Two weeks ago, I wrote that my sister, my good-spirited friend Milinda and I (along with 30,000 other people) finished the San Antonio Rock 'n Roll half-marathon. As none of us had ever even thought of participating in an event like that, I can tell you that we were pretty proud of ourselves (as were our families, who had harbored some serious doubts about the whole enterprise).
But, so you don't think we have swelled heads, you have to consider our role model. A few years ago, my dad--who had not participated in track since elementary school in the 1930s, nor ridden a bike since at least the 1950s--watched an 80-year old man running in the St. Petersburg "Meek and Mighty" triathlon. Dad's reaction was simply, "I could do that." So the next year, when he was 84, my dad entered and finished his first triathlon.
As he made the final turn, he heard the announcer tell the crowd to cheer for the winner of the 80+ age group. He took off his hat, broke into a run, and crossed the finish line smiling.
I don't know which was more palpable: my dad's excitement or my mom's relief that he had finished. The adrenaline was still flowing a few minutes later when he was interviewed by a camera crew from the local news station. Asked how he felt, my dad said, "It felt like I just hit the winning home run and my best girl was in the stands watching." Isn't that cool?
Oh, and by the way, he entered and won his age group the following year, at 85. So, until this blog becomes 80+ and on the Run, he remains the family champ.
Related post: Rock n' Roll is Here to Stay
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