I think back to a time before my daughter was born. I could go out for a run at the drop of a hat. I didn’t have to worry about making sure my wife could take care of our daughter. I could just get out onto the road and burn off those pesky calories and prepare for my next race. Fast forward two years and my world revolves around my daughter. I wouldn’t want it any other way because she brings so much happiness to our family.
At the beginning, in my own delusional world, I thought that I could do it all when my daughter was borne. Be that great husband, father and marathoner at the same time and not sacrifice in any area. It took me 3 months and a hard crash in life that awake me to the reality that if you want to do it, you have to put in place the right support network and become a master coordinator.
I tried to keep up a two marathon a year racing season combined with a potential long distance triathlon training schedule. Before long, the stress and work effort required to keep everything together unraveled and the exhaustion from the training took its toll. I couldn’t mentality prepare myself for an upcoming marathon. After 20 km’s in the marathon, I crashed out of the race, exhausted mentality from the challenges of life and the road.
After that race, I decided to take a break from the heavy training. I continued to train but at a reduced amount. Over the following six months, I found myself finally getting the balance in life I desperately needed. I found more time for my wife and daughter. When my daughter got old enough, I bought a jogging stroller. Life a fish to water, she loved being in the stroller for runs. She cried whenever we were done and she always wanted to go faster. If you can believe it, I began training harder with her than without. I wanted her to see everything that our neighbourhood had to offer and enjoy the outdoors as much as I did. Normal 30 minute runs turned into 1 hour odysseys’ that even had my wife scratching her head as so where the rest of her family disappeared to. As you can probably imagine pushing a 30+ pound child in a 15 pound stroller for 1 hour had its benefits. The extra weight helped me get the most out of the runs and the upper body benefited from pushing the stroller.
Training benefits aside, the runs with my daughter helped me in so many ways. I found a special “daddy and daughter” activity that we both absolutely enjoyed. I discovered a perfect marriage of family time and running. I can train to my heart’s content and she gets to enjoy the world around her at the speed of a runner. To her, I am her superman because I can make her go fast and I am very much happy with that!