Posted by: rundadrun | April 22, 2011

What goes around comes around..and around and around and around.

More years ago than I would like to admit, I was an aspiring 8th grade track and field star…at least in my own mind.  I had spent my entire childhood admiring the running accomplishments of my father.  He had been an outstanding cross-country and track athlete in high school, and had carried the Olympic Torch for the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley.  The thing is, he never pushed me, or made me feel like I HAD to follow in his footsteps.  I wanted to because I loved running.  I am happy that he never pushed me too hard.  I see so much of that with the athletes I work with now, and it almost never ends well.

So, as I started coming into my own as a runner, I asked my dad if he would take me to the track (the same one he still held records at) and put me through some workouts.  I had done well enough at the city qualifying that I was moving on to the county championships.  He agreed and off we went.  He ran me through my paces on some 220 yard repeats…yes yards. 🙂  And as I ran, he would stand at the finish line with the stopwatch and call out my times.  I didn’t know it at the time, but one reason that he didn’t run them with me was he was a smoker!  He did a great job of not letting us kids see him smoking.  I am still thankful for that.  My later struggles with tobacco had nothing to do with his influence, just my own stupidity.

Well, I would love to tell you that his coaching was just what I needed to push me over the top and help me win the county championships in the 880 and mile run, but I pretty much got schooled!  I did however run much faster than my qualifying times for a couple of weeks before.  But more than anything, I gained a closer relationship with my dad.  He had taken the time to work with me and I know with his work schedule the last thing he probably wanted to do was go watch me run in circles at practice.  Both my parents did a great job of supporting my brothers and I in our various endeavors.

Fast forward a LOT of years, and I found myself this week out at the track with my 7th grade daughter running her through our own version of what the high school coach calls “heck week”…okay, he doesn’t use heck, but our family does. 🙂  She came to me before Spring Break and asked me to help her get faster while her friends were relaxing.  It was so wonderful to go and run with her.  Unlike my dad, I was able to run the 2- 1/2 miles we ran in warm-up and cool down.  That was all though, cause daddy can’t keep up with her when she is at full speed. 🙂

It may not make her any faster, and in the end, that really doesn’t matter.  We spent time together doing something good for both of us and making memories that will last a lifetime.  I also think she will blow away the competition when races start next week, but that will be icing on the cake.

I knew she was looking forward to this when her Grandma asked her what she was going to do over Spring Break.  She replied with a smile on her face, ” My daddy is going to run me into the ground”.  I may be sick, but it made my heart glow to hear those words.

So, thanks dad.  Your willingness to spend the time to work with me has been passed down to another generation.  Who knows, maybe she will be the one to be the Olympic champion I dreamed of being.  Or maybe she will just pass on her love of fitness to her kids, and that would be more than enough.

Happy running and Happy Easter,




  1. Great post. It feels really great as a parent when our positive influences rub off on our children. I bet your Dad felt the same way as you feel now while watching your daughter. Your post made me think of my own dad. He was a runner too, and I have memories of running alongside him. He never pushed me to do so either. Last weekend, I ran with my 10-year-old and my 4-year-old. It brought me such joy. Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks Stacey! I wouldn’t trade the runs with my kids for anything. Glad you got out with your little ones. Happy Easter.

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