In which I get left behind
Updated: May 27
Last week I had the bright idea of taking the kids out on their bikes whilst the Husband and I ran along beside. Big mistake!
It's not very often that the kids leave the house at the moment. Mostly due to the fact I'm terrified of them catching Covid-19, but after being confined to our home and modest garden for seven weeks, the Husband and I decided to take them out on their bikes.
It's been a long time since we've been brave enough to take them out for a ride. The little one is still rather wobbly and the big one has zero confidence in her ability and stops every 100 yards to moan "I can't do it Mummy!" But the weather has been glorious and I knew that it would lift everyone's spirits. The Husband and I don't have bikes, but we both enjoy running, so it was agreed that the kids would ride and we would run, fully expecting to stop every five minutes for a breather and a bit of a whinge (from the kids, not us.)
This was not the case. For the first mile or so, the kids were a little slow and unsteady, but it didn't take them long to build up confidence. We deliberately chose a route that was flat and only meant having to ride on one main road. We achieved this in duck family fashion: the Husband out in front, leading his little row of ducklings safely along the country road and Mother Duck behind, poised to scrape up any fallen riders from the tarmac, should a tumble ensue. The only problem was any time a car approached us from behind, the Son slowed to a virtual halt and started trying to peer behind him, veering into the road. (We usually run on the right, but as we had cyclists in our midst, we ran on the left with the traffic.) I thanked God when we made it to the safety of the pavement again. (Safe for us, not the other poor unwitting pedestrians!)
We did a quick loop and made it back to the main road. The kids were flying; their confidence had grown and they were off at a super speed, laughing at me as I trailed behind. My pace has improved quite a lot over the last few months, possibly due to my recent EIB diagnosis (exercise induced bronchoconstriction) and subsequent prescription of an inhaler. I don't know whether it's because I can actually breath now that my speed has improved, or if it's down to the intake of steroids and frankly, I don't care. I'm just happy to be able to maintain an acceptable speed to boast on my newly created Strava account.
I was experiencing acute embarrassment at having to trail behind, the Husband easily able to keep up with the faster pace; a full two minutes a mile faster than I can successfully maintain. Other members of the public out enjoying the sunshine would either smile at me sympathetically or yell "You'll have to go faster than that if you want to keep up", or the equally helpful, "Come on, don't let them win." I looked like a complete novice panting and straining miles behind. I have, in fact, been running for about three years now and at the start of the run, I had complete confidence in my ability to stick beside them, cajoling them along. Never mind, I learnt my lesson: never underestimate the ability of two excited bicycle wielding children, who've been locked indoors for far too long...
Have you been out with the kids during lockdown for a walk or other form of exercise? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.
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