Mother Daughter Running Duo Teaches Us Important Life Lesson
Crystal Cowgill: “I'm setting a good example for my kids.”
By Andrea Arnold
Mother daughter duo, 33 year old, Crystal and nine year old, Mikaela Cowgill, have been bonding over running for over two years now.
Crystal attended Hartford high school where she ran Cross Country. She decided to start taking running seriously again in 2011, which was the same year that she completed her first half marathon in Midland, Michigan. She then went on to complete one more half and two full marathons all within a two year time frame.
Little did Crystal know that she had little eyes watching her every move. Her daughter, Mikaela, seems to have inherited her mother’s competitive gene. She told her mom that she wanted to run a 5K, and at seven years old, she did! She completed her first 5K at the Hartford Strawberry run. She was hooked. She went on to complete the Fruit Belt Series (twice)!
At age eight Mikaela ran her first 10K, and she completed her first 15K a couple of weekends ago at The Hot Chocolate Run in Chicago! Mikaela finished 28th of 71 in her age group, which placed her in the top half of her age group. This little girl is nothing short of utterly awesome!
I asked Mikaela what she likes about running, she replied, “I just really enjoy myself.”She loves fourth grade and her favorite subject is Math. When she isn't running she enjoys playing basketball and soccer. I asked Mikaela, “What else would you like to accomplish?” She very sweetly responded, “I want to run a half marathon!”
Let's talk a little more about Crystal…
She has been married to husband, Chris, for 13 years. Crystal is a busy stay at home mom to their four children, three boys and one girl, Mikaela (Kae for short). They currently reside in Hartford.
She really enjoys running for many reasons, including: her time to reflect on life, relieving stress, taking in the beautiful Michigan scenery, and meditating with God. “I enjoy the competition with myself, I constantly strive to beat my previous finish times, it's a great way to stay in shape, and I'm setting a good example for my kids”, says Crystal.
Cowgill learned of RACERS from fellow member, Scott Shipman (this isn't surprising)! She really enjoyed the encouragement of the group. So, she signed up herself and daughter, Mikaela. They've been RACERS members since 2014! “It's a great group of people to be around,” Crystal said. So many people are afraid to get out there and just start somewhere. They are often intimidated by groups like RACERS because they think it's about competition or assume it's a bunch of fast runners. I asked Crystal what she would tell someone who was feeling this way. “Just do it! We’re all on different levels but we’re all supportive of one another regardless of what pace everyone is at.”
We all have that one thing we can't be without when we run and Crystal is no different. She needs her Garmin and her running music!
Crystal and Mikaela have earned many medals and both have won first place, overall, and for their age group for many races. Their story is so truly inspiring. It shows us that someone is always watching us. We often times inspire others without even realizing it. We forget that we are constantly setting an example for our children--they are seeing our every move and they want to be just like us. We are the positive influence they need in order to be successful in life. It's never too early or they're never too young to be intrigued and inspired.
Crystal describes herself as extraordinary and persistent, and no one would agree with her more than her daughter, Mikaela.
Andrea Arnold is a full time runner mother with a blog, Three Little Apples. Her blog has been recognized in the US and the UK. Andrea moved to St. Joseph from Akron Ohio and joined RACERS in April 2013. Andrea will contribute monthly member spotlights and other running related stories.