My dad the runner…and Veteran

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So I got my butt out of bed early this morning to run a 5k trail run. When my alarm clock went off, I was dead to the world and ALMOST decided against it. However, I got up, got dressed and made my way to the race start.

I won’t write about the specifics of the event, but I will say it was harder than I thought it was going to be. I don’t run like I used to – it used to be part of my life on a weekly basis. I figure a little north of 100 road races have been run over the course of the last 29 years. My hips and feet feel the trail a little more than I’d like.

My dad was a runner….in fact, his marathon record time (at age 54) is STILL faster than mine and he managed to do this after 2 open heart surgeries in his life time; he also suffered through Malaria and Yellow Fever (worse then the heart surgeries he said); the Korean War and 2 stints in the Vietnam….he was essentially a badass.

He ran when running wasn’t cool in the mid 1970’s. He’d run the backroads of North Dallas – now extended Plano – every weekend. Every now and then, when he came home from a 3 hour run, I’d notice egg yolks dripping off his clothing. Kids being kids, would throw eggs at him. He didn’t care. He had goals and by god nothing was going to stop him. I never heard him complain or express regrets about anything.

In the middle of nearly EVERY race (especially those with pain involved) I think about him and how much he inspired me on so many levels – today was no different – I thought of him the entire race, as I was coughing up a lung, yet grateful to be out on the trail in the Colorado sunshine.

When I left for college in the fall of 1983, he would send me news articles, crossword puzzles, every couple of weeks. He didn’t express feelings through words – these little gifts were to replace the verbal “I love you’s”. I didn’t realize that for a REALLY long time.

In the spring of 1984, he wrote a poem with a dedication to me. I haven’t shared it with too many people. For all you runners out there, you may find this entertaining! Keep in mind, he was southern through and through, hence some of his choices of words. (Think pickled pigs feet and chicken gizzards as favorite foods-UGH)

The Runners Creed

Why I Run ~ by PPL

Why do I run? Well it ain’t no mystery–

I’m gonna keep a good fitness history.

Doc Cooper told me runnin’ is great

Makes my blood cells perculate

Its great for my legs, my lungs and for my ticker,

Can’t nothin’ get me in better shape slicker.

It feels so healthy, it feels so neat

When I pump my arms, and pound my feet;

It molds my muscles, and firms my form —

I may sweat like a racehorse, pant up a storm,

But it keeps me youthful, keeps me loose,

Hardens my belly, and tightens my caboose,

And makes Godalmighty sure, I don’t get lazy,

So why do I run? Well, shurzhell, I ain’t crazy!

Not bad for a decorated Army Veteran with vulnerability issues right?? I can attest that running extended his life by several years. He passed away, far too young – it’s weird for me to think I’ll be his last age soon.

Just a baby paratrooper in training

As you can see from his pictures, he had super skinny legs, which he passed on to me – YAY. I also got his facial hair and high cholesterol – BOO. More importantly, he passed along his grit which has served me well over the years. Thanks pops.

Anyhow, appreciate and thank the Vets today! They have done a huge service for our country.

….i choose this….

Pam


This post is part of the 30-day November blogging challenge known as NanoPoblano2019. Our challenge is to write for 10 days, read others’ posts for 10 days, and share our posts for 10 days – could be to other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or simply sharing with friends with a text link.

Check out this NanoPoblano2019 link and discover some talented writers/bloggers!



65 comments

  1. What a gorgeous post – got me teary-eyed. My dad was a vet also – WWII and he had a hard time expressing his feelings except in poetry. Every birthday card to me and to my mom, he’d write a little poem. I think this inspired me to write. I began by writing my own cards to family on birthdays and holidays. Your dad was quite a runner, and his poem was fun and adorable. I applaud you for your running. I ran about 4-6 miles a day/3 days a week from my 30s to mid-50s. Then the knees complained, so now I walk or go to dance class. Daily. Keeps the ticker ticking. 🙂 To our dads…and to their service.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your father was a bad ass indeed and shurzhell wasn’t crazy! Love his poem. Amazing to think of kids egging him but I do remember when my father (also an avid runner in the early 70s) went jogging through Hyde Park in London the locals were gasping, giggling and pointing in abundance …still, not as bad as eggs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s such a great poem, Pam. It’s wonderful that you were able to understand how he expressed his love. We all have our different ways. I wish I could say I love running, but I don’t. I do love to hike though. I’m grateful for your father’s service to this country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so much Jennifer! This is probably my favorite post. Thank you for taking the time to read it. Looking forward to getting to read more of your awesome stuff in the coming months, etc. thanks for the follow back 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have me all choked up and teary-eyed Pam. Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable post is so many ways.

    Your Dad really is a Hero – as a Vet, Runner & Rolemodel. Thank you for sharing his running story, and yours in many ways as well.

    As I came to running rather later in life (in my late 20s), I have always felt apologetic about what I do. So when I read about people like your Dad, and you, I am encouraged to keep just because we love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you sooo very much for the sweet words. You always seem to know the right things to say my friend! I took him for granted for soo soo long. It feels good to have some heart felt gratitude for him. 🙂

      Like

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