Once upon a time, my daddy ran.
He ran fast.
He ran long.
He ran with Prefontaine.
It was a daily occurrence for him to walk into the house in the morning as we were just waking up, or late at night as we were doing homework, covered in sweat and ready for a good long cool down on the living room floor. He’d sprawl out on his back, and often times, I’d lay belly down beside him, watching the beads of moisture slide down his head, listening to him tell of his trek for that day. In my little girl heart, I knew he had to be the best runner ever and I was so proud of him not only cause he was strong but because I could tell he put his whole heart into doing what he loved.
These days, Dad doesn’t run anymore, but his heart is still a runner’s…loving to go long and far, hiking, biking, and walking. And he’s passing on that attitude of disciplined pursuit to his children and grandchildren who’ve watched over the years as the sweat continues to pour and the experience continues to refresh his soul.
This summer, we listened to the audiobook, Unbroken as we drove our usual shopping route each week. Oldest became entrenched in the story and would sit out in the driveway listening long after we came home. What captured his attention more than anything else was the development of Louis as a runner, and how that activity and discipline propelled him on to great perseverance in so much of his life. Our 10 year old boy got inspired, and he decided he would like to be a runner…to follow in his grandpa’s footsteps, because as he stated, “It’s in my blood.” 🙂
And then school registration happened, and a sign-up sheet for cross-country, with fifth graders invited to join the middle school team. Oldest lit up like a kid at the candy store and begged to be added to the roster. He even gave up playing soccer (after five years) so he could join the team, and he is the only fifth grader…but he doesn’t care!
He is so happy to be running! Despite awful pain in his feet from falling arches, the rigorous discipline of training, the drama of middle school teammates….Despite how tired he is and how early he goes to bed now…
He is a boy consumed with the joy of running, improving, and being the best team member possible.
At night he comes through the door (the bus drops him off right outside) with a smile on his face, and news of the latest trail he’s conquered. And as he sprawls on the floor to stretch out all those tired and achey muscles, sometimes I lay belly down right beside him and watch the heat of exertion slowly leave his boyish cheeks and realize how proud I am of this guy and the choices he’s making, and all the hard work he’s accomplishing to do what he figures he was born to do.
And this mama’s heart knows, this little runner-in-the-making is one of the best gifts ever!
” So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor 10:31