Meet my little boy Sam.
Does the phrase “Inspire a generation” mean anything to you? Well it should do, as it was the slogan for the epic London 2012 Olympic Games and it certainly did inspire my wee boy. In August 2012, my family and I were invited to celebrate Paul’s 40th birthday in a fantastic house in Devon with his friends and family. One night, I said I was going to take Sam to bed but sneakily watched the Men’s 200m semi finals with him on the oversized leather sofa, when I noticed that he was crouching and then running. I realised that he was copying the sprinters on the tele which was very unusual as Sam had only really seen the CeeBeebies ‘Bedtime Hour’ before London 2012 dominated our screens. I then spent a few minutes teaching him the actions before recording this video.
Prior to this I’d taken him to see the Olympic road cycling as we lived very close to the route and he loved the whole spectacle from the cyclists to the initial parade of Police motorcyclists. He would often applaud normal cyclists going by for weeks afterwards and also got so into the Paralympics, that he once stopped to applaud a guy in a wheelchair…the confused man saw the funny side once we’d explained the situation. One day when Chris Hoy had won another Gold, Sam started doing this!!! No one had taught him to be a conductor and he had us in stitches!
The ‘MoBot’ and the ‘Bolt’ soon became his party pieces as friends and family came round to visit and he loved everything TEAM GB! So on his second birthday we decided to fuel his passion for Team GB, cycling and Bradley Wiggins in one go!
I was getting into parkrun in a big way and to let Sam experience the joys of a free 5km run and the great atmosphere you get week in, week out at Bushy parkrun we decided to get a ‘Baby Jogger‘ and tear around the course which he absolutely loved. He regularly commentates and spurs me on at parkruns and to date we have 2 sub 19 minutes ‘buggy’ runs, one at Dulwich parkrun and one at Bushy parkrun all down to Sam’s encouragement of course! 😉
2012 was also the year that I started triathlons and I remember being at Bekonscot Model Village and I saw one Dad showing off to another by asking his little boy what Daddy likes, “beer” was his son’s response to which they both laughed. I turned to Sam and asked him what I like? “Swim, Bike, Run” was his response…That’s my boy! 🙂 Sam and his mum had supported me at my first triathlon and he was cheering me and other triathletes on from near the transition area. To see his little face was such motivation and it kept me going having high-fived him minutes earlier. Sam also came along to my third triathlon experience which was at the Human Race Events HSBC triathlon where a client of mine was doing her first triathlon and I had put a team together to do the relay. Whilst there, Sam and I witnessed the awesome event run by Human Race Events called a Scootathlon…Scooter, Bike, Run. I quickly found out that you had to be 4 years of age to do it and for the last 2 years Sam has been wishing his ‘infant’ period away. A month before he was 4, Sam asked me if he was 4 yet, I said “no, why?” to which he replied “Scootathlon!”.
I also found out that you had to be 4 years of age to do the Junior parkrun to which he got excited and recently through my involvement with all things Spartan, I found that they ran Junior Spartan Races too but he had to wait until he was…you’ve guessed it…FOUR!!!
Now back to the pushy parent thing…I’m not…we’re not. We just want, as most parents do, to give our children as many opportunities to try things. Quite a lot of things have failed, tumble tots and rugby tots worked for a while but fizzled out but he seems to have a love for races. He challenges everyone to race, our house has a ‘parkrun’ in it according to Sam and this can only come from the fact that I’m not living my life through Sam but from the fact that I’m living my life…and Sam wants to join me in having the fun that I do. If Sam’s near the finishing line of my race then I will pick him up and carry him across the line and when they go to put the medal around my neck I put Sam forward so they can put it over his. Sam is my motivation (and now Baby Eva too of course!) so I feel it’s only right that he gets to share in the great moment experienced when you cross that finish line.
So on to the ‘Pushy 4 year old’…he’s not pushy…just very enthusiastic! Again, he sees the joy exercise gives me, how proud his dad is when he comes home with another finisher’s medal. We discuss the medal daddy’s going to get later, prior to a race. I am active and Sam benefits from this but I also benefit as I have more energy to give to him. He inspires me but he also pushes me directly and indirectly. Directly in the way he cheers me on from the buggy at parkrun and also they way he’ll ask me to do press ups with him before bed…seriously. Indirectly because he is in my head and my heart. I carry him and Eva around in me in every race and when they’re able to watch me I have the eyes of my babies seeing me ‘enjoy’ exercise. If I enjoy it then they are more likely to too. We all know there are parents who moan about not being able to eat “nice food” (usually meaning pizzas/cakes etc) and complain about ‘having to do exercise because someone told them too’ which gives off a terrible attitude to their little ‘sponges’. What message are they trying to send? I suppose that is life and kids do grow up to be like their parents but surely you want them to be the best that they can be…whatever that is!
15 days after Sam turned 4 he did the Junior Spartan Race. 8 days later he did his first Junior parkrun and a week later, this Sunday he does his first scootathlon.
Blogs to follow! #prouddaddy