Baby Lucia is getting big. And, in one of her “I’m a big girl now” activities, she is all about the running. But it’s not just any old running. It’s running while yelling. We call it the Yell and Run and it’s about as complex as it sounds, and about as complex as an 18-month old can handle.

Here’s how it goes: You yell. And you run. You can do it in reverse, also, and it’s just as effective.

(See some live-action video examples of Lucia at it here.)

The joy she gets from this activity is pretty astounding. It doesn’t matter if it’s in her own backyard or an airplane jetway, the Yell and Run is a moment of head-held-back, mouth-wide, silly-happy-wild fun.

The other night as I was falling asleep, I started thinking about the Yell and Run, and what I’ve learned from the introduction of this new activity into my life. (As her mother, you can bet I’ve done it a time or twenty alongside her of late.)

At its core, the Yell and Run is about letting go. It’s about throwing off the bowlines and doing what you want. It’s about saying to heck with the haters. It’s about doing what feels right for you, and no one else. It’s about not listening to the shoulds and the musts and the to-do list full of things that make you cringe. It’s about running down your grandparents’ street in California, yelling, and simultaneously taking your shirt off in the process. (Okay, maybe that last one was just Lucia.)

It’s about honing in on what you want to be today, or tomorrow, or next year, and trying to figure out what you can do to get there. Where you want to be. It is, most importantly, not about listening to what others want you to do, or what you think you should do but cringe while thinking about it. Yes, we all have responsibilities and obligations, and things that prevent us from Yelling and Running all the time, through every aspect of our lives. But I’d wager that there is an area in your life where you’d be up for a little Yell and Run. More likely, where you need a little Yell and Run. One area where a little more Yell and Run would bring a heck of a lot more happiness all around — so much so that it would help to brighten everything else.

This week, I’m thinking a lot about the Yell and Run. About where I can do a lot more of that, and a lot less of the other stuff. About where I can be more me and less who others want me to be.

And you? Got any Yelling and Running in the works?

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