I am a runner.
I am a dad.
I am a running dad.
I am not alone in that; there is a community of us out there who enjoy not only the body and mind fitness benefits, but also key to our motivation is to extend this to our children. We run to inspire them; to show them what they can achieve when the challenge is a great one and to never, ever give up. We want to instil in them the characteristics of resilience, determination, courage and aspiration and through seeing us run can enhance this.
My inspiration is my son, Ethan. He is three and my absolute world. To be fair, not just mine, but most people that he meets. He is a little charmer and has a way of making the toughest of days become the best. He has supported me in quite a number of events now, with fellow runners commenting positively about his support of others too.
I want Ethan to know what it is to have an aspiration and challenge and be able to meet it and overcome. To achieve something through hard work, commitment and sacrifice and reap the rewards. To understand healthy mind and healthy body is equally important and that it isn't about the distance; it's the journey. That's why I run. That's why many of us do.
As part of my personal mission, I noticed that this is a shared goal, and that there is a vibrant community online of dads and families promoting the same or a similar message. Running Dads is a way to bring those people together; to share experiences, hints & tips, blogs or vlogs and to brag a little to those who will listen about what has been achieved. Whether it's a 5km or ultra, trail or road; it's all relative to the person undertaking the challenge. We obviously have an aim to raise awareness of what dads are up to out there, but have interaction daily with non-parents and females too, all engaging in the overall effort to inspire the next generation.
That being said, a special day is almost here that I always feel is a little day set aside for us dads; and a day that I personally really enjoy…Father’s Day! In reality, I am incredibly lucky and don’t need a day set aside to tell me that. I do though, enjoy the day and celebrating with my family. It is one of my own personal highlights of the year, and I’m sure one of most dads out there. This year, I will be taking my boy out for a little run in the morning before heading to Knowsley Safari Park. Having been there once before with Ethan and seeing how much he enjoyed it (especially the monkey section!) I know that it will be a really good day. We will have a picnic lunch and step away from the craziness of everyday life. It’s good to step out once in a while.
I’ll return to real training on Monday; my weekends on the whole are for family.
Because, in truth, whilst I am a running dad, I am a dad first. And family will always be the most important thing.