Father’s Day 2016
Last fall, I completed my first half marathon while my dad was undergoing cancer treatment. He had been interested in my training and it gave us something to talk about that was positive and goal-oriented (he was an athlete himself, and a competitive one at that). I knew that when he heard about my training he saw a little bit of himself in me. With my other interests, that wasn’t always the case. 😉
After the race was over, I got to call him and tell him that I had run in honor of him, wearing gear from his favorite teams- The LA Dodgers and Iowa State. I also wore a white ribbon on my left sleeve, in honor of all those affected by lung cancer. He told me he was proud of me and that he loved me and we both shed some tears. It was an amazing, emotional conversation. At the time, I didn’t know it would be our last. The next morning he was gone.
Before he passed away, he knew that running Grandma’s Marathon was my next big goal– and he was excited for me. My younger brother had always been his athletic kid, so I’ll admit that part of me took pride in being a “late bloomer” and showing him I could hang with the athletes in the family too.
There were definitely times when training got rough and I didn’t want to continue, but the fact I didn’t want to let him down motivated me to dig deeper and push on. He taught me when things get tough, you keep fighting. And you don’t quit. I am forever grateful for that.
Yesterday was race day, and I finished the full marathon. This time, I didn’t get to call Dad and tell him about it. It was bittersweet. Although he didn’t get to see me finish it, I know he was there in spirit and would have been proud. The completion of this race is my Father’s Day gift to him.
Love you, Dad!