He likes to set goals for himself and achieve the impossible.
As his mother, I sometimes worry about what crazy goal he is going to set for himself.
It is hard for me to watch as he pushes himself so hard and to see him end up being disappointed every so often because he did not reach his goal.
Nathan's class at school is participating in the Global Children's Challenge.
It is a health initiative designed to get children from all over the world active, and instill in them the habit and importance of daily exercise for the rest of their lives. It is facilitated by teachers within classrooms and it empowers children to change their relationship with exercise, their bodies and the environment. The benefits extend beyond making exercise easy and fun – it compliments the curriculum, covering everything from geography and social studies to history and technology.
Every student in the class has a pedometer to record how many steps they take each day.
At first they were instructed to aim for an average of 15,000 steps a day.
Nathan was happy with this and managed to pass this amount easily. He has been trying his best to get as many steps as he can each day to support the total amount of the class in the challenge running online.
Last week Nathan decided he was going to try to get 50,000 steps. He woke up early, walked to school, walked home from school and spent all his waking hours running around our back yard until he reached his goal of 50,000 steps.
He was super excited and very happy with his result. I was impressed that he gave up his computer time and all other fun activities after school to achieve this result. He went off to school proud of his result.
A couple of days later he came home from school to tell me that someone in his class had beaten his top class score. I stayed silent, waiting. Waiting for what was to come next. I knew in my heart that Nathan was going to set some impossible goal and I was scared. For him and for me!
So, during the week Nathan got this idea in his head to try to achieve 100,000 steps.
After mentioning it to his class teacher and hearing his response of something like this:
'Nathan that is not something you need to worry about or that is impossible to achieve'.
I knew we were in trouble and that the response was like a red cape to a bull!
Nathan decided to chose Saturday as the day to accomplish his 100,000 steps challenge.
He sat down and calculated just how many steps he would need to achieve each hour to reach his goal.
He woke up early on Saturday morning and started ‘stepping’ at 5:30am.
It was a hot day, a long day and Nathan worked really, really hard all day to get as many steps as he could. I was so impressed with his commitment to his goal, his determination to achieve it and with how hard he pushed himself to get as many steps as he could.
Nathan halfway through the day at 50,000 steps - worn out!
Halfway through the day I could see that Nathan was tired and needed a boost.
So what does a mum to do? Start 'stepping' too!
I put on my ipod and started my grandma shuffle around and around the backyard. We sang loud songs, high fived each other everytime we passed, laughed and had fun!
One of my favourite moments came when the three little ones spotted us outside and all came running out together and followed us around and around. It was great to be running together as a family and to be supporting Nathan in his crazy challenge.
At around 8pm at night, Nathan was exhausted. He had been running all day and still had a long way to go towards achieving 100,000 steps. I had a chat to him. I told him I was impressed with his efforts and that he had worked really, really hard. I reminded him that if he stopped now he still had done a wonderful job and it was alright to change his mind about the challenge.
Nathan thought about it for a minute and then said that he wanted to keep going.
He wanted to reach his goal of 100,000 steps. I could see he was beyond tired, his legs ached and his feet were sore. But, he had a vision of what he wanted and knew he could reach it.
This boy is just amazing!
At 11:45pm Nathan reached his goal of 100,000 steps.
I could not believe it. He ran from 5:30am-11:45pm and pushed himself so hard.
Getting close to the goal!
The finishing time!
He is a great example to me that if we are prepared to do some hard work we can achieve our goals and achieve the impossible. I love that he let me tag along for the ride and helped me to push myself too!
I was so glad to see my bed at the end of the day and am now hoping that Nathan does not decide to set another 'stepping' goal!