Kids are the best.
They are so full of lessons and positive examples of the way us “grown ups” should operate it is truly amazing. All you have to do is take a moment to really watch the way they attack a new challenge, overcome obstacles, pick themselves up, dust themselves off and keep trying until they get to the finish line.
Whether that is trying to avoid getting knocked over by a small wave as it deposits them on their rear end, take the stairs by themselves when a hand is at the ready to help them or even trust that even though Dad might be trying to make me eat something I know I’m not going to like …. I’ll give it a shot anyway as he wouldn’t let me down would he?
It’s a delicate mixture of fear and bravery, wildness and wariness, attempt, failure and “stick-to-it-iveness”
As I spent time with Landry this week I paid a little extra attention.
I watched the way her eyes lit up when faced with an exciting adventure. Whether that meant meeting a 2,000 pound draft horse in downtown Charleston, holding tightly onto the spool of line on a kite flying higher than anything she has ever seen or running headlong towards the Atlantic Ocean and waves crashing onto the shore.
There were times when things did not go necessarily according to plan – the outcome did not match her expectations – but time and time again she did what kids do – at least what my kid does – and that is reevaluate, reload and attack once again.
This week my guaranteed entry to the Houston Marathon was approved. What will be our third real attempt at breaking the three hour mark in the marathon. In February 2010 the combination of us being slightly on the outside looking in of that potential, coupled with a hot, humid windy day on our Austin Course resulted in a best ever effort at the time, but not really close to 3 hours.
Later it was New York City where for 22 miles we went toe to toe with the marathon only to falter late as the cumulative effects of the bridges, crowds and a hilly course resulted in another Personal Best by more than 7 minutes, but still not quite the result we had hoped for.
Boston was next, but that flight never even got off the ground as 87 degree race temperatures turned that “race” into nothing more than a glorified 26.2 mile training run.
But here we stand once again after having gotten knocked on our ass quite frankly each time we have chased this goal since 2010. But like my daughter I am ready to pick myself up, dust myself off and get after it one more time.
They say that nothing ventured nothing gained – in this case I couldn’t agree more. There will be plenty of runners in Houston next January that reach the Mile 25 sign in 2 hours and 50 minutes with 9:59 to run the final 1.2 miles.
Most will make it, some will not – but in Landry’s Daddy’s case that is where it is all going to come together. If our plan for once goes the way we hope I will glance over at my good friend Brendon Cahoon who will have run stride for stride next to me for 25 miles. We will look at each other with a knowing gleam in our eyes and from there to the finish it will be every man for himself.
When he looks into my stare he is going to see the same thing I see when I look into Landry’s … the look of someone who knows that despite previous experience and all evidence to the contrary, this time is MY TIME.
That is going to be the greatest 1.2 miles I have ever run, and those 9 minutes and 59 seconds are ones I am going to remember forever.