As an elementary school teacher with a reading specialization, I'm all for children reading as much as possible. Reading after all is vital to learning. Reading can take you to wonderful places real or make believe. I have since learned that this is not the case for everyone. This is most definitely not the case for my 11 year old son. For him, reading is anything but wonderful and can be down right painful for both of us. He would rather stick needles in his eyes than read or even postpone reading and so would I. Once, he chose to pick up dog poop rather than read! Suffice it to say, fulfilling Summer Reading/Reading Counts requirements are not happy times at our house.
But we want happy times at our house! What's a mother to do? Go running with him of course! We went for our maiden run last week by the Chattahoochee River to practice for his Cross Country Team evaluation. He ran 3 miles without stopping, no problem. He wasn't even breathing hard! It helps when you are 11 years old, 70 lbs with zero percent body fat. But more importantly, running took both of us to a new and wonderful happy, sweaty place of bliss. Will my son be able to make a living running? Will running help his reading? Will he ever run with me again? Will he pass 6th grade? The answers to these and other questions are unknown to me at the moment, but at least when we can't read another page of Where the Red Fern Grows, we can go for a run.