I’ve been a “jump first and then figure out the landing” person most of my life. That’s why my wife, Karen, is the perfect balance for me. She’s the logistics person who determines how we will land. So, when we recently decided to run a half marathon in Carlsbad, Karen was the one who was trying to account for all the potential problems we might encounter on the course.
You might be wondering: what’s the worst thing that could happen during a half marathon race? Well, this was our first ever stroller half marathon! Both of us had race credits from the prior year due to a cancellation of the race in 2021, so we thought, why not make this Karen’s first race back after having our baby (Kaia) and take her along with us for the ride? We already had the BOB Revolution SE jogging stroller, and even though we had only used it for walks, I was excited about the prospect of running with it. Karen was more concerned about the logistics of the race and how it would play out, while I maintained my usual “let’s just go for it!” mentality. Thankfully, Karen made sure our tires were in tip top shape and the actual stroller was primed and ready to go, and then we hoped for the best with our daughter. I figured even if we could get through most of the race without her crying or needing to eat, that would be a success. Well, to my delight, she slept for the first twelve miles and then was wide-eyed and happy for the final mile of the race! We crossed the finish line without having to attend to her one single time.
From the moment I became a father back in September, I’ve tried my best maintain the same life mentality I described earlier. Obviously, there are certain caveats to that with a baby to care for, but what I mean is that I think it’s important for all of us to take risks, even if it those risks are inconvenient. We went into that race hoping that Kaia wouldn’t be in a bad mood, crying the whole race and causing us to rethink why we had wanted to run with her in the first place. If she had, the experience would have been much different and far less joyful than it turned out to be. But the point is, we never would have known how good it could have been if we didn’t do it! And now our family has an amazing story about the first race we ever ran together, which we will tell our daughter about for years to come.
It would have been much more convenient to leave Kaia with a family member and run the race by ourselves. But what would we have learned from that? Instead, we found out that she handled this extremely well (even if only by chance), and we will be much more likely to attempt other adventures with her in the future. Here’s the lesson that stuck out to me from our family half marathon: win, lose, or somewhere in between, give it a shot! You won’t know how something will turn out unless you try to do it. Even if it goes poorly, at least you went after it and you won’t regret the attempt or the story that comes along with it. I’ve learned throughout my life that it’s better to be a bit audacious and even fall on your face from time to time, than to play things cautiously and never know what could have been!