As a 43 year old man, running has been part of my life since I was four years old. Running has blessed me with determination, a hard work ethic, and dedication. It has offered me with opportunity to travel, compete, and form many wonderful friendships. It has allowed me to experience early cool mornings and late warm evenings and to see beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Running has taken me in and around some of the beautiful creations on this earth. Really, running defines who I have become and who I will be for the rest of my life.
Early Thursday morning, November 7, 2019, God called my Dad back home. The man who fostered my love for running and whom I’d run hundreds and hundreds of miles with was gone. My father ran as a young man and competed in Track at Rick’s College. He continued running after college and competed in road races. While living in Price, UT, my Dad would do his runs early in the morning. I was four years old when I went on my first morning run with my Dad. Our morning runs continued as I grew and we moved to Driggs, ID, where I ran my first half marathon, and then later as we moved to Blackfoot, ID.
My Dad and I definitely had our moments in our relationship, but running was common ground - we both loved running. It’s amazing how something as simple as running can form an unbreakable bond between two individuals. One thing I enjoy about running now are the deep rooted friendships formed in just a matter of runs.
My Dad was fast, it wasn’t until I was older and in high school that I could finally beat him :). I’m sure that had to have hurt a little bit; but, he was also probably excited to see me getting faster. (It’s funny, cause now my son is faster than me). I think he enjoyed talking about my training during high school and was more than willing to time me if needed. When I finally was able to win a state championship in the 2 mile, I’m sure he was a very proud father.
Running will always be something my Dad gave me. And to me, he couldn’t have given a better gift.