Setting out with children that are ready to fly on their own during workouts, be it on foot or bike, is an exciting and new experience for many of our members. I remember the beginning stages of when my kids opted against the stroller and instead elected to ride their balance bikes, or requested to run with me— often stopping every 50 feet to admire a leaf, pick up a stick or rock handing it to me for safe keeping (this is why we have PCS’d with a box of sticks from Germany and Virginia, as well as a bag of rocks from South Carolina). Some days a 2-mile run would turn into a 2-hour sprint/walk/stop workout as my child tested the limits of acceleration/deceleration on a balance bike, then hopping off to joyfully walk next to me and chat, followed up by a full stop to observe a colorful butterfly or interesting insect. I love to share my fond memory of when my son transitioned from stroller to the balance bike; I planned to walk 2 miles next to him as he practiced, however, he had other plans forcing me to unexpectedly jog 2 miles while wearing Birkenstocks while being 7 months pregnant! This is a perfect example of how each of my children developed more endurance, speed, and confidence, until I eventually grew comfortable giving them instructions to meet me at a certain landmark along the course, or forcing me to simply increase my pace to keep up. They start slow but get fast quick!
To all the Stroller Warriors out there with their mini warriors switching gears from stroller to being self-propelled— be patient and live in the moment. Much like we do as runners, our mini warriors are practicing their craft, working towards efficiency, and enthusiastically achieving new goals!