Mud Runs for Parenting
I have a four pack of teenagers; 3 girls and 1 boy. We are a blended family. 3 are triplets. They are only 6 months apart. Now you have a picture of what I am working with at home.
Christmas gifts in our house have been getting less & less about stuff and more about experiences. Teenagers need so much less than they think they need. Experiences create stories & memories with photographs while strengthening family bonds.
Teenagers benefit from life experiences. Sometimes this isn’t going to be the easiest thing for you to do or create but the long term benefits are huge. It will involve an investment of time & patience most of the time.
I bought the mud run tickets and put them under the tree. The race was on Feb. 9th. I had to get my lazy, home body kids off their phones and trained for a 5k obstacle mud run in less than 2 months. Add to that, the fact that my step kids are only home every other month… challenge accepted. Phil (Dad/Step Dad) loved the idea on so many levels. The kids went running with him. He got to train them… and be serenaded by a multitude of teenage grunts, whining, and all other forms of teenage protests. He loves the physical stuff & got to share it with the kids while getting some focused quality time with them. There was excitement in some parts and fun, competitiveness in others. They all had different strengths and talents that got highlighted & boy teen got to challenge & impress Dad a couple of time. There were definite highs & lows for us here.
We also got to focus on some skills with this gift. We learned about our limitations and how to train them out. They got to see that not being good at something wasn’t necessarily a deal breaker or permanent condition. It’s a tangible lesson on how to work past your limitation, strengthen your weaker areas thru training, and celebrate the successes. It is a great, empowering lesson. Two of them were strong runners, the other two had to build. I, personally, do not enjoy running but I love mud runs for the messy, exciting, challenging obstacles. Every time they went farther than their last run, they experienced the joy of accomplishment.
They also learned that sometimes, in order to get to a goal, we have to work up to it. There really is no such thing as having a goal or wanting to achieve something and it being as easy as getting up the day of and achieving it with out any work or preparation. I am certainly not interested in teaching them that & some children actually believe opportunity is that easy. Many of the middle school set believe that they are going to go be pro athletes. Then when I ask what they are doing daily now that is going to get them there, they look at me like I am crazy. Are you training? Running? Catching? Anything?
Then there were lessons on teamwork, togetherness, & support training. Dedication & commitment were highlighted. Drive & conviction & natural non-parental consequences were great lessons. These are different than parental or authoritative consequences. These happened when they skipped their training because the parents got home too late to dictate it or when they decided to choose against training when they were at their other house. They would naturally loose a little of the progress they made. At times, they felt added soreness because they skipped stretching or training. The realization that their level of commitment affected their level of soreness or pain was more powerful than anything I could have ever said to them… tho I did do that parental ‘you should have stretched/trained’ occasionally.
Each time my teens had a small success or backslide , these lessons were reinforced.
The reward was huge. The race was easier than I remembered it. The kids thrived and left us behind. One ran it a second time with his cousin. Yes, we invited an Uncle who has 3 teens. The memories, laugh, & strengths are ours to keep. I encourage you to turn gift giving into empowering memories. You will not be dissapointed!
The after math
We all enjoyed it so much. 4 out of 4 teens are interested in doing them again. We had to wait til next season since pricing is best as early as possible or when a promo is released. Here in FL, there are no runs in the summer. If they offered it, we would not go. It is just too hot.
I am an essential oil Mom. We used them as part of our training. Blends like RC & Raven were great at breath training and opening up the breathing passages to pace train for the run & increase the length of their runs. We up’ed our attack on free radicals with the antioxidant rich Ningxia Red. The sore muscles were grateful for Cool Azul pain cream, OrthoEase massage oil, & my favorite, Deep Relief. The more they trained, the less they used. I even used a motivation blend that I lovingly named ‘move your ass’.
The use of Essential Oils and natural products with the family and with my teens has been a game changer. So much so, that I now teach others how to do it as a business.