As I climbed out of the car still dripping a little sweat, I said to Kenton, "Isn't it funny how life changes?" He agreed with me as I un-pinned the number off my stinky shirt. Today I did something I've never done before, I ran a "run." Not only did I complete this run, but I did it with my Dad.
As I sit here still a little giddy about all the new possibilities that could arise from this charter adventure, I can't believe that only a few weeks ago, this wouldn't have been possible.
I got this little bug about four weeks ago that inspired me to go running in the morning. The motives were probably vainly driven. I probably gained a pound or ate too much the night before, but whatever it was, I followed through with it. The first day out I couldn't make it around the corner with out nearly keeling over and calling it quits. But as a few days passed I was getting a little further each time. Still I had no real motivation to keep up with this "freakin' hard" task.
A few days later when I was probably to the end of this little phase, my Dad caught wind that I've been out there every few mornings getting my butt kicked by the pavement. He starts giving me advice and incredible encouragement. You see, many weekends of my childhood were spent waiting at finish lines to clap and cheer for my Dad, so he had accredited advice to bestow. Next thing I know he's telling me that there's a run out in Derby on the fourth of July, there's a mile run, and he's willing to do it with me. Am I interested? Are you kidding? A mile seemed way out of my grasp at this point, when a block was causing hyperventilation. I said, "I'll think about it." I had a reason to run now, I hadn't fully committed yet, but I knew I wanted to, I was just scared. So, I learned what marked a mile in our neighborhood and kept pushing it. Started timing it, and found myself walking less and less each day. I started wearing headphones and tuning out my deep breathing, and kept going. 15 Minutes, 14 Minutes, 13 Minutes, and then it came, 10:05 and NO walking, I ran the whole thing! 9:57, 9:48, 9:30... it was getting easier! So I tell him, "Okay, I better do this thing or I'm gonna regret it." His response, "Sweeet!"
So, after running a mile at 6 Am, I shower and head to Derby with my boys, to go run this "Fun Run," that was making my stomach churn. I was so afraid of looking dumb, not knowing the "runner's jargon." I didn't even have proper shoes, "they're all gonna laugh at me," I thought to myself. "This run is for little kids and old geezers, am I going to be able to finish?" Race starts at 8:30 and around 8:15 my Dad and I go stand around the herd. We climb in the back of the mass and can't make out a word that the man on the megaphone is saying. I'm continuing to joke with my Dad about who will give up first, or was he so out of practice that he was going to have to duck out rather than be seen giving up on the mile run? We're trying to make ourselves feel better by pointing out the five year olds we're gonna take down. All the while, I'm shaking in my cheap shoes, thinking "Oh, God? What if I come in very last? I really don't want to do that." Amidst all this banter, we both are caught off guard by the loud bang of the starting pistol.
Never having done this before, I just follow my Dad and take off.
So we were off, nevermind that before we really get a stride going, the swifter among us were already rounding the quarter mile mark, but no bother, it's too late now, your in this 'til the end. We round our corners, pass several kids, a few moms waiting on their kids, one tired woman, get some personal praise from a neighborhood spectator, hit the last turn and hear the encouragement of the five year old near us, "This ain't no hill!" Who can't give it a little more push with those words? We climb this "hill" and have Grandma #1 and Grandma #2 pegged as the one's we've gotta pass. I think we got one of them for sure! I see our little fan club clapping and waving and I couldn't be more comforted that they were there. Then there it is, a beautiful orange line sprayed on the lot with the wonderful word FINISH on it. I crossed it, looked at the clock and called it good. 9:18. Now, that my be lame to you, but it was my fastest time yet, I'll call it a victory.
We drank our water, ate off the "buffet," and parted ways.
I can't describe fully what this little run has done for me, for Kenton, for Judah, for our lives, and mostly for my relationship with my Dad. I can't tell you how fun it's been to email my Dad each morning with my new time or longer distance. To have him express his excitement for this new challenge. At a family event, I smiled as I walked off and heard him tell my uncle, " Hey Jim, here's my new runner."
I couldn't get the grin off my face this morning, I was genuinely proud of my little accomplishment. An accomplishment that wouldn't have been possible in previous times. But here I was stinky and tired, placing my number 1179 next to this computer and just praising God that life changes, and today I ran a mile with my Dad.
Another Topeka Visit.
1 year ago