With Father’s Day quickly approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad.
Growing up, my dad spent a lot of time playing with me and my brother.
When my brother started getting serious about basketball, I can remember my dad and my brother playing basketball on the driveway almost every night.
When I got serious about soccer in the third grade, my dad and I would always go running together. I remember the first race I did together was the Azalea 2-mile run in Tyler. I still have the T-shirt from that spring race.
Later that fall, my dad and I did a 5K at UT Tyler. Up until my dad had his heart attack when I was a sophomore in high school, my dad and I would frequently run together. I would also enjoy running with my dad and I know my brother really cherished playing basketball with my dad. After my dad had quadruple bypass surgery, he could not play basketball with my brother for a long time and running was out of the question.
Back in October, I decided to start running again and signed up for my “first” 5K. It was quite an emotional race. About a quarter of a mile into the race, it hit me like a bolt of lightning that my running partner, my dad, was not able to run with me.
Shortly after that I saw him on the side of the road, cheering me on. In November, I started to see my mom and dad at the trails where I ran. My dad would tell me he was training for a 5K. He wanted to walk 3.1 miles in 45 minutes. Later in that month, my dad and I signed up for the Turkey Trot. As soon as I got done running the race, I turned around and ran back to finish the race with him. I do believe he did meet his goal of 45 minutes. In January, I started training for a 10K. My dad started telling me if I was going to run 6.2 miles, he was going to walk it. I was so happy that my running had really rubbed off on him and he started to get physically active again.
Some of my favorite memories with my dad were running races, playing basketball on the driveway and kicking the soccer ball around in the backyard.
Playing with your kids not only creates memories, but it also benefits you and your children’s health.
This Father’s Day, instead of sitting around and letting dad watch T.V., get him outside. Organize a family or neighborhood game of kickball or basketball with all the dads.
Instead of eating at a restaurant, pack a picnic and after eating, kick a soccer ball around the park. There is nothing better than giving a gift that will benefit your dad’s health.
Dads are important people in many of our lives, so we must try to keep them healthy!