Happy Birthday, Dad!

Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it-

Oprah Winfrey

Today my dad turns 77 and I can think of no better present than to dedicate this post to him. My father is a man of pure honesty and forthright integrity. He serves as the perfect male role model for my sons and is a beloved member of his community. As I said before, he was and always will be my best running coach. I have written a poem in two voices for him to honor his special day.  The bold words are my father’s voice and the italicized are mine.

Father and Daughter Stride by Stride

I remember putting on my first pair of running shoes at thirty-two and wondering, can I do this?

I remember you wearing a pair of beige Bermuda shorts and a white t-shirt and not looking like a runner at all, but pounding the pavement and sweating because you were working so hard

I remember feeling transformed, feeling fit, becoming more self-sufficient and confident

You were an inspiration to our family as we watched you become a better person; you were enthusiastic and charismatic

I could not have done it, however, without the support of you and most especially your mother; she was my #1 cheering section

My childhood memories are wrapped up in a large circle of friends gathering at our house for a run, some fun, and lots of delicious food and mom yelling “Come on Bennie!”

Do you remember me waking you up on those early Sunday mornings for long runs?

UGH! You used to turn on the bedroom light to wake me up! The light was as bright as a spotlight at 6 am!

But wasn’t it worth it just a little?

Well, we sure met a lot of people with a zest for life. I know that we were glad to be running with you most of the time even though we were teenagers!  I think all of us never stopped talking to each other on those long runs. We certainly laughed a lot too.

Do you remember the different places that we traveled?

The hikes in the mountains of New England were especially memorable-Mt. Washington in the cold, pouring rain and fog; Twin Mountain at the peak of fall foliage with those bright colors; crossing rivers, trying not to slip on those big, wet rocks.

Today, Kimgirl, it gives me a tremendous thrill to lace up my shoes at seventy-seven to run many miles and discuss all kinds of topics with my children and grandchildren

That makes two of us Dad

5 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Dad!

  1. Pingback: A Father’s Day Story | Building A Life Of Hope

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