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How a 10K Brought Me and My Teen Closer Together

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Kate Meyers: My oldest daughter is definitely going through the minefield of teenage-hood. It's the sentiment so beautifully captured in the title of Anthony Wolf's book, "Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?"

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I feel for her. There's the social angst of high school, combined with the combustible nature of girl/girl relationships and the pressure to look beautiful, be ridiculously thin and smart and know what you want in life. I keep reminding her that I don't know what I want in life, but I'm still doing pretty well.

It's hard to deal with the ongoing experiment of living when you want answers -- and there are none. I grew up in a house full of boys, and what we did almost constantly was play. Basketball, street hockey, backyard football, tennis ... whatever the season, there was a bouncing ball -- and whatever communication was to take place happened while we were doing something else. I walked a 10K race in town with my daughter on Monday, and as we moved along, we saw a throng of festive people -- some in tutus, a Santa and a gorilla. We talked, we observed, we felt the endorphin pleasure of working our bodies. I think it's while spending time without expectation that good things come.

Whenever we do something physical, the mental mush oozes out. We don't always share world-tilting epiphanies, but she always shifts into a more peaceful place. This would never happen at the mall, or Forever 21.


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