I was in 3rd grade when my dad handed me a can of green spray paint. My sister, brother and I loaded into the family van and my dad drove away from our house. He watched the odometer closely and at every mile, one of us kids would open the sliding door and quickly spray the curb with a green line. Because he didn’t have a Garmin or an app to mark his miles. For the rest of my Irvine days, I would see those green lines around town. They marked strength, perseverance and dedication. I was proud of my dad, the runner.
He started running after the divorce and at that time, us three kids went along. The runs were short, just a few miles or so. We chose either rollerblades or bikes, always rollerblades for me. One time we ran/bladed all the way to Ralphs and back – four miles. We were all so proud, my dad especially. In the midst of a tough time, it felt like a big step forward.
I learned a lot from my dad’s journey as a runner. I sensed that running was something special. It was a diversion, an escape from life’s shit. It was a challenge, a way to move ahead. It was an accomplishment, a source of pride.
My dad has been running for the past 25 years (give or take a few). He knows a lot about running, and if you ask, he will tell all. He’s not all talk though, this guy has miles to back him up. He has run countless marathons, completed three (maybe four) Ironman races and a couple of Ultra (50 mile) Marathons. I wonder how many miles he has covered? (I bet he knows that too.)
Happy Father’s Day to the Dad who taught me how to joke, work, and change a set of break pads. Thank you for having the audacity to set your sights high – I inherited my confidence from you. Thank you for sacrificing big for the people you love – my commitment to my people is deeply rooted. And thank you for giving me the space to learn, make mistakes, and figure life out for myself. You gave me the opportunity to succeed, fail and earn my own pride.
Dad, running with you is a privilege. It’s our special thing, our shared interest. I wonder how many miles we have covered together? From Hick’s Canyon, to El Moro, to Peter’s Canyon, to Back Bay, to Balboa… to our four mile route to Ralph’s and back. They have all meant something indescribable to me.
May we never stop running together. I love you, Dad.