Motivation: Everyone struggles with it. You know what is harder than normal adult I-donâ€™t-want-to-peel-myself-off-the-couch motivation troubles? Getting fourteen 8 â€“ 10 year olds to run a 5K. In 50 minutes or less.
If thereâ€™s one thing I know about motivation â€“ for adults and kids alike â€“ is that there should always be something to look forward to at the end, whether that prize is a long, hot shower; a pat on the back; a post-race massage; or an adhesive handlebar mustache.
Yes. A mustache.
Today was the Practice 5K event at Girls on the Run. Although some coaches take a more relaxed attitude about the trial run, Iâ€™ve always firmly believed that every girl should finish the entire 3.1 miles. After all, the purpose of a Practice 5K is to make the girls feel confident for the actual event (which is in mid-May). I donâ€™t want them to be scared at the starting line â€“ I want them to be excited!
So, every season, I make a big deal about the Practice 5K, turning it into a massive party with prizes and treats.
We do a real water station!
The girls are encouraged to crush the cups and slam them onto the ground, just like theyâ€™ll do at the real race.
And we do orange slices. You knowâ€¦ because runners fuel up during their workouts. I donâ€™t know what it is about orange slices, but kids will do anything for orange slices. I sliced 35 oranges this morning â€“ 280 slices!
3.1 miles is 19 laps around our oddly measured track. Every mile, the girls got a â€˜power ringâ€™ (a plastic gem and diamond ring that I swore up and down gave them super running strength). And on the 19th lap, they got to break the tape.
The 5K is not a race â€“ thereâ€™s no winner and loser â€“ so everyone gets to run through their very own finishing line.
And then, it was time for bubbles, cupcakes, party hats (excuse me â€“ unicorn horns), and mustaches.
I donâ€™t know what it is with the girls, but they are really into mustaches this year. I actually SCREAMED in Party City when I stumbled upon the colorful, furry mustaches because I instantly knew theyâ€™d be a hit.
Practice 5K â€“ done and done! Some finished in 30 minutes, some in 50 minutes, but we all had a very, very good time indeed.
Side note: I totally want an colorful mustache. I felt like a Lorax. Save the trees!
And now, I really mustache to bed. Yawn.