I decided in July, when I came back to Spark after a 6 month hiatus, that I deserved to take care of myself. At that moment, I made a promise to myself to run in a 5K. I walked in my first one on August, ran in one in September and then again today. My times in minutes: 43:51, 37:47, and 37:02 respectively. For a girl who never ran, I am pretty proud. But that wasn't the shining moment tonight.
I thought my favorite moment was when I put my sweats back on after the race. You see, it is chilly and rainy here tonight. After running, 55 degrees feels really good for about 15 minutes, after that, it is just cold. So I pulled those sweats on one leg and unzipped the ankle to get it over my shoe. I stopped there. I stood straight up - with my pants half on in the middle of everything and said "YES!!!!" I am using the zipper on the sweat pants for what they were DESIGNED for! Go me! I always had sweats with zippers on the legs because that's how they came, never because I needed them. Today I NEEDED them because I am a runner!!!!
after a small celebration dance, I proceeded to put my pants on the rest of the way and then celebrated some more.
But that still wasn't my shining moment. That came on the phone on the way home. I called my sister first, because she has been rooting me on and, well because she is my "seester." She is 14 years younger than me and she IS an athlete, always has been. So I called her from the bus on the way back, just because I could. She laughed about my pants revelation and told me that, yep, that's why those zippers are there and generally just gave me some verbal high fives.
Then I called my dad.
I told him the same story, that I was calling from the bus after the game because I never got to in high school, mostly because there were no cell phones back then, and also because, well, I wasn't an athlete. We laughed about that and then I told him about my revelation about the zippers on my sweats. I think he almost snorted his drink. We laughed about that for a good minute and then he asked about my times. We talked about how I was doing and about the next race and then, it happened...
-a bit o' history-
For those of you who have read my blogs in the past, you know by now, that compliments and praise were sparse when I was growing up. Not out of anger or hate, they just didn't happen very often. I was the first kid and my parents were young. Life was hard and they worked hard to make it a solid life. They didn't "spread on the praise" because that wasn't their style. We didn't get much in the way of "Way to go" or "'Atta girl!"
That was until now.
In the middle of that conversation, he said, very seriously, "I am really proud of you."
He told me he was proud because I had made a big change and it was a really good one. That he knew it was hard and that he was proud of me for working at it so consistently, and for not giving up.
Friends, I can't even tell you what that meant to me. He and I talked a bit more, joked about getting a bus to get all of us to the Thanksgiving race we are running in, and then said our good byes. In all, it was less than a 10 minute conversation.
*****I will cherish it for the rest of my life.****
As a grown up, there are very few people who affect us the way our parents still do. You would think that, at almost 40, I wouldn't need that kind of praise from my dad, but that is wrong. Now as much as ever, I need to know that I am doing the right thing and that the man who raised me is going to sleep proud of the person I have become.
Love you Dad - thanks for telling me that you are proud. I'll run even farther and faster knowing that. It will give me the motivation to push for another minute, the willpower to make the healthy decision, and the satisfaction of knowing that I am who you hoped I would be.