When we used to run together, Dad would tell me, "Heel to toe." And I remember thinking, "Well, that's kind of silly. How else are you supposed to put your feet on the ground." Then I would sort of exxagerate the whole heel to toe thing, making my feet into two rocking chairs. I probably drove him crazy.
(He left us, you know. Got new families as the mood suited him. Writing about him is helping me to forgive him. Because I should. Because I want to be that kind of person.)
Now it's my turn to be the parent patiently coaching the tender runner.
"Heel to toe." I told her.
She's not like me, taking the words and assuming any confusion is her fault. Nope. She wants to KNOW.
"What do you mean?"
I showed her.
She tried it.
"Wow." She bounced along. "That is better."
Pace. Pace. Pace.
"But now I'm getting tired."
"That's your muscles. You're working new ones."
I love being the parent I always wished I'd had.
Heel to Toe.