Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day 2012

Taylor Swift - The Best Day

Once Upon a Time...

I was 5ish the first time my dad let me run with him.  We "ran" to the riding stables up the road...I remember it being horrifyingly my grown up eyes, it was certainly less than a mile.  I had begged and pleaded for forever.  And finally, he said yes.  He limped along at a painfully slow pace.  I know this, because I have allowed Amelia to be successful at her begging to run with me, and I have continued the tradition.  To keep pace with a 5 year old runner is like SLOW bouncy walking.  But, the brightness of pride in their eyes makes it worth it.

It was the beginning of an on again, off again love affair with running.  I ran all through my childhood with my daddy, every few months I would get a run.  Then in middle school, I was allowed more freedom to run more often.  In high school, I took up track, and while I was running more, I think I ran with him, only once or twice.  In college, I would run in the winter...and bask in the bite of the air...but those excursions were alone...

I took up running again recently as a grab at health felt remarkably like running when I was five...absolutely overwhelming in the effort that it took...the trees looked bigger, the road rougher, the distance further...  My running group of friends and I decided to run a half marathon to wrap up our successful running group for the summer.  And while we ran together, it was an intensely independent experience.  We each ran together, and yet alone.  All at our own pace. 

We ran at our local recreation path.  It was overcast and damp, it was cool and the greenery was lush and spectacular...and I felt small and exhilarated to be running...I ran to my usual music, and about the time they started to feel tired, I busted out all the songs that I downloaded that I remember my dad running to on the stereo while on the treadmill in our basement.  And I felt like I was running with him again.  While Alan Parson's Project, Mason Williams, and Steppenwolf pounded in my ears, I felt his laughing encouragements at my side, from 30 something years ago...and I felt like we were bonding once again.

My daddy was the first person I called after my first 5K, just before Christmas. I called to break down my good choices and my "next time" changes.  I called my daddy after this, my first half marathon.  And about cried over the pride in his voice.  It was, somehow, a powerfully bonding feeling to share it with him.  Running was something that was always inherently *him*.  Some of my earliest memories of my dad was watching him lace up his 1970's yellow running shoes...and his returning to drink insanely watered down orange juice...with his beet red face smiling and peaceful, post run. 

And now...I drink watered down orange juice, while unlacing my teal running beet red face smiling and at peace.  I hope to share the same memories with my daughter that seems to be enchanted by the sneakers to the road moments...someday, her beet red face will smile with peace over another 5 year old...and it will all be thanks to my daddy...and his yellow shoes...and his willingness to walk slowly and bouncily with his 5 year old runner...

Thank you, Daddy.  I had some of the Best Days with you...  Happy Father's Day...

1 comment:

  1. There's something really magical about running! Thanks for capturing the magic in this post!