“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
Don’t Mess with me When I am Doing “The Running.” I am Concentrating.
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!
I Can Run with Strava, Too.
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.
The Importance of Remembering Where We Came From: Historic Jamestown
Last weekend my Daddy went on a big, big run all the way from Richmond, Va. to Jamestown. He did that all on his two feet, one in front of the other, and it took him most of the day. My Mama’s job was to be his helper and to be waiting for him down in Jamestown where the Capital Trail ended to take him to rest. After all, running can take a lot out of you if you do it for long enough, and trust me I know because I am a running expert. Run hard, play hard, nap hard is my way of life. Daddy really needed that last part when he was done… that and a lot of water and food.
While we were waiting for Daddy, we went to a place called Jamestown that has a lot to do with how the people who came before us got to be here. There is a lot to do with that, and I really couldn’t understand it yet. All that I know is that we got to get on ships that were like the ones that took those people all the way across the ocean.
My Mama wanted a pretty picture of us on the ship, but I wouldn’t stop looking at the water. I am not really good at directions yet even though I understand them… I have an agenda to keep.
I aldo cried and made a bit of a scene when we had to leave the ship because I thought we were going to go sailing, but Mama said those ships are there to stay for everyone to climb onboard and enjoy. Ships that don’t go anywhere doesn’t make sense to me, but Mama says that it is part of that “history” thing.
It turned out to be okay, though, because I also got to climb into the middle of giant ropes bigger than me…
And go into Native American homes that I called “baby houses…”
And wear heavy metal armor like Colonial people long ago that was just my size.
And I even got to practice my walking backwards skills in a very fancy, huge hallway while we moved through time.
The whole time we were there my Daddy was still “the running,” as I like to call it, and he didn’t stop until after they had closed up Jamestown.
My Daddy is my hero, and he says that we can do anything of we put our mind in the right place. Over 40 miles, and Daddy had his mind in just the right spot. Good job, Daddy, we love you so much. Run, Daddy, run.
Life’s a Hard Workout… Roll it Out.
My Mama and Daddy got a soft and squishy muscle roller that works out things called knots that happen if you work them out a lot. It’s like the little back and feet massages that Mama gives me when I am getting sleepy, only you can give them to yourself.
I work out hard too, though, because life can be a big, big workout. I mean, every moment that I am awake pretty much, I run and climb and play and run some more. I am a very strong girl in a little body. My muscles have to have little bitty knots, even if you can’t feel them, so I need to work them out, too.
To learn, first I watched a video on the big tv box. I sat on the roller while I learned, and it was really easy to understand, so I started to use it just like the lady in the video. It wasn’t hard, and you know what? I was able to run and play even harder and make a mess all over the house right afterwards. I am pretty sure it was the muscle roller making me more ready to do it, and so I keep using it every day. Mama said something about me getting “conditioned,” whatever that means.
All that I know is that I’m working hard and getting stronger, and my roller machine (yes Mama and Daddy, I own it because I like it) is a big, big helper.
Run, Daddy, Run… I’m Right Behind You.
Mama and Daddy and me got to go to a big store made just for go-fast shoes the other day for new shoes for Daddy. His old go-fast shoes had been used so much since Daddy likes to exercise a lot that he couldn’t really wear them anymore. Mom said they were “beaten up and tired.” I work really fast on making all of my shoes beaten up and tired since I move so much and climb so much, so I understand what happened to my Daddy’s shoes. My mom says that just about everything wears out eventually, but she said that you have to wait until things are like that because you shouldn’t be “wasteful.” I don’t really get that lesson yet, but I am working on it. Right now some of my food isn’t eaten because I am not in the mood for it, but I can’t quite yet get the words together to say, “I’d like two tomato slices, one veggie dog, corn on the cob, and a small portion of rice noodles please.” That’s okay, though, because I don’t waste it anyway– I slip things to my doggie Mr. Django when Mama and Daddy are looking the other way.
This was a big people shoe store, not the little person one that we visit when it is time for my new go-fast shoes, so this visit was all about Daddy. Daddy doesn’t ask for much attention and is in the background a lot, so it was good that he got to be the one that everyone was paying attention to… well, mostly anyway, because I did get some attention while I was running around the entire store saying “hello” to everyone, playing with the toys that were there for little kids like me, and, best of all, running up and down the big hallway meant for people to see which shoes were going to come home with them.
While Daddy was picking shoes to try on before running, that hallway was all mine, all to myself. It was so long, and I got to go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth over and over until I was all out of breath and had to take a little rest. Running around is pretty much what I do right now most of the time that I am not sleeping, so I loved it. Mama said something to Daddy about me, “getting worn out” and that I was going to “sleep like a rock.” I think that this might just be a good thing for Mama and Daddy, because usually they are running after me, and I think that I just might wear them out a little and make them sleep like rocks, too.
Daddy came over and started using all of the shoes that had been picked for him to try out after I had been running for a bit, and Daddy and me got to race. Daddy has an edge on me there because his legs are much longer than mine, but I gave him a good run for his money, and once, when Daddy slowed down a bit, I even got to the end of the hallway first (although I think that Daddy just might have let me win on that one maybe).
He found just the right pair after running a bit, and then it was time to pack up and leave. I don’t tend to dwell and I prefer to “live in the moment” as all little ones do, but I couldn’t help but look back at the long hallway as we bought the shoes and packed up to leave. After all, if there is a place to run where it is allowed for little people, I am bound to love it. I was so tired that I napped on the way home, and in my dreams, I was running in the sunlit hallway over and over and over again, and I never, ever got tired… and I got to beat Daddy every time, too.
Now I Can Run Like a Cheetah in my New Go-Fast Shoes!
Today was a special day for me. Usually we wake up and I play in the morning with Mama, but today I got to get new shoes with Nana and Mama. We went back to Saxon’s Shoes just like last time, and they put that giant metal shoe fitter machine against my foot. Guess what? My feet got a whole size bigger than they used to be.
I had a wonderful lady with long hair that was very nice help me to fit my shoes so my feet would be all cozy. Then Betty, my favorite shoe lady that was with me last time, helped to make sure that they fit just right all the way around so that my feet can be as fast as I can make them and I can make my running speed even faster. Mama told me that this scares her a little because I am already very fast.
The best thing? Is that they are tennis shoes just like Mama and Daddy. Now I have shoes to run in and exercise just like them, only they are small and my size, so they don’t slip off when I try to go fast, and I don’t have to shuffle my feet.
See? I am just like Mama now, and even Mr. Django loves my new shoes. My kitty, Jenga, does not agree as she does not want me to be any faster than I already am. She is a bit afraid of me. I don’t know why– I meow at her and I try to make friends. I think that it is the hugs that scare her a little. I can be really into showing love, and I might hug just a bit too tightly sometimes.
There’s Jenga in the background. She doesn’t look too happy about my new go-fast shoes, but that’s okay. You can’t please everyone after all, and I love them. Thanks, Mama and Nana, for helping me get new shoes, and thanks Saxon’s, especially Betty, for making my making my getting new shoes time so, so special.
On your mark. Get set. Go!
I love shoes, and Mama got new running shoes the other day. They are my new favorites. They are so bright and colorful, and they have all sorts of creatures on them like kangaroos and fish. They are the lightest shoes in the house… Even lighter than my little learning to walk shoes that are way smaller.
Mama says that because they are light helps with running and that she needs all the help she can get. I don’t know what she means because she just has to go and keep going while I am in my little jogging stroller machine, but she said something about running being really hard.
All that I know is that I look fabulous in her new shoes and that I am going to work on running next- just as soon as I get that walking thing down completely. After all, it’s just one step, then another, then another, just like working on anything. Marathon runners beware, because training begins… Now.