We all have people we admire for obvious reasons although the point of “obviousness” is not apparent to everyone. We admire those who save lives, those that are successful in business, those who have a ton of children and never look frazzled. We have heroes-we strive to be like others yet try to find our own uniqueness within that similarity.
Mine did not come to me until later in life. When I was younger, I simply wanted to be a kid-when I was a teenager I went to college, then I graduated and went on to a career, got married and had a child. These I believe are everyday events that happen in someone’s life and because they are so overwhelming-we often lose sight of the real “me”.
I have always thought of myself as athletic-I ran in school both track and cross country. I found a love of strength training after college. This carried me through my 20’s and 30’s. I feel a need as I start approaching 40, as I believe so many of us do, to do something GREAT –a goal, an accomplishment-just something.
"Breaking the Wall" at mile 20 where my dad jumped in
It hit me one day-the hero, the person I admire, the one thing I wish I could say I did was run a marathon-here I go back to my high school days. This seems real to me now-maybe because I am older and my determination is stronger. Maybe it is the mere fact of trying to find the final piece of the puzzle to make it complete. Whatever, I found the strength and to me the “obvious reason.”
What motivates us to run a marathon varies as much as those who run them. But, for me thanks to my Dad (my hero, the one I admire, the one who is obvious to me) I am about to celebrate my first marathon.
The title is important you see-it reflects how much older my Dad is and how many more miles he has run than me. The odd thing is –he is this so far ahead of me but yet he has been right by me the whole time.
My Dad, you see, has run for over 27 years and in those 27 years he has run over 30,000 miles-whew – most of us don’t even like to drive that far-Ha! This to me is amazing. The most amazing fact is that he has logged every mile since he started running in 1980-this is a tradition that I have continued since I began my quest-I find it self-rewarding to be able to look back and see how I have progressed over the course of my training-he on the other hand is much more humble than I am.
Turning the corner at mile 26 to finish the last .2
I decided to run the marathon in the city my Dad believes is the greatest city in the world and where he now lives-Austin, Texas. I can truly say this was a journey I had not anticipated. There were triumphs, mental breakdowns, blisters, joy-filled times, friendships made, and there has been a bond between a daughter and father that is irreplaceable.
On Feb 17, 2008 the starting gun fired in Austin and I began my 26.2 mile journey and although my Dad was 19 years and 30,000 miles ahead he was be there for the last 6.2 miles right beside me like he has been for 39 years. So as I crossed the finish line with him I wanted him to know that I did this for him-my hero-the “obvious one.”