Yesterday, I brought Nico to the UP Campus for a morning jog. Before reaching the College of Music where we are to meet his dad, he asked if he could go to the College of Human Kinetics first so he can give the hanging obstacle course another go. I agreed (he loves that activity and would do anything to delay jogging), and he was so happy when I let him do it twice. We hopped back into the car and once we were parked at the College of Music, I got him to do running warm-ups with me. Surprisingly, he did all of them with very minimal resistance: sideways running, kick-lunge, squats! As soon as we were done with the routine, I led him to the oval and we started to jog and join the multitude of UP jogging crowd. He would go my pace the first two sets of jog-runs but by the time we reached Palma Hall he just won’t have any of it. He wanted us to go to Sunken Garden where he likes to play but I argued I still was not done with my round.So I said I would allow him to run across the Sunken Garden and then just wait for me on the other side on the condition that he would jog non-stop until he reached the end. He took on the challenge and boy, did he run! I can’t believe he could run that hard! By the time I met him on the other side, he already broke his sweat and he was catching his breath. After that, we brisk walked and the next plan was to start jogging from College of Engineering to College of Music where we started. He said he just wanted to walk. But I thought to myself I was so close to getting him to run at least half the oval for the first time! So what I did was to offer him to lead the jog this time but not in the oval where everyone’s running, but in the woods leading to the UP Lagoon. Without hesitation, he started jogging, at first leaning left to get into the woods and as soon as we hit the grass cover, we started running (it was inevitable, apparently, when you are on a trail as you have to keep your knees high). I have never in my life run on a trail but I discovered that it was exciting. I did not get tired while running, and the best part was I felt such a great sense of happiness that my 11-year old son is in front of me, running around trees, dodging branches, climbing mounds, crossing a creek on a fallen tree trunk, and pausing now and then to map the direction we should go. It was just the two of us for about 200m of that trail run and he did not seem to mind the distance. To him it was a game. We were playing! For the first time, he was running and having fun while doing it.
By the time we reached the lagoon, I was tired and I thought he would collapse on the ground but nope, he started climbing his favorite trees and swinging on them. He was laughing at me for getting tired so easily despite the fact that I am more into fitness than he is. I don’t mind that at all. We had so much fun.