Working out with my kids isn't always my first choice for a few reasons; namely my workout often serves as my "mommy break." I'd like to tell you I don't need any time away from the children I love and adore so much... but I do. So every once in awhile when I end up with a tagalong or two or four, I'm pleasantly surprised how much I enjoy the family fitness time (so long as no catastrophes or temper tantrums ensue, which is typical so I'm not all that often pleasantly surprised).
But I got such an experience recently when one of my 7-year-olds refused to go to the park with her siblings and dad (a fight had erupted earlier so this was an effort to punish her sisters). Because I had only one kid on my hands--and no need to share this with the others but she's the most easy going of the bunch--I let her stay with me on the condition that she ride her bike while I run. And that's what we did. That girl rode her bike for 50 minutes without a single complaint.
We had a blast. We discovered the goat farm our neighbor told us about (apparently soap, cheese and wool products are sold there), explored a closed bridge, discussed butterflies and hummingbirds and stopped a few times for turtle sightings along a lake.
We talked about why certain animals blended in with nature. She knew the answer and then asked:
"Does a shark eat an octopus or does an octopus eat a shark?"
"I don't think I know that," I said, assuming she was looking to me for the answer. "I'd guess the shark."
"Nope!" she trounced, sure that's what I'd say. "The octopus eats the shark!"
"How do you know this?"
"We watched a movie in school last year."
"Really?" (And I'm thinking, this kind of carnage in kindergarten?)
"Yes, the octopus wins because it's blendier with the ocean."
I loved that run. And I'm reminded that on my quest to find running partners around this new territory of mine, sometimes those people are "blendier" with my surroundings and right under my nose.