Mom finds that kids can do hard things

OKEECHOBEE — After training for months to run their first 5K, siblings Natalie, Levi and Ben Hoglo were understandably disappointed when the 5K was canceled, so their parents decided a virtual 5K would work just as well.

Lake Okeechobee News/Cathy Womble
Pictured are (back row) Jim Womble, who ran with his grandson Ben; Kim Hoglo, who ran with her daughter Natalie; an Jeremy Hoglo, who ran with his son Levi. (front row) Ben is 4; Levi, 5; and Natalie, age 7.

When Kim Hoglo began noticing her children giving up whenever a task seemed difficult, saying, “It’s too hard,” she felt it was a problem. She did not want her children to give up when the going got tough, she said. She wanted to find a way to encourage them to learn to try harder rather than just giving up. She and her husband began reading books to the kids with titles like “I Can Do It” and “I Will Try” and “I Will Be Okay.” They began assigning tasks that were just a little bit harder than the children were accustomed to, and showing them how to do them. They helped them set goals and reach them.

Finally, as they saw their attitudes began to change to more of an “I can do it” attitude, they decided to introduce running to the mix. Both parents are runners, and they felt if they started gradually, maybe the kids would like to try it, too. They asked them, and at first, only 7-year-old Natalie was interested. She began running with her mom. Then when 5-year-old Levi saw what fun they were having, he decided he might want to try it after all, and he decided to run with his dad. Four-year-old Ben was still having none of it. After several weeks, Ben finally couldn’t take it anymore and decided Levi was having way too much fun with Dad all by himself, so he decided to join in after all.

The family decided to sign up for the blueberry 5K, the Easter 5K, and then a super hero 5K. The excitement around the house was hard to contain! Imagine their dismay when all the 5Ks were canceled due to COVID-19.

Lake Okeechobee News/Cathy Womble
Natalie, age 7, and her mom came in first place in the 5K on Saturday, June 19.

Mom and Dad couldn’t let all that hard work go unrewarded, so they found a virtual 5K and recruited Aunt Jenna, Uncle Bradley and the cousins to hand out juice and fruit snacks and Mom’s “sole” sister (running partner) Nancy and friend Sarah at the finish line to hold signs congratulating them on a race well run! The race was held on Saturday morning, June 19, near Central Elementary School. Each child received a medal. As he ran, little Ben’s tiny arms pumped and his face scrunched up in concentration. If you listened closely, you could hear him muttering under his breath over and over, “We don’t quit. We don’t quit, and when he passed the finish line, he asked if he won his medal. When told that he did, he said, “I’m going to wear it all day and tonight and to church tomorrow!”

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