On Saturday night, I had the fantastic idea to take my son to the swimming pool before we got a haircut. The pool and the hair salon are not too far apart and we could easily do both. I loved the smile on his face as he showed his excitement.
The next day after watching his Nin-ninja Show we started preparing for swimming. The day was forecast for rain, but the pool is indoors so no matter. We don't own a car (or have a license to drive) so we always bike, walk or run everywhere we want to go. Tokyo is great for not having a car. We were all set to go and started biking off to the pool.
A little ways down the road my son said, "Dad did you bring the Anpanman inflatable ring?" I had not so I asked if he wanted to go back and pick it up. He said emphatically, "yes". Who was I to argue? We went back home and my son, who is only 3, went upstairs to pick up the ring by himself. He was so excited to be doing something all by himself and ran to the elevators. I stayed downstairs to pump up the bike tires.
I could hear Kenny all the way upstairs. He so happy to talk to Mama and say he was picking up the Anpanman inflatable ring all by himself. Shortly after, he was running from the elevator again. We hopped on the bike once again and I pedaled off. Our bike is a Mama-cheri and has seats for one kid on the front of the bike and one kid on the back. We go everywhere with this bike. No sooner had I pedaled forward that I noticed something was not right. The back tire was blown! I had overpumped the tire minutes earlier.
Now how were we ever going to get to the pool and then to the hair salon? My son asked me, "Dad are you happy?". I said, "No, I'm sad". I wasn't sure what to do so we grabbed all our stuff and went back upstairs together.
Then a lightbulb went off in my brain. Of course, we could run to the pool! My wife and I bought a running stroller last year and it is absolutely awesome. My son loves the stroller and it's so easy to use on just about any terrain. I changed my clothes from heavy winter clothes to a looser rain jacket. Running would keep me warm. I also packed some spare clothes for the rain. We brought the plastic covering to keep my son dry and left our umbrellas in the closet. I changed my shoes to Vibram Five Fingers and shot out the door. "Yes! We are going to the pool now!"
I wasn't really sure how far everything was away but knew the pool and hair salon were close enough. My son loved the pool, got a great new haircut, and we even met mom afterwards so that we could see a friend who was recently hospitalized. We ran all over our neighborhood and had a great Sunday.
The total distance? I came back home and found I ran 7km for the day and walked another 2-3km with my wife on the way home. Kids have made me rethink my running schedule over and over. When my son was a baby baby it was easy to run just about at any time. Now that he is bigger, he wants to play together all the time. Running to the pool, park, etc. seems like the perfect balance to spend quality time with my kids as well as getting exercise.
Being able to run anywhere and anytime is why I absolutely love running.
We surveyed the web and scoured the recent The Running Event for the most unique and practical gifts for the runner in your life. Yes, shoes, shirts, and shorts are all great gifts for runners, but use this list to find unique running gadgets!