Mind and Body This Is Child’s Play

This Is Child’s Play


Anna Lee Boschetto charts a path for her daughters in her running shoes.

With the wind whistling in my ears or the sun on my back, each time my feet hit the ground, any negative feels I’ve got are left scattered on the road, trail or where ever I’m running. This sport we love has as been what saved me from disordered eating patterns. You’re not running 42.2K fuelled by crackers and a single hardboiled egg that was my predominant diet in my teens and well into my twenties. Having children in my thirties, I knew I needed to make better choices when it came to nutrition. In a similar way to running a marathon, nine months of pregnancy requires proper, consistent nutrition—it’s not only about you anymore.

For me running plays a dual role, maybe even a three-pronged one: physical, mental, and emotional. The road has gotten me through some challenging times. Life, let alone life for a parent, is stressful. We all love our children, but sometimes we need to get away, if just to clear the air and clear our minds. When these moments happen, I’m grateful I have the opportunity to lace up my shoes and head out the door. It’s a good thing for everyone. Even a quick 30 minutes spent outside will have me coming back to my family calmer, stronger, and able to tackle just about anything.

Studies have shown that it’s important for children to see examples in their parents. Even more so, from parents of the same gender—for me its my daughters—it’s easier for them to relate. Had I seen my mom running 10Ks on a Saturday morning, it would have been my normal routine much earlier on. Both my girls see me as a strong runner, someone who is young because I run, and so they are set on what is (fingers crossed) a solid path. I wasn’t an athletic child. I was pretty awkward. I tried, but I never could get the hang of most team sports that required any amount of hand-eye coordination. But running, that I could do—although it wasn’t until many years later that I realized just how far my own two feet could take me.

I’m a mother, and it’s important for me to build confidence in my daughters. I want them to always keep trying, to take chances, to try new things. To not give up. To endure. Early on, both their dad and I made a joint effort to cultivate an appreciation for athletic endeavours, and, thus far, it seems to be working. Whether I’m training for a marathon or lining up at a race, running is a sport they view as lifelong. As beneficial. They see what it gives me, and, I hope, they want that too. That energy. As with all children, I imagine them finding joy in many sports, some of which may include running. In the years ahead my hope is that they’ll find their own love for the sport that has given me so much.

I look forward to the days, perhaps, when we’ll head to the start line together.