There are many memories that I have, now, of running with dad. Here is only one of them:
On my first Saint George Marathon, dad and I were up at the starting line, with seconds left to go before the gun. When the race started, I ran with dad down the grade of the first mile which will take you pretty quickly, if you let it. I ran alongside him and tried to keep up as throngs of people separated us. I ran up to catch him and took my place at his side, again. That’s when he told me something that I’ve never forgotten. “Run your own race, Nathan.” It was a little bit of a bummer, at first, because I took the gentle chide as a hint that he was planning on running by himself for this race. As the miles moved on into the double digits, I soon realized that I never would have been able to keep up with him through the race. He was just faster. But it was also a relief that he didn’t expect me to keep up.
As years have rolled on, I’ve remembered that counsel several times as I’ve made hard decisions. Many times in life, I ask myself how dad would react. In a lot of ways, I want to be like my dad. But, at the same time, his advice to run my own race transcends marathons. Being the children of our parents, we will naturally do many things and gravitate toward things that they do. However, sometimes it’s necessary to customize our life’s experiences and exploit our own talents and gifts. Our parents realize this and try to teach us those principles that will carry us through, while encouraging us to develop into individuals.
Dad is someone that we can be proud of. We should try to incorporate those things that he’s taught us, while, at the same time, running our own races.