In the spirit of expanding the Runner's Vocabulary (Nitsmos did it*. Vanilla did it*. So did sROD*. Now it's my turn!) I put forth the following: When you go running with someone 10 years old or younger, you should not refer to that activity as running, but as... "funning".
Don't get me wrong, I'm not making fun of the Age and Height Challenged. No need to call CPS (unless you were the one witnessing my son and I yesterday running up that icy mountain road, waaay too close to the edge!). And I'm certainly not saying these youngsters aren't serious about running (because everyone knows that several of my Boys On The Run boys could seriously whoop my a** in a 5K!).
What I'm talking about is how FUN running is for kids at this age, and how when you tag along, it miraculously becomes FUN for you too, thereby changing what is at worst a chore and at best a (insert here) into some whole new kind of activity (dare I say sport?) best described as, well...funning.
Of course, there's a lot of overlap between running and funning. Like, uh,... running. (O.K. , FINE. So I didn't really think the whole "new sport" thing through). Maybe funning isn't so much a new sport, as much as it's simply a description of what happens when you let a KID be the alpha runner (Alpha Runner. I like it!). You get the same kind of right-brain stream of conciousness stuff, only it's waaay more out there, and often starts with, "You know what would be really wrong?". You also get what I like to call "Insta-Game Invention". Anything within arm or leg's reach can miraculously be transformed into a fun game. I mean ANYTHING. Rock on the ground? Instant soccer game! Gnarly looking tree? See if you can throw the rock and make it into the knot-hole!
So, to all of you out there that are finding running a little too boring ot perhaps a bit too tedious, or maybe you just need a Perspective Check, my advice to you is to go grab a kid and follow him on a run. Just make sure it's a kid that you know, and that you have its parent's permission. I mean really. It's so sad that I even have to say that.
ORN [Obligatory Running Note]: Ran 6 mile loop from the YWCA. 22 degrees and lots of snow on the ground. I do believe I am feeling the post-marathon fitness boost. I feel really strong.
* = Nitmos over at Feet Meet Street invented the "limbo running".
* = Vanilla thinks he invented "chicked".
* = sROD invented my personal favorite, the "unearned downhill".
These guys are gonna be so happy when I learn how to insert a link to their site!.