I don’t know how she reached the age of seven years old without learning to run, but she hadn’t.
I guess she hadn’t seen the point. There weren’t any reasons that she couldn’t run — she’d never even been told “No running in the house!” by her parents (probably because she didn’t) — she just didn’t run. She could walk, slowly or quickly, as the moment required, but she didn’t run.
Now came the day that she wanted to. So she set out to learn.
Running isn’t like walking (you heard it here first, folks!). In walking, there’s always one foot on the ground. When you’re running, there are times when you sail through the air.
She’d watched her friends and family, and even slowed down movies, so she knew this. So she started with hopping.
First she hopped back and forth with both feet together. Then she tried hopping on one foot. Then she hopped from one foot to the other: back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
She tried making longer hops forward.
Then she tried making one one-legged hop forward, followed by another, followed by another.
She fell down on hop number four.
That might have been discouraging, but she only sat up and congratulated herself for picking a soft field to practice in.
She tried different approaches. Sometimes she hopped a little more sideways (kind of like a crab) and sometimes she tried crossing her feet back and forth in front of her (she gave up that one pretty quickly). When her feet got tangled up, she’d try the same thing again, and if it tripped her the second or third time, she tried something else.
She kept at it, remembering to experiment through the process, and keep her mind on the goal.
By the end of the day, she was running around the field with a grin as wide as the sea. She wasn’t fast, it was true, but she was authentically running, and she knew she’d get faster with each new day.
Her friends, it must be said, were very impressed, both with the running, and with the smile. Together, they charged off into each new day.
Photo by Don Graham. Used by permission under Creative Commons license.