At the beginning of my junior year of college, I entertained the notion of training for a marathon. Before long, the idea became a reality, and I began running. A lot.
By December, I was deep into training, running between 15 and 20 miles on my long runs. When I went home for Christmas break, I had a month off from my studies to relax… and to run. My dad was eager to support my efforts, and he slipped on his tennis shoes one afternoon to join me on a run. And (bless his heart) he made it ¼ of a mile with me. Nevertheless, he became one of my greatest cheerleaders (as was his custom whenever I set a goal in front of myself). Though he couldn’t tread along beside me as I ran, he was a loud voice of support on the sidelines.
Well, in March, marathon day came. And, needless to say, it was a lot of running. And I got a little bit tired, hitting a few lulls on the 26.2-mile journey. Around mile 18 or so, in the midst of my weariness, my dad (the guy who could run only ¼ of a mile three months prior) jumped into the race (in his jeans and loafers!) and ran the next two miles with me. He was simply heroic.
This is one of my most prized memories with my dad. And I recently shared this story at his memorial service.
Three weeks ago, my dad finished his race, and he stepped into heaven.