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The Most Important Mile of my Life: Carina Perea McCarthy

Carina's son at his triathlon.
Carina's son at his triathlon.

Mother runner Carina Perea McCarthy experienced a rewarding, teach-able moment with her son and shares it in this edition of The Most Important Mile of my Life.

The most important mile of my life may or may not have actually been a mile: it was this past summer at my son's first triathlon and I don't know the actual distance we went that day.

My son Wyatt was super excited, but the event was poorly planned and they had the youngest kids wait over an hour in the sun prior to their start. By the time he was actually able to go, he was hungry and starting to get cranky. My husband was supposed to participate with him, and I was just supposed to be at the end to take pictures.

I caught up to them just after the transition to bike (he had decided to use his scooter- BIG mistake!) and was there for the beginning of full-on water works. He was miserable. I fell in beside him and my husband, and spent the remainder of the bike portion trying to motivate him to keep going. After the transition to running, he was really done. I held his hand, and taught him a new word: perseverance. We talked about the meaning of the word, and how it is really easy to finish something that you're enjoying and like, but how much more work and character it takes to finish something when you're not enjoying yourself and it is difficult.

He cried the entire way, but he finished, and he finished with a smile. He sprinted as soon as he was in sight of the finish line, and after a much-earned hot dog (hey, he's a 4-year-old, after all -- they can get away with it every once in awhile!), he was excited and happy that he had completed the event, even if it was hard. It was an amazing experience for me as a mother, to feel as though I truly was capable of helping him learn those big lessons in life that we as parents are responsible for teaching. I will never forget running alongside him that day and how much it meant to me as a mother.

Finished!
Finished!

What was (or will be) the most important mile of your life? We want to know.

We’re going to make this an ongoing feature on the website (and potentially include some important miles in our yet-to-be-named third book, out in spring of 2015). Best way to submit is to email us your story with a picture: runmother {at} gmail {dot} com with “Most Important Mile” in the subject line. Please try to keep your mile stories under 300 words. Thank you!

 

3 responses to “The Most Important Mile of my Life: Carina Perea McCarthy

  1. I’m with Stephanie. This is also one of my favorite “Most Important Mile” contributions, to date. IDK if I’m PMS’ing or what (LOL). But, this one brought me to tears. Such an amazing lesson to learn at so early an age! I’m sure he was much happier, in the end, knowing that, as hard as it was, he ‘persevered’ and completed the event. Imagine how sad he might’ve been had he stopped.
    …I wish my boys would commit to something like this with me. Not that I’d be able to keep up with them at their ages. HAHA! But, still. It’d be nice to be able to offer up lessons like this to them in this way. Great job, Carina!

  2. I think that lesson is so true. We did a kids run with our two eldest this spring and lots of parents were cutting across the route to make it shorter and easier. I thought about it, but ultimately went this route and walked most of it with our daughter while we talked about how awesome it would be for her to succeed at this goal having worked so hard, etc… I know different things work with different kids, but perseverance is very important. Good job mama!

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