To my Dad,
"God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
He called it ... Dad"
Happy Fathers Day! I love my Dad :-)
You know its a funny thing how life comes around. My dad helped me when I was in high school with Cross Country. I didn't like cross country I never intended on joining that team. As far as I was concerned they were a bunch of nerds. In my world of “High School” you were not cool if you didn't have a Varsity letter, it couldn't be junior it had to be Varsity. Well, my little plan for that was gymnastics. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with epilepsy and was no longer allowed to be a gymnast. All I could think of was how to get a Varsity letter.
All the other sports were done with their tryouts and the teams were picked but there was only on sport left, you guessed it, cross country. Well, I didn't make the team at all so I asked if I could just run with them to get exercise. The entire time I HATED it! But while I was running I would think of this new sickness that was going on and how it was wrecking my world. Even though I could not stand running it was a good outlet for me. In all the working out anger I started running faster.
I was allowed to be on the team. Ah so what I thought, but it was fun to travel all over Europe so that was worth hang'n around. Then I felt a little competitive with these races because I liked to beat people in other country's and through that I made JV I pretty much just stayed there the rest of the season.
But I did have a competitive spirit and I remember going to my dad one day and saying I really, really want this “Varsity Letter” (that's all I was aiming for) he said, if you want it you have to get serious. I don't know who you are trying to impress but don't run in makeup, lets go get some real running shoes (I thought running shoes were soooo ugly!) And then he said, “Toni, you are going to have to run when everyone else has finished and gone home.” I was like ok! He had my brothers sit in the back of a Dodge Ram Van and I ran behind it (6 mile loop.) When I was running they were calling me names! Dumb, Fat, Nerd, Lazy, Ugly....just everything little brothers could say that would make you want to hit them. So, I would run faster to try and smack them or yank them out and my dad would drive faster by the time I was done I was too tired to beat them up and there was a satisfaction that I ran, and I ran well! All this would be done after practice was over!
I was still on JV but the very last meet a girl left. Her family moved to the United States. So there was a slot open for Varsity and I got it!! I ran my guts out! It was the first time I ever ran, sat down and started to puke but hey, it was worth it! I got my letter!! At the ceremony I also got a plaque of “Most Improved”
The coach was wanting me to join next season and I thought are you crazy?? ha! I just came to get a dang letter, I did my time and I am out of here! I was so embarrassed that I got the letter from Cross Country I put a soft ball pin on it so it looked like it wasn't from Cross Country. That is how bad I hated running.
That all being said, here I am...running....absolutely loving it! There are so many times while I'm running I hear my dad's voice, “Come on! You can do it! Faster! Don't Quit! Catch that Van!” I often imagine that van out there. But the words he spoke to me 20yrs. ago come alive within me while I'm running....funny how life comes around. I love my dad.....wish we didn't live on the oposite sides of the United States!
Day of rest didn't run