Running for Health or Ice Cream

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"The evidence supporting sports participation for young people is overwhelming...It has the power to combat everything from racism to low self-image, to the high-school drop-out rate."

Once again, we signed the kids up for Main Street Mile...or rather, we were tied to a chair and made to do so!  The kids love this race.  There is no coercing or begging.  No pleading.  These gals decide every year to run in 90+ temps amongst strangers dressed in fur (AKA mascots), sweat dripping down their faces, lungs working overtime to recover gasped breath.

Why, you ask?

Ice cream.

Yes, I did say ice cream.  I'd like to say these girls are dedicated to improving their lifelong cardiovascular health, or that they really believe in helping further research and a cure for testicular cancer, but that is just not the case.  We're talking the under 11 year-old-sect here.  They have their lifetime to worry about worthy causes.;o)

But in becoming a part of something big, outside their own realm of influence, these girls just might grow up to be caring individuals who want to give a small amount to do something tangible to help further medicine.  They just might want to take care of their bodies and enjoy the feeling of pushing your body, your lungs further than it went yesterday.  They just might decide they are passionate about hobbies such as these and say "no" to the downward spiral of drugs and alcohol.  It is true...many different studies suggest that youth's involvement in sports detour many unhealthy behaviors. Sue Castle, the Executive Producer of PBS Sports: Get in the Game, said this about youth and sports:

"The evidence supporting sports participation for young people is overwhelming...It has the power to combat everything from racism to low self-image, to the high-school drop-out rate."

So every year we run after the ice cream truck and we sweat and we laugh at the furry mascots racing year-after-year, having become a beloved tradition among bystanders.

Will the cow win again this year? 

And will we run faster than last year?

Will I get orange or a chocolate ice cream this year? (yes, we ponder important questions in this fam!)

A family affair, we all get to run. Or, in the case of our trusty bystanders Aunt Bucky and Nanette, some get to watch and cheer and take pictures. 

This year, papa ran with Liv. 

Holland ran with Brian (AKA: Daddy)

I got to run with Reese. 

What a privilege that was....her first race.  I expected Reese to be laughing and giggling and smiling.  But I should have known better.  Anyone who knows Reese knows the girl is serious about her snacks and she is always "hungy".

The whole race she was chanting, "Let's get ice-cream.  Let's get ice-cream!"  And even when she stopped briefly due to "this running is making my mouth feel thirsty!" she insisted that we keep running so that we could, "go get ice cream!"

There were no smiles.  No laughing.  Only serious love for ice-cream.  And when asked why she said she'd like to go back and run the race again, she said, "because of the ice cream and those blue ribbons!" 

Until next time, Main Street Mile...thanks for the fun, the thrill, the ice cream.

I encourage you to Google "children's races" in the city where you live.  Races are a fun way to show children that exercise is fun, can make a difference in the support of a cause, and is a great way to meet friends!