It seems somewhat appropriate for my fledgling blog to do my first Take it and Run Thursday (hi! anyone who reads this! Hope I’m doing it right!) on my father, who as far as I can tell, is the only other runner in my family. My uncle, my mom’s brother, used to run but now only swims because he ruined his knees and is also kind of crazy, so we’ll leave him out.
But, my dad.
My dad has run as long as I have known him. One of my earliest memories is going to watch him race on my fourth birthday, at the Run for the Seals in Marin County.
At 60 years old now, he runs four or five days a week, the same route, usually the same pace (although slowing over time), at the same time, every day. If his normal route is icy, he runs around the block. He does not listen to music. He does not like to run with anyone. If he has to stop to give directions or tie his shoe, he considers the run a waste. He does not wear fancy running clothes or fancy running shoes (he reasoning for the cheap shoes is, one, he does not like to buy leather, and two, he’ll ruin them quick enough anyway). He doesn’t race, he doesn’t have a running log or a fancy watch. He says he doesn’t particularly care for running, but he does it anyway.
All that said, I could just throw up my hands and declare my dad a total oddball who runs just so he can eat, but I tend to think there’s more. When I began running road races, the man would turn his schedule upside down so he could come see me race. And when I started running cross my senior year of college, he became a man possessed. When I called my parents up to tell them my results, my dad would have already seen my time, who beat me, and who I beat. When we made DIII nationals, the guy flew out to Ohio alone to watch me run.
He’s not a flashy guy, my dad. He doesn’t care for making a big deal out of anything, especially himself. He is quiet, he doesn’t like excess and, most of the time, we have an awfully hard time talking about anything deeper than “True Blood” or Joe Biden. But running, running is one thing we share, even if we go about it in different ways. I might have become a runner anyway without my dad, but I credit him for giving me the perseverance to stick with it.
Oh, and I ran today. Seven and a little more miles, with no knee support on my left knee for the first time in two years. That is momentous. Like whoa.