My Dad was a runner before it was cool.
Running was quite a strange thing back then. You just didn’t see many people on streets or trails sweating and striding for no apparent reason.
Around our small town, people often noted sightings of him as he jogged in the crazy cold with socks on his hands in the obscene early morning hours. I’m certain his sanity was questioned regularly.
He is known for being that guy that walked to work in a suit and running shoes while managing to read a book. Remarkably no accidents to report!
Many a weekend we spent traversing Wisconsin to obscure 10K races in all sorts of unique places.
He’s a legend. Having run the same 10K race for 40 consecutive years.
He didn’t teach me to run. He didn’t make me run. He didn’t really even run with me.
What he did was introduce me to running. At that time, a marginal sport… a questionable pastime… an insane thing more often viewed as a solid punishment.
I ran because he did.
I didn’t love it. I wasn’t that good at it. But I ran anyway… Somehow knowing it was a part of me, but not yet grasping its full importance in my life.
I often wonder if I would be a runner without my Dad’s influence.
Running is the greatest gift this father could give to this son. To others this may seem odd, but we get it.
Running is our intersection. Our point of understanding. Our bond.
Today he turns 73. And he still runs. And running is cool now.
Thanks for the gift of a lifetime, Dad! I promise to spend it wisely.