My darling daughter.
When I was 9 years old, I was a lot like you.
I loved to read, and could so happily have spent most of my life in bed with a good book. Especially when it was raining, that was the BEST.
I wasn’t really good at sports. By the time I was 9 I already knew that I was going to be the last one picked for teams in sport, and that no one expected me to do very well in P.E. or the cross country. People were very nice about it, in that way that people are annoyingly nice to the one who comes last all the time. I pretended I didn’t care. It was kind of okay.
The thing is, when people decide that you are one way or another and they are grown ups, it is easy to believe them. And they stop trying to tell you that you CAN do things, because they think that you can’t. So YOU start to think that you can’t, and then you don’t really try any more either.
What I want to tell you though, is that there are going to be lots of things that maybe you aren’t the best at. And some grown ups and some kids might make you feel like you shouldn’t bother with those things. You should go and do some of the things that you are fantastic at.
I want to tell you that I’m not the best at so many things and I believed that I could never be good at sporty things so I didn’t even try. And I don’t want that to happen to you. Those people DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.
If you LIKE doing something and it makes you feel good, you should do it.
And if you want to do something that seems hard, tell me about it and I will help you try. There are loads of things that seem hard but that you can get better at if you keep trying, let’s try some of those together yeah?
When I was at school I got picked on a lot. There used to be a show on TV then called Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. We would play a game about that show and I always had to be Fat Albert. The other girls would run away from me because they knew I couldn’t catch them. Eventually I stopped trying.
I don’t want you to ever stop trying things that you want to do. I know sometimes it is annoying to you that I go running a lot and I do things that are different than what I used to. But I finally figured out that even though I might never be very fast and I am not a person who is naturally athletic, it makes me feel really good inside and out. I know you’ve noticed that I look different, and I feel really different on the inside too. It is a really nice feeling to get better at something without having to ever be the best.
I know I’m kind of different to other Mums sometimes. I know you are proud of me and you sometimes get embarrassed because I wear running stuff all the time. That’s okay. Nanna used to embarrass me heaps too. You should have seen the boots she used to wear!
But I know that you are my girl, and I know that you are amazing. Even if you won’t be the best at some things, I know that you can try them and I know that you might love them.
And if you love them, then I will help you do them more often, because I love you.
If you had to play Fat Albert, or if you were the kid who hung out in the library at lunchtime, or if you were the one who won all the cross country races but then lost your running mojo when school ended, or if you are just someone who wants to try something a little bit hard because it doesn’t matter if you are the best or not any more, you might like our Learn to Run course. Registrations for our August program are open now.