Monday, July 4, 2016

Let Freedom Ring

The 9/11 terrorist attacks, which took place almost 15 years ago, left an indelible mark on my life, and had a direct effect on the person I have become. Before 9/11, my wife and I weren't sure if we ever wanted to have kids, as we seemed perfectly happy living life by ourselves; but the attacks made us rethink some of our priorities, especially the importance of family. It was in the weeks that followed that terrible day, that we decided it was time to start our own family.

What I did today would not have been the same without that rethinking of priorities -- I ran Molalla's Freedom 5K run with my 13-year-old son. This was our first time running an actual race together, and it was one of my most satisfying moments as a father, even if he did smoke me in the last quarter mile. I hope that he is able to use his natural running gifts and talents in the years to come; whether it's on some kind of track team, or just running to stay in shape.

Running on Independence Day seems appropriate to me, as it is one activity where I truly feel free when I am out doing it. There aren't many experiences that can give you the same sense of "freedom".

This race was especially fun because it took place right before Molalla's big parade, so the streets were lined with lots of friends shouting out words of encouragement along the way. Here's an action shot from one of our friends:

My son's performance was better than two minutes under the pace we trained at, and the race-day adrenaline seemed to really give him a boost. We were together right up until the end, when he wanted to kick it into another gear and finish strong -- he finished 23 seconds ahead of me. We hope to make it an annual tradition, but next year I'm going to try and beat him! ;-) But realistically, unless they turn it into half marathon race, I really don't think I stand a chance against his young legs.

To top it all off, my wife and daughter got up extra early and helped with registration before the raced started; and then we all watched the parade together as a family after the race. This sounds like a great family tradition to me.

Happy Independence Day from The Glutton Free Diet! I hope you got to celebrate your freedom in a way that was meaningful for you.