17 weeks ago Man walked into the kitchen while I was knee deep in hungry kids and elbow deep in something they might or might not eat that night. He informed me that his Chief (the buck stops here guy at the place he goes for solitude daily A.K.A work)
told asked him about running in a marathon. Man thought it seemed like a good idea...not that he had a lot of choice. Yes sir, Chief.
Here is how this works. I look at him with that look. The one that says, "Uh? A marathon?" Followed by words that went something like this, "You go for it honey. As long as it doesn't take away from your time here at home (insert my experience with his other passion...hunting) I am all game." So, he taped a crisp white sheet of paper to the wall and started running. Upon closer inspection I realized this paper contained crazy numbers like 6.2 and 15.5 and 20. Those would be miles folks. 6 out of 7 days a week.
Here is the part I am proud of. In a world full of people who lay the blame for their inability to workout due to lack of time, here's why I don't buy it. In order to not take away from our time together as a family he woke up daily at 2:30 a.m. put his running gear on and left our house. He drove to work and ran and ran and ran. For 16 WEEKS.
|Our first glimpse of him.|
There are many opportunities in parenting to teach your kids, but this one stands out for me in our time as parents. I loved that our children saw him set a goal and then watched him work towards that goal. They saw real work and hard sacrifice. No excuses.
|He finally sees us in the crowd.|
I loved their excitement in finding out each night how far he ran that morning and encouraging him along the way. In the moments when his body was exhausted he would fall asleep on their small couch in the playroom, in the evenings, while they were piled on him watching a cartoon. They never woke him, but hushed each other to let him rest. What little blessings they are.
When the big weekend arrived we packed up and spent the night in Pensacola, location of the race, the night before. Start time was 6:30 on Sunday morning and Mama is good, but three kids up, clothed, fed and driven an hour plus walking time just might not have happened. As fate would have it, Allye got all mixed up about the wake-up call time and gave him the 2:30 call not the 4:30 call. As I tried desperately to quiet her and get her back to sleep, she proceeded into a full conversation with me about all things baby. He quietly reached for her and I never knew anything else until the "appointed" wake-up time (long after he was gone).
|Watching for Daddy.|
Once I got us all there, and situated, the girls climbed on the railings and intently watched each passer by. I told them it would be at least an hour but they weren't moving. They cheered each runner and asked me a thousand times where he was. Once I spotted him in the distance they yelled, "Daddy!" until they didn't have anything left in them. And he ran.and ran.and ran. And just like that, he did it.
Our first time marathoner, our daddy, my Man.
610.2 Miles of Training
26.2 Miles of Performance
Memories to Last a Lifetime
Lessons taught that will never be forgotten.
---The Marathoner's Wife