Today is the sixth of my fortnightly mini-resolutions days of the year.
Today is also my youngest son’s birthday. He is 8 years old today. How that time has flown by, as it does. My mini resolution for today is less directly fitness related than usual, but fitness per se, in the pushing, pulling, running, stretching sense of the word is only part of being a better you or me. I’m not going to get into a midfulness, holistic spiel here, but it life, is all about balance and being the best you you can be in every aspect, and in terms of priorities, family is always number one.being a better parent, child, partner is always a worthwhile investment of your effort.
There will always be time in future to improve your 5k time ir hit that deadlift PR or lose that weight, but we don’t get second chances at bringing up our children and appreciating their childhoods. It is very easy on the hustle and bustle of daily life to lose sight of that. With my son, so much time is taken up in struggle with schools, doctors, solicitors and so on, the weeks and months just race by and we are so busy with the struggles we often forget to cherish the little day to day moments that make life special.
Rich Pringle is a remarkable man.
I came to know him when he was Race Director and Head Coach for Spartan UK. He is a fine athlete, despite enormous health challenges of his own, a great coach and one of the most univesrally liked and respected people in the world of Obstacle Racing.
Two years ago he lost his 3 year old son Hughie, following a sudden brain haemorrhage. I cannot even imagine how devastating such a tragedy must be.
Since then, Rich and his wife have organised charity events in their sons memory, raising money for a scanner
Last year, a year on from Hughies’ death, Rich posted an open letter on Facebook entitled
‘The 10 most important things I’ve learnt since losing my beautiful little boy’
in which he reflected on the lessons he had learned, with the intention that other parents would be reminded never to take their children for granted. This is his original post. When he posted it, it went massively viral on the internet and was published in newspapers around the world. I keep a printout of it to remind myself from time to time of what is important. It almost always brings tears to my eyes when I read it.
1. You can never ever kiss and love too much.
2. You always have time. Stop what you’re doing and play, even if it’s just for a minute. Nothing’s that important that it can’t wait.
3. Take as many photos and record as many videos as humanly possible. One day that might be all you have.
4. Don’t spend money, spend time. You think what you spend matters? It doesn’t. What you do matters. Jump in puddles, go for walks. Swim in the sea, build a camp and have fun. That’s all they want. I can’t remember what we bought Hughie I can only remember what we did.
5. Sing. Sing songs together. My happiest memories are of Hughie sitting on my shoulders or sitting next to me in the car singing our favourite songs. Memories are created in music.
6. Cherish the simplest of things. Night times, bedtimes, reading stories. Dinners together. Lazy Sundays. Cherish the simplest of times. They are what I miss the most. Don’t let those special times pass you by unnoticed.
7. Always kiss those you love goodbye and if you forget. Go back and kiss them. You never know if it’s the last time you’ll get the chance.
8. Make boring things fun. Shopping trips, car journeys, walking to the shops. Be silly, tell jokes, laugh, smile and enjoy yourselves. They’re only chores if you treat them like that. Life is too short not to have fun.
9. Keep a journal. Write down everything your little ones do that lights up your world. The funny things they say, the cute things they do. We only started doing this after we lost Hughie. We wanted to remember everything. Now we do it for Hettie and we will for Hennie too. You’ll have these memories written down forever and when your older you can look back and cherish every moment.
10. If you have your children with you. To kiss goodnight. To have breakfast with. To walk to school. To take to university. To watch get married. You are blessed. Never ever forget that ❤️