This is that article that I wrote for The Spectrum last Friday. I wanted to do one to honor my dad, being that Father’s Day is coming up. For those of you who were unable to access it through the link, I thought I would post it here. Also, I had some pictures that I wanted to post, that they couldn’t print in the paper. So, here it is. I hope you enjoy it…
As Father’s Day approaches, I would like to pay tribute to my first ever running partner; my dad. Many a movie has depicted a little girl standing on her daddy’s feet as he holds her hands while they dance.
This is an endearing picture of the love and tenderness that countless fathers show for their daughters. When I picture my “little girl feet” and those of my father’s, they are not on top of his, dancing to classical music. Rather, our feet are side-by-side, running to the sounds of nature and of life’s contemplations.
One of my earliest memories is of my dad running the St. George Marathon in 1987. It was his first marathon. I remember eating my first ever pomegranate, and looking up to see my older brother finishing the last stretch with him. I didn’t realize at the time, what an amazing accomplishment this was, but I do remember knowing – even at the tender age of five – that I wanted to do what he did.
I remember the day when I was old enough to go for a “real” run with him. It was on a parkway that ran through the Highland Canal in Aurora, Colo. I remember three very distinct sounds. One was the sound of the water running on either side of us. Another was that of my Chuck Taylor knock-offs, slapping on the pavement. Most importantly, I remember the patient, encouraging voice of my dad. Not once did he tell me to hurry up, or act frustrated when I needed to stop and walk. His kind, tender voice and reassuring words helped me to finish that first run, and many, many more to come.
As I got older and entered the world of competitive running, that was the one constant: the encouraging voice of my dad. When other dads were sitting in the stands, cheering on their kids from afar, with camcorders in hand, mine was strategically placed at the last 200-meter mark of the 800 meter run. This was my most difficult part of the race, and having him there, calmly cheering me on, gave me that extra boost to finish strong.
This past year, as I turned the corner for the home stretch of the St. George Marathon, there he stood, cheering me on to my sub three-hour goal. He may not have been numbered among those cheering at the finish line, and I may not have recorded video of me running, but he was always there standing where I needed him the most. This, I will never forget.
Some may read this and assume that I am an only child. I am one of 10. He has a way of making us all feel special, especially his daughters. One of my last memories of my older sister, who has since passed, is of all three of us girls running with him; all of us running to the sounds of nature, life’s contemplations, and of dad’s tender voice.
As a tribute to Dad, Rebel Sports (my employer in college) is offering 20% on shoes for dad, if you mention the Spectrum article, or my name (Arianne). They are located at
490 W St. George Blvd #3
St. George, UT 84770.
Offer ends 6/16/12. For Southern Utah readers only…I will try to have give-aways in the future for all :)…