“I Just Felt Like Running.”
You see that? That’s me running my first race. I just got to run with the Healthy Kids Running Series, which helps kids like me who love to run to get to do races that are built for little legs like mine. Mama and Daddy asked if I wanted to do a race with other kids, and I said “YES” in my big kid excited voice. I didn’t even know that little kids like me could run in a race.
I have always loved to run. Ever since I practiced enough that my legs were so, so strong from moving, I have run more than I have walked. My Mama and me have this game. She says, “I’m going to eat your feet!” and she pretends to go in and chomp them up. I always say the same thing back to her, “No, you can’t eat my feet, they’re for running and walking. I LOVE RUNNING! I don’t want to walk, I want to run.” It is a fun game, but it’s true. I love to run. That’s me running through cattail “floof” as my Daddy likes to call the inside of a cattail.
My Mama and Daddy started running when I was really little, just over 2, and ever since I saw my Daddy start running so that he could get healthier, I started running after him. When my Daddy first started working to run every day, he had to go and get shoes that would help keep his legs happy, so we went to the running store to try them out. I might have been very small, but I was already very fast for my little size… and I squealed in the hallway trying to work hard to catch my Daddy.
I got better and better at it, and pretty soon my legs carried me so, so fast for my little size that Mama and Daddy told me that I was good at running. Of course I am, Mama and Daddy, that is what we are all meant to do after all. Isn’t that what legs are for?
If you see me running, I am smiling too. That is because that is joy… being free and getting to feel like the birds in the sky because I can fly too. I can fly with my feet, and they can carry me fast, fast, faster. I tell my Mama, “I’m soooo FAST!” all the time and tell her that she needs to run with me. I tell everyone to run because I want to share flying with everyone.
I have gotten so very fast now that cameras can’t always catch me right and they come out blurry.
I would be happy to just keep running and running everywhere that I go, but when my Mama and Daddy told me about the Healthy Kids Running Series, my Mama said my whole face lit up. Mama and Daddy do races, so I know all about them and the bibs and medals. I have touched them and worn them, but they weren’t mine– they were Mama and Daddy’s. The best part is getting to run with other people who love to run too, they said, so I was more excited about getting to run with other little kids my size. After all, Mama and Daddy have the long-leg advantage over me, so they can be faster when they want to (wait, though, Mama and Daddy, because one day my legs will be long like yours too).
They signed me up as soon as they knew that I wanted to do it, and before I knew it, I was there at a race. First I got my very own bib number, 100, which Mama and Daddy said was a very good number to get because it means complete and full effort… giving 100 percent is giving it your all.
We did warm up exercises, and at first I didn’t really get it. We did high knees and skips and runs across the big lawn, but when it was time to turn around, I just kept going until Mama shouted for me to stop and turn around. My Mama shouted “Stop, Dorian!” and I heard her say, “Alright little Forrest Gump.”I didn’t know who he was, but Mama explained that he’s a character from a movie and was a man that loved to run so much that he ran all the way across the country back and forth for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours, which is about my entire life up until now, so he must have really, really liked to run. He runs all the way through that movie from the time that he was a kid because he “just felt like running.” When he ran for a college football team, he got to the goal with the ball and just kept going just like I did when we were practicing, so I guess I am a lot like him. My Mama and Daddy said that being like Forrest is not a bad thing because he is what they call a “role model.” I like that, me being a role model. It sounds fancy and important.
When we were done practicing, we got in a big line of all of the girls my size. There I am waiting on the end in the pink pants.
When we were all ready they said, “On your mark, get set, GO!” really loud. I looked at my Mama, who told me it was time to run, and I ran as fast as my little legs would carry me. I ran and ran and ran all the way across the field to get to the end.
When I got there, though, I told Mama that I wanted to do it again. It was the boys’ turn, though, and my turn was over. That was hard for me to understand and I was sad, but Mama promised that I was going to come back and do it all over again, and when I did… I would get my very own medal.
Mama and Daddy were going out of town with my big sister on race day, so my Granny took me because no one wanted for me to miss it. My big, big sister Lilli and my giant brother Jonah got to come and see me run too. I understood the rules a bit better that time (although I did just keep running when I was supposed to stop every time still) and we got to play fun running games with all of the little kids, boys and girls.
After we got our muscles all warmed up, I got in line, and this time, I ran right when they said “GO!” to us. I ran faster this time too, but when I got to the end, I stopped because I didn’t want it to end and when I went over the finish line, I knew that it would be over. My giant brother Jonah told me that I would get my medal, though, so I went with him cheering me on to the finish.
When I crossed the line, they gave me my medal… my very own medal just for me. It went around my neck and I stared at it for a long time. It was my very first medal just like Mama and Daddy’s medals. I earned that medal just like Mama and Daddy… I ran and I earned it all by myself.
The best part? The kid on the medal looks just like me, a little running person with hair just like mine. I told everyone that I was the kid on the medal, that it was me on that award.
There it is up close. See? That’s Dorian, that’s me, that’s me running on that medal. Mama says that “symbolizes” me and all of the other kids that were running as hard as they could, whatever that means, but she’s wrong. It’s me on that picture because I love to run and running is me.
Next year I get to run the whole series again, and I’ll be older and bigger and I will be even faster and stronger. Get ready for Dorian, Healthy Running Kids Series, I’m coming and I’ll be running fast.
“Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was going somewhere, I was running!” — Forrest Gump