A Father's Day post from Rachel.
I've mentioned it a few times here on the blog, but my father was the reason I began running. Not because he loved running (he hates it), but because he inspired me to go after something I thought impossible. As we approach Father's Day I thought I'd write a bit more about that story. This Sunday I will spend Father's Day with him and probably go on a bike ride where I will let him ride ahead of me...because he will be beating me....
|Family Photo, circa 2007|
Back in 2007/2008 I did not run. I would occasionally get on the elliptical, but I did not run and I did not think I was capable of running. Sure, I was active between dance and pick-up volleyball, but nothing beyond that.
I envied those who could go for a run with no problem, I yearned for what it felt like to just throw on running shoes and go for a run. Every time I tried to run I just felt my lungs burn and just felt defeated.
Growing up my brother was by far the athletic one and I was the dance/theater one. We were an active family, hiking, playing volleyball, or body surfing in the ocean, but bike rides were for my father and brother. My father would take my brother along on his weekend bike rides. Every weekend without fail (well, no winter rides) he would go on a bike ride, sometimes 20 miles, sometimes longer. I never did this as biking even 3 miles was torture to me.
|Arizona in 2012 with my sister-in-law and my father's travel hat.|
My father was someone I constantly looked up to. A man who gave his all at his job and then could come home and give is all to his family. Whenever we traveled we always joked we needed a vacation after our vacations because of how many activities we would crammed into a small amount of time.
On March 8, 2008 he was T-Boned by a Ryder rental truck. The driver of the truck was texting. If you ever wanted to know why you should NEVER text and drive or why I always wait when the light turns green...this is why:
This was my tiny Honda Civic. My world stopped. Here was a man I had looked up to and saw as invincible, and now we were unsure of what the future held.
He spent 6 and 1/2 weeks in the hospital recovering...and miraculously 6 months later returned to work. The rescue crew, doctors and nurses were all amazed by his progress. If nothing, he is determined and when he sets his mind to something he accomplishes it. He wanted his life back and fought to get it back. He wasn't without scars or lasting health issues. Suddenly, he was winded climbing the stairs because his vocal chords were too closed off due to vocal cord stenosis, but he climbed stairs. He worked so he could get back to the gym and back on his bike.
I watched all of this and suddenly realized that if I wanted to run...then I should run. Why let something stop me? I watched as my father's will found a way.
So I started...slowly and cautiously, but soon I signed up and ran my first 5K. My parents drove up to watch it. They always went to my brother's triathlons, and here they were to watch my little 5K.
|Captured by my father.|
It took longer for the racing bug to really bite and for me to pursue my running passion, but this is where it started. All because of one man who showed me what it was to go after what he wanted and to not let anything get in the way.
|They still travel to races. I even got them to come to Paris!|
I now go on bike rides with him, but he smokes me EVERYTIME. One day I'll catch up to him, but I'm happy to follow his lead and in his footsteps.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!