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Running with Kids

As I stepped out of my gate at the butt crack of dawn to snap a picture of the sunrise really quickly before beginning my run (I was trying to get one without power lines in it, which is how it turns out from my front porch) I was pleasantly surpised to find none other than Speedy Gonzalez standing outside my gate. I had told them last week that we would run at 6:30 on Saturday morning, but I didn’t really expect them to show up for such advanced planning, which is very foreign in this culture. I certainly didn’t expect them to be early, as it was still 10 minutes till our arranged meeting time. He told me that he had been there earlier, but that the guard hadn’t heard him calling. How cute. There were two other boys waiting down the road for us, so while I snapped a quick picture of the sunrise, I took a picture of my new running partners too.

Sunrise from my porch, complete with power lines.

My running partners.

Turns out, they had their own route in mind today and let me know real quick-like that we would be running it instead of my preferred route. It was in the opposite direction of last week and it involved hills. I wasn’t so sure about that. There was a reason I hadn’t been running in that direction. The reason is that I am weak and I don’t like running hills. But they weren’t really asking me, they were telling me. So, I laughed and tagged along. We hadn’t gotten far when Speedy Gonzalez’ little brother came running out in his jelabia, or what I like to refer to as a man dress. It is really more like an ankle length shirt(dress) that some of the muslim men wear. They actually are quite cute on the little boys…not so cute on the grown men if you ask me. There was some shoe swapping going on and off we went, man dress included.

Today it was Speedy Gonzalez’ little brother who felt the need to shuffle along beside me and be my protector. Once when all the kids raced on ahead and I stayed back to reserve my energy, he sprinted a few feet, then remembered me and stopped and came back. I’m not sure if I would have made it without him : ) Just like little kids, they often ran so close beside me or in front of me that I could hardly run, but they unconcernedly trotted along and I’m not sure I would have had it any other way. There seemed to be a whole lot of shoe swapping going on today and we had to stop several times for them to swap flip flops with each other. On one of those times, some of them took off their extra clothes as well (even the man dress) and jelabia boy decided to take the opportunity as a pee break. All of their stopping was slowing down my pace and as Heather would say, “they were bringing me down,” but I still loved it. Before it was all said and done, one kid ran the whole way barefoot carrying shoes and everyone’s extra clothes in his hand. Not sure how he got picked for that job, but I don’t ask questions.

You know, twice now, I noticed that when we were finished running, none of them were sweating. I could not say the same for myself as I wiped my face off with the sleeve of my shirt while it wasn’t even hot outside. If I had to take a wild guess, I would say they are most likely dehydrated. Either that or I sweat like a man.

Can’t wait for next Saturday.

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