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June 16, 2010

Not Yet ...

I’ve described before how my 11-year-old son’s competitive makeup is basically the antithesis of my own when I was his age – or for that matter, even now in my middle age. He primarily rides simply for the joy of it, for the health benefit, and to explore and better understand his natural surroundings. And yet, every now and then, he’ll surprise me, as was the case on this week’s bike ride in Fort Ord.


While descending into a canyon in our typically reserved fashion, I looked over my shoulder to see another rider approaching, and called ahead to my son to pull over. As the other rider passed, we noted that it was a young teenager – 15 or 16, tops – and briefly said hi as he continued to bomb past us.


A few minutes later, after bottoming out of the canyon and climbing again, we saw the same kid pulled over at the side of the trail, alternately looking over his bike and aimlessly staring across the valley. Thinking he might have flatted or suffered some mechanical problem, I asked if everything was OK when we finally caught up to him at the top of the hill.

His reply was, “Yeah, I’m fine … I’m just waiting for my Dad to catch up.”

My son and I said goodbye again, and rode down into the next canyon in silence for about 30 seconds, before the following exchange took place:

Me: I guess you don’t have that problem.

Son: Yeah … not yet.

And with that, he accelerated away from me further down the hill.


I gave him a few seconds to enjoy the moment while I took a picture, knowing I’d easily catch up to him again as usual. But I also figured I should enjoy that feeling while it lasts – because I think my sweet, compassionate, noncompetitive little boy just trash-talked me. Even worse is that I know he’s right.

I used to struggle with the fact that this kid wasn’t like me in a lot of ways … but now I’m beginning to think that in some cases, I liked it much better that way.

9 comments:

Stuart 6/17/10, 6:51 AM  

Ah the corner has been turned!

There is a real juxtaposition between getting our kids to do things because it's fun and then wanting them to do well!

olga 6/17/10, 7:04 AM  

Oh, so sweet...

OrangeBlossom 6/17/10, 7:23 AM  

How cool that the two of you are out there spending qt!

Dave 6/17/10, 8:14 AM  

Donald...I know exactly how you feel. Luke is not like me in so many ways...and then I signed him up for a Tri and you would have thought he was Mark Allen...and somewhere that competitive nature had HIGH OCTANE...and I just sat back and enjoyed him being intense, stategic and steely-eyed competative...

My Life and Running 6/17/10, 10:18 AM  

Cute. Sounds like a good training partner already!

Makita 6/17/10, 12:52 PM  

What a great story! Love it!

Michael Shane Helton 6/17/10, 3:47 PM  

"...I think my sweet, compassionate, noncompetitive little boy just trash-talked me."

This is classic!

G. E. Anderson --- 6/17/10, 4:14 PM  

What a great story! It really takes me back.

When I was 14, I started running because I wanted to run with my Dad. Of course, it wasn't long before my pace became too fast for him, and I began to run on my own. Still, for the couple of months we ran together, I enjoyed it immensely.

It never crossed my mind, however, that my speeding up and moving on may have bothered him a little. I wish he were still around so I could ask him if it did.

Her Name is Rio 6/17/10, 6:53 PM  

Trash talking...another sign of growing up. Sniff.

What a great "living in the moment" story!

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