Last Saturday we ran our first 5K as a family of 5! I have long dreamed of the day that we would run another race as a family. We would often run with Gideon and then with Gideon and Luther but couldn't manage running with 3 kids with only a double stroller. Initially, Mattie was going to push Luther and Amos and I was going to push Gideon. All of that changed part way through the race...
Let me backup and give you a recap of the morning. Our family set off to participate in the Moxie day 5K after the kids run. After Gideon was not able to run the broad street kids run, he was dying to participate in a kids run. So we showed up early and got him registered. He was excited but quite nervous. He asked me if I would run the kids race with him. I told him yes and Mattie stayed with the younger kids while I set up to run next to Gideon in the kids fun run. Off we went and Gideon had SO much fun running and thoroughly enjoyed the short little kids run. He was SO proud of himself for finishing the race.
Then we got set up to run the 5K as a family and I will be completely honest and tell you that I was DREADING pushing Gideon for 3 miles. So as we were waiting for the race to start I asked Gideon if he wanted to run next to me instead of riding in the stroller and he quietly shook his head and said, "No, I am scared". I didn't want to push him so I said ok and a few minutes later we started the race.
Pushing Gideon was a bit easier that I thought at first...then we got to the first hill! My arms were dying. I managed to get him up the hill but then I heard a little voice from the stroller call out to me, "mom! Can I run now?"
Shocked, I stopped and helped him get out of the stroller and away he went. We started running and I honestly didn't think he would last very long. We were only about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile into the race and I wasn't expecting him to last more then a 1/2-1 mile at most. Boy was I wrong!
Mattie even told me to ditch the stroller and just run with Gideon and I didn't because I was so sure that Gideon would wear out and want to get back in the stroller.
As we continued to run, Gideon kept pace with us and asked questions as we ran. He also struck up some conversations with other runners. He made it to the first water station and briefly stopped to grab a cup of water and kept on truckin'. He made it past the 2 mile mark and up the next hill to the next water station. At this point, he was already 2.25 miles into the race and he mentioned that his legs were getting tired. I told him that he could stop if he needed but that I thought he could finish. He continued to run and he also continued to converse with me. If you know Gideon this makes perfect sense :) We made it to 2.80 miles and slowed down a little bit, but kept running, to let Mattie and the other boys catch up. We had the advantage of not having to push the little people up the last hill. The rest was smooth sailing and we finished the race with Gideon running strong and all 5 of us crossing the finish line together.
(Obligatory awkward pre-race family photo)
Here is what God taught me through my son running his first 5K
How many times do we sit back and say to God, "No, I am scared" just like Gideon did? and God is right there beside us reassuring us that we just need to trust Him and follow Him. Even though we may not know where the path leads or if we can make it, God isn't going to throw us out on our own. He is with us each and every step of the way. In fact, He even goes before us. We see this outlined in Deuteronomy 31:8
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
When we stop allowing fear to rule our decisions and trust in the path that God has for us, it gives us confidence in Christ to walk boldly in obedience on the path He sets before us.
UPDATE: Gideon's official time was 34:31