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
Even when it is very cold, I like to get outside to run around in the circle of our neighborhood. It is an entire mile when we go all the way around, and I make it every time. My Daddy says that I am strong, but I just like to run. Mama says, “I just felt like running” to me and says that I am like a miniature Forrest Gump. I don’t know who that is, but my Mama says that it is a compliment and that Forrest is a wonderful character. I just like to be like Mama and Daddy with their go-fast feet.
See? I have great form even, and I am keeping myself happy and active and healthy. My Daddy says that is important for little people and big people too, and I do feel good after going in the circle, although I admit that I might get a little tired by the end and that I do like to stop and read the numbers and play with the leaves and to climb on the snow that has not melted yet. Get me going, though, and I am like one of my wind-up toys, and I just keep going and going and going, that is, until I am ready to stop and say, “I so very tired.” I know my limits after all, and my legs are a lot shorter than Mama’s and Daddy’s.
I can “hit the trail” though any time that they ask if I want to go, and one day, when my legs are bigger, watch out. I will be good competition if I keep it up the way that I have so far. Run, Dorian, run!
See that? That is me doing “the running.” I do the running all of the time, just like my Mama and my Daddy, but they have these fancy “GPS watches” that track how far and how fast they go. I like to put them on and run around the house, pushing the buttons because they beep at me while I go around and around and around. One time I even did a whole mile while wearing my Daddy’s.
When they plug them up, it syncs them up with their own runs on Strava, and then they have to take them out so that it is only their runs. I say that I should have my own watch and my own Strava account. I bet I can run miles and miles in a week if they just let me keep one on me all of the time. After all, kids don’t walk… they run everywhere that they go. If they are like me, they go a lot of places.
The main problem is that the GPS does not understand running in circles, so the lines for where I go are all over the place. That’s okay, my runs just look like the art that I make in my little notebooks. This one, I think, looks a lot like when I am drawing the stars in the sky. Running is kind of like art, Daddy says, and my runs… well, they are truly a masterpiece.
I found these little weights today that look like Mama and Daddy’s big ones but are just my size. Mama says these ones are called “bolts,” but no matter, they can be what I want them to be with my imagination, so they are my new get strong weights.
I have been carrying them around this morning pushing them up and down, making roaring sounds to show Mama how very strong I am. I can do pull ups and climb and run, even with my little body. I work every day on being stronger and stronger, and one day, I will be just as strong as them too and can lift the big ones. Until then, these will do just fine for practice. After all, practice makes perfect, and my form? Well, I don’t want to brag, but it’s pretty darn good, so all of those famous athletes just may want to watch for me. I am a force to be reckoned with, and inside my head, I am already a champion.
It’s getting warmer out, and as much as I love the snow and the cold, I also love the feel of warmth on my face and I love being outside without being all bundled up. There is something about the sunshine that makes you happier than you ever remember being. It has been so cold for so long that I didn’t remember how good the warm sun felt on your face. After all, for me it was ages and ages ago since I don’t have that much life to go by quite yet.
Mama and Daddy like to stay active and to move around a lot, and they tell me that it is the healthiest way to be. They really like to get on the wheel things that they call bicycles. I have a little one of those too, but my legs are too short and I can’t figure out how to make the pedals go in circles yet, so I am not ready. Even when I get bigger and when I learn, I guess it will be like everything else– I will be slow at first and will get faster. Mama and Daddy, though, they have been on bikes for ages, since they were little bitty, and they are fast. There is no way I’ll be able to keep up with them for a long time.
They still want to bike, though, and so they got me a little carrier machine that goes on the back of the bike that I can sit in, get strapped up, and go. Mama says she doesn’t trust herself, so she has Daddy be the one to take me on the back of the bike he is on. We go gently and Daddy doesn’t go too fast so that I’ll stay safe, and it is so fun to feel so, so free. I laugh and sing in my little seat on the big bike, and Daddy and Mama talk to me and laugh with me, too.
There is just something about being outside. Feeling the sun on my face and the wind taking my hair all over the place as we go– it makes me so, so happy. Mama tells me that it is the little things, the simple things, that makes us happiest. I believe her because being outside is a simple thing to do, but I am at my happiest when I am around the birds and the trees and the fresh air. Nature, as Daddy tells me, is what we are part of and it is part of us. That is where we really belong, he says, but things that we have to do keep us inside even when it is beautiful outdoors. Maybe we all need to figure that one out, because I don’t want to stay all cooped up when it is so pretty out. I want to be outside and free, with the wind in my hair. I want to go. I want to go and go and go and stay with the birds and the squirrels and the trees. That, I know, is where peace and happy live.