Running has done a lot for more over the last couple years. Mainly giving me a healthier body that will allow me to spend more time with my family and friends. One other thing it has done which ties into that is given me a way to connect with my daughter. Hailey has been running cross country for 4 years now. When she started I was close to 250 lbs and couldn’t run around the block with her.
Hailey and I have always been pretty close, but she is definitely a girly-girl. She likes shopping, getting nails done & dreams about going and getting a message. These are all things that make me want to rip my fingernails off. Although we have been close we never had something to really grab onto together. When I started running she was one of the first people I ran with. We would talk (as much as I could…it takes a while to be able to talk and run at the same time) and I would ask about her day and we would talk about stuff. Not stuff necessarily that we wouldn’t have anyway, but this time it was just her and I having moments together.
2 years ago I came to the realization that I didn’t really hug my daughters anymore. I also realized that they didn’t really cuddle up next to me on the couch anymore. I was a little sad but understood that as they grow our relationships will be different. Not worse, just different. I was OK with that but still missed the old times.
Since I have been running and Hailey and I have a new connection things are different. Not only have I noticed we talk about life more, but frequently she comes and stands leaning into me for a hug. Frequently we will be on the couch and she will be snuggled in just like she used to. I know that soon enough she will be off to college and our relationship will be changing again. Or even worse she could end up with a boyfriend and she may prefer cuddling with him (NOT OK IF YOU ARE READING THIS HAILEY), but for now thanks the time we have spent together with our shared passion she cuddles with me.
November 26 is the next big day in our running journey together. Last night we signed up to run the Gobbler Half Marathon together. This will be my third half marathon and her first. The idea that I get to run that beside her (if she waits for me) is priceless to me. I am thankful for the relationship that I have with both my daughters and my wife. I am proud to say that my decision to become healthier thru movement has not only made me healthier on the outside, but it has made my relationship with my family healthier as well. The benefits of improving yourself can reach much farther than you would ever imagine.