What you model for your kids has a bigger impact than you think. A recent article in Running Times Magazine on young runners stated “Children whose parents are committed to health and fitness are much more likely to become healthy fit adults”. While there are exceptions to every rule, we have two perfect examples that will inspire you!
Tony Smoragiewicz is a high school junior with an impressive race resume. Just this year, Tony has taken the bronze at the Junior North American Triathlon Championships (1st US male finisher), 1st in Nike Regional Cross Country race, 3rd at Foot Locker Regional Cross Country Championship, and started out this track season running a 3200 meter in 8:57! When Tony was a young boy, his father, Jim, had entered some swim races and placed first in the 200 meter backstroke (setting a national record for his age group). Tony said that his father’s achievements on a national level in high school and college were a big motivator for him. Tony also watched his older brother training and racing and from an early age developed an interest. Jim says that Tony has always had an internal drive and tries to live the life of a champion. The best quote from Jim about Tony: “Funny thing is that now he has become the motivator for me. “ Mark my words, you will see and hear of Tony for many years to come!
Justin Birks, new to the professional triathlete field in British Columbia, is a perfect example of following in the footsteps of parents. Justin was introduced to the sport at 9 years old – the year his father signed up for Ironman Canada. Justin says “I wanted to do what he was doing so I started training for a local kids triathlon.” After competing in triathlons for a few years, he took up hockey until 2 years ago. Now Justin says “I am doing what I believe I was created to do and enjoy the training and racing”. Last year, Justin placed 8th in the Oliver Half Iron (time 4:28), 3rd in Osoyoos Desert Half Iron (4:28), and 23rd at Ironman Canada with a Kona qualifying time of 9:19! His goals for the future are: 1) to win Hawaii – “gotta set the bar high, otherwise you will never get anywhere). 2) to use triathlon to share his faith and to raise awareness for children through his partnership with Team Compassion. I am sure these goals make his father very proud!!
We can’t all raise kids that go on to race like Tony and Justin, but we can inspire our kids to do great things by the way we live our lives! This just proves the old saying that life’s lessons are easier “caught than taught”.
Have you followed in the footsteps of your parents? Share you story with us!
A few resources if your children decide to take up the sport: