the festive title). We bandied about some different ones but I eventually settled on “Consistent Rudolph”, committing to running 5kms daily for the duration. Easy!

Narrator’s voice over: “she thought it would be easy. It wasn’t”

I tossed the Run Rudolph Run calendar I’d printed on the kitchen counter, only to have Will scoop it up and ask what it was. I explained and he immediately replied that he wanted to join me in the challenge.

I agreed. I like company. Besides, I was 99% certain that after 3 days, we’d throw in the antlers.

Fast forward to day 12 of the challenge. We’re still going strong. And no thanks to me, that’s for damn sure.  I wanted to quit by day 3. I’ve suggested to Will that we take days off and use the make up days. I’ve proposed that he skip the run on swim club days. Basically, I’ve tried to be a terrible influence.

It hasn’t worked. He’s 100% in.

I’ve never run so many consecutive days in down jackets and mitts, in the dark by the light of weak headlamp.

But Rudolph comes with an unexpected gift: every single time we set out, it ends up being my favourite 30 minutes of the day because my eldest child opens up to me. It’s as though the movement of his feet loosens his tongue and he’s off. We talk about school, friends, politics, running, christmas lists, what he wants to be when he grows up. For those 30 minutes, all barriers come down and nothing seems off limits. We aren’t mom and son for that time; we’re just 2 people sharing a run and a good chat.

A small part of me wishes Rudolph could go on forever.

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