My dad walked around the world more than two times without ever leaving the country.
Before we get to the story of how my dad walked around the world more than two times without leaving the country, you need a little bit of the family history.
Raising a family of four girls and one boy had to be quite demanding. When we were young our parents encouraged us to work hard and to get involved in activities. We all had jobs as soon as we were old enough to work and we all participated in sports and school activities.
Many days my parents had to figure out how to get the three of us to (and home from) basketball, track or swim practice; one of us to baseball; one to band practice; one to football and so on. Not only did they get us to every practice, they attented ALL of our events (home and away). Really - they did make ALL of our games and meets. This is quite an accomplishment when you think of how many events and activities we participated in. We all ran track; three of us played basketball; one of us was in band' one played baseball; two played softball; one played footbal and we all held jobs.
Not only did they make all of our events, my mother prepared snacks for us in case we ran out of energy! On a side not, my mother is amazing. She supported us kids all through school, making sure we had home cooked meals every day. She still prepares homemade meals and snacks for my dad, my nieces and nephews for their sporting events.
But back to my father: He not only walks the walk - he talks the talk. He coached baseball, softball and football while we were growing up. If his kids were going to play, he was going to coach! Not only coaching us in softball and baseball, he also coached hundreds of other kids in football and legion baseball.
Ok, now we are ready for the story of the walk around the world:
When we were in high school my sister Kelly was a super runner. She ran the 400 and 800 meter races on the track team. She was a natural athlete without even trying. She was a tiny little thing that could run like the wind. She won just about every race that she entered from the time she was a freshman through her entire high school career. Even though she was a natural talent, she did not have any motivation to practice. This bothered my father. He though that everyone should work hard and practice in order to be the best that they can be.
So instead of sitting in the bleachers yelling at my sister to run faster or practice harder, my dad went out and started running with her. Not only did he start running, he kept track of every mile he ran. He ran from 3 to 6 miles every day no matter how he felt and no matter what the weather was like.
He has run/walked through snow, rain, hail, freezing rain and sweltering heat. He started to run 5k races with my sister to keep her motivated. 5k's turned into marathons!
He participated in two City of Pittsburg marathons. And guess what? Our family was there to watch him run and finish both races!
We have all graduated from high school, college and grad schools and have started families of our own. The family of five children has grown to eleven grandchildren. We are now the same age as our father was when he started his journey around the world.
My dad has not only been a constant inspiration to his children, he has become an inspiration to each and every one of his grandchildren. He has coached, watched and supported them with their sporting events. (And yes, mom still is there providing all the nutritious snacks!). Despite having this kids live in different parts of the state, they both try to attend as many events as they can.
It has been over 26 years since my father started his journey. He has arthritis and is in pain most of the time now. He doesn't move as fast as he used to and his run has gradually slowed to a walk. But you can bet as sure as the sun is going to rise that my dad will be going out to walk. His day is not complete until he finished his 6 miles!
Dad, you are truly an inspiration. 46,006 and counting.
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