Q: Hi, Katy! You recently shared a photo of you and your young daughter running together by posting it on the Facebook page of the Badass Lady Gang, an online group of women who run and do other physical/athletic pursuits and who want to share about their running/athletic lives and support one another in matters related to running, but also to being female. Can you say a little bit about the story behind the photo? What happened right before that photo was taken?
A: I started running about 4 years ago and I've been running with my daughter in the jogger since she was about 6 months old (she just turned 2). She's helped me train for multiple 5ks, a 10 miler, a 17.75,k and two half marathons. This photo was taken on day 1 of marathon training. We did a 3 mile run and then Olivia said "I go run fast like mommy!" I took her out of the jogger and off we went! We ran about a block and she was all smiles. Now it's become tradition that after mommy finishes her run Olivia gets to go for her run too!
Q: How does your relationship with your daughter factor into her desire to be physically active?
A: Olivia is a mommy's girl. She wants to do everything I do. I work part time as a nurse so, I have a lot of time at home with her. She's sees me running every week. And she sees that running makes me happy. I think even at such a young age she can tell that being active and playing outside makes you feel good. I've struggled with body image issues and I'm trying to instill in her that you should focus on being strong and healthy instead of being "skinny."
Q: What can parents do to support their daughters to be and stay physically active?
A: I think it's really important to lead by example. To show our kids that exercise isn't a punishment and exercise isn't meant as a trade off to eating tons of empty calories and junk that isn't fueling our bodies. Also, it's important to find what works for them and embrace it. Olivia may not always want to run, she may decide to do something else and that's okay! I plan to encourage and support her in whatever activities she decides are fun for her .
Q: What else do you and your daughter enjoy doing together?
A: Olivia and I love to do anything outdoors! We like to take bike rides, go to the park and she loves pushing her bubble mower. If we're stuck inside, we like to read books, dress up as princesses, and color.