Ultrarunner Mom, Lindsey Callahan, knows what running can do for the body, mind, overall health, and relationships. Not only is she an accomplished utlrarunner, but she’s a mother to five children, including an eight year old son, Jadin, who took up trail running to manage his struggle with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
To Lindsey, there’s no way to overlook the positive and remarkable impact that running has on Jadin’s ADHD, his happiness, or his goals–or on the lives of her other children and relationship with her husband.
Mama Knows Best
Lindsey gets the transformative power of running. When it comes to her son and his running, the sport is a positive influence in his life, as well as in her mother-son relationship.
One thing about being close and in tune with my son is knowing when to push him and when to hold him back and when to let him loose.
Kids Trail Running is honored to feature Lindsey as an Inspirational Trail Runner. Kudos to Lindsey’s husband, Merlin Campbell, for being Lindsey’s biggest supporter.
Read on for the full interview with Lindsey.
1. How did your trail running and racing come to be?
I guess I started trail running as far back as 15 years ago when I worked for the Boise National Forest service station in Idaho City, Idaho. Before that I ran cross country, track and played basketball. I worked for the trail crew, and since we had 10 workers, we were red carded and were called out to fight fires.
Summers after high school were spent on the trails in the mountains. In 2011, I started training for my first marathon. I ran the famous Idaho Potato Marathon. I met a man that was running the 50 states and for 6 miles he told me about the book, Born to Run. Then I ran with a gal that told me about these ultra marathons and how she preferred to run them vs. road races. She told me about the October 50k run out of Idaho’s Foothills. After I ran my first marathon, I read Born to Run and signed up for the Foothills 50k Frenzy. I finished my 1st 50k in around six and a half hours.
2. What influenced you to start running with your 8 year old? And What does a typical mother-son training run look like?
3. How has running changed your son? Changed you? Changed your mother-son relationship?
Running with me has helped him so much.
4. Any big 2017 races planned?
5. Do you encounter many families running together or do you feel that it’s somewhat unusual to see families or parents/kids running together?
I don’t see many families around here running together. But I do have friends that are starting to get their children into 5k races. That is something I’m hoping families catch on to.
My husband and I have 5 kids. Two are mine. Three are his. Blended family. My husband was able to adopt Jadin, and my youngest, Bradley. The three older children have gotten into running races over the last couple years. Two of the them prefer the 5k distance, but one of them, Sara, ran her first half marathon last year. She also runs cross country and track partly because of my influence!
One thing that we do as a family is volunteer for races.
We run aid stations and finish lines. We even volunteered for the hot chocolate race this last January, which occurred during a blizzard, but we were out there helping with the race! When the kids want to run a race, I have them earn their race entry; that way they have an opportunity for service and to help other runners. After they volunteer, they get a code for a free race! They get more out of the race when they earn their way rather than Mamma Lindsey and Daddy paying for it.
6. Do you think parents are in the best position to know whether a child is ready to run, train and race?
I think parents are in a better position to know their children’s limits, especially if they are seasoned runners. One thing about being close and in tune with my son is knowing when to push him and when to hold him back and when to let him loose. I also keep his pediatrician/counselor/
7. Do you give your son a pre-race pep talk?
8. What advice do you have for parents who are thinking about taking up running or encouraging their kids to run?
My advice for parents is know your children’s limits. Know their strength. Don’t force them into running because they probably won’t enjoy it. If they want to run, then work with them.
Ask them what they want to get out of running. Help them set some short term and long term goals and help them achieve those goals.
And lastly make it fun.
Running should be fun. Sometimes not so much during a race when your body hurts and you want to quit. Watching how happy Jadin is when he finishes a race with a new PR and a smile on his face, especially after all he’s been through so far and knowing the struggles to come with his ADHD and anxiety, makes it very fulfilling!
There should always be joy in the journey!
*Learn more about Childhood ADHD at the National Resource on ADHD.