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Parenting is a Marathon - Not a 5K

Distance Differences Between a 5K and a Marathon:

5K                                           Marathon
5 Kilometers                           42.2 Kilometers     
5000 Meters                           42,200 meters
3.1 Miles                                26.2 Miles
16,368 Feet                           138,336 Feet
196,416 Inches                      1,660,032 Inches
Average run time 20-40 minutes  Average run time 4.5 -6 hours
Minimal recovery time                Recovery could take between 4 months to 1 year
Easy terrain                                Hills, turns, twists, surprises
Good feeling when finished        Euphoric feeling when finished

A couple of weeks ago my 18-year-old daughter asked if I would like to run a 5K with her.  My initial thought was no:  too much effort, work, and time - I have enough to do already.  Then I thought about how nice it was that my daughter was inviting me to do something with her.  So, I gladly agreed.

I trained very little.  Soon the day was dawning.  I wasn't sure how much I would really be running, but I was excited to try.  We met up with some friends of ours and started out.  I kept up for a while then started lagging behind.  I told my daughter to go on ahead - I'd see her at the finish line.

As the race continued the fast runners were far enough ahead of me that I could no longer see them.  I was far enough ahead of the rest of the pack, that if I looked behind me, I could no longer see them.  As I trudged on I was totally alone with the road and my thoughts.

I began thinking about the differences between a marathon and a 5K.  I could get by without training in a 5K , but there is no way I could've finished running a whole marathon without a lot more effort and work. when participating in a marathon a runner must make sure that she is ready mentally, physically, and spiritually.  A marathon contender must practice balance, speed training, weight lifting, and endurance to be ready and fit.

Many people think that uphill terrain is the hardest.  Some runners say it is the downhill topography that can cause the most fatigue if you don't pace yourself.  Efficient economy of effort is needed both for the uphill and downhill challenges.  It is no different when it comes to nurturing children.  We have to always be on our game.  Training ourselves to react and speak with authority while reinforcing good behavior in a positive manner.  Like opponents in a marathon - if children sense weakness they will use it to their advantage.  You must appear strong even when you feel shaky and tired.

Wishy-washy, lazy people will not become the winner of this remarkable challenge.  It takes confidence, courage, and total discipline. One of the biggest differences in parenting and running a marathon is that as a parent you not only have to make sure that you yourself are disciplined, you must ensure that your children are disciplined as well.  Most of the time it is much easier for a parent to say no or apply discipline to herself than it is when it pertains to a child that we want to make as comfortable and happy as possible.  However, we all know at times chastisement and correction is needed for the benefit, improvement, and enhancement of developing better lives for ourselves and those of our children. 

No matter what you do in life to be a winner always requires discipline.  Sometimes you are called to show unwavering strength during harsh conditions.  If you fall get back up.  If you lose your way ask for help.  You may even consider asking your own dear parents, after all, they've seen this contest before.

Like marathon running, when you become a parent you're in it for the long haul.  It's not a 5K.  It's not even a 42.2K.  It's a lifetime of determination, energy, and sweat.  But unlike marathon running, with parenting there is more than one finish line, and every time a child hugs you, tells you he loves you, or has his own personal wins - you become a winner as well :-)


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  • Parenting is a Marathon - Not a 5K


# Kim
Tuesday, May 07, 2013 10:13 AM
I've nominated you for a Liebster Award. I think your posts are inspiring, and I hope you keep it up!

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