Triathlon Team Chicken Style and other Goals
Team Chicken signed up for a triathlon this week. Now before the nasty comments about my 6-year-old running 26.2 miles roll in, let me feed you some details.
We're doing it incrementally!
We have 10 weeks to complete the triathlon, which is 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, and 26.2 miles of running.
The way that breaks down is each week for 10 weeks we need to :
- Run/Walk 3 miles (1 mile 3x times)
- Bike 12 miles (easy, we do this all the time)
- Swim 8.5 laps (3 laps 3x times)
And yes, that overshoots it a little bit, but that's ok.
We're not worried about our times, we're letting the littlest pair of legs (Ferris) set the pace for all of this, so it's just a fun family activity. The biggest challenge will be working this into our existing calendars around camps, events, family adventures, and such.
The kids have also set some other goals. Zane wants to learn how to touch type and Ferris wants to be a better illustrator. Ryan read this book for The Unread Bookclub (there's a TED talk by the author to the right), and the key is dedicated practice. So 20 minutes a day the kids are focused on their practices.
To avoid summer learning loss, and encourage earlier bedtimes, we're reading for 30 minutes as a family every night. Oh, and I've started getting the kids to help set the family calendar and meal plan once a week.
All this seems like a lot to add to our already crazy lives, and we'll have to make some sacrifices (cough, less screen time cough, #donttellthekids). But when you break it down over ten weeks, like the triathlon, by the end of the summer, we'll have
- Practiced drawing/touch-typing for 23.3+ hours
- Read for 35+ hours
- Run/Walked 26.6+ miles
- Biked 120+ miles
- Swam 90+ laps
That's a pretty big accomplishment for a 6 (almost 7) and 9 year old. And yes, there are some bigger life lessons stuck in here for the kids.
First, when you set a big goal, you need to break it down into manageable chunks. At some point soon I'm sure we'll have to talk about not doing something "fun" in favor of working on our goals - delayed gratification for the win!
We'll have to evaluate if these goals are things we honestly want or if we need to scrap them. (I think this is where most grownups have trouble, we have goals we want to want, but they're not right for us. The broccoli of goal setting as it were, we should eat it, but we really want cake.)
And time/calendar management and planning! How else do you teach someone how to do this without just doing it?
This past week when we sat down and looked at our calendars together, the kids both realized that our schedules are hard. Both Ryan and I work odd and spontaneous schedules, keeping up with the businesses, household and personal tasks, and planning adventures take some creative thinking. But now the kids get a voice about how we spend our time. (Family pool day is Thursday after Ferris helps out with a scientific study.)
Perhaps its the industry I work in, but time management and goal setting seem to be reoccurring themes. Every other blog post, facebook ad, book recommendation, and workshop mention some big goal you want to accomplish like losing weight, writing a book, or running a triathlon but I think they go about it the wrong way. These things aren't hard. Not if you define them correctly. If it's hard, it's probabily because they're goals you don't actually want. I mean honestly, if my 6 year old can do it...