Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A little disappointment but a BIG success

This Thanksgiving I was going to have the best blog post. My dad and I were going to run Sacramento's Run to Feed the Hungry 5K together and I was going to tell the world how proud I am of him.

I've been waiting to do the race with my dad since this summer. He was ready to go--still is--and I'm a giant pile of injuries and tooth infection. There's no way I'm running the race; in fact I can't run for another three months or so. I'm not bummed for me, but I'm bummed that I won't get to do share this with him.

Let me tell you about my dad. I've never thought of him as overweight. Not at all. He's just always been Dad to me. We have our secret hand signals and our conversations about history; I know that anytime I get him on the phone I will either catch him in one of his wordless moments or he'll be chatty and we can talk all night. But I didn't really give so much thought to his health.

Me and Dad, last Thanksgiving.
But Dad had a wakeup call at the end of last February that landed him in the hospital. It was over quickly, but it was scary, and when his doctor told him that he needed to change his habits and lose some weight, he listened. He joined a gym immediately, and started eating differently. He didn't look back. I've never seen someone attack their health with such commitment and dedication. He was constantly turning down sweets and high-fat foods at family parties--I know that is when it's hardest, when people gather and celebrate with food. He went to the gym rain or shine. He made hard choices all the time.

Not only did he started going to the gym, he started running. RUNNING. I never thought I'd hear my dad say he ran, but he would get on the treadmill and run/walk multiple times a week. Pretty soon the amount of time he could run outlasted the time he would walk. He'd tell me about his pace per mile this summer when we were walking, and I'd realize he was keeping pace with what I'd been doing on my own.

So like I said, as I was training for Urban Cow and he was training for health, I thought about how awesome it would be to run a race with him. He was worried that he'd slow me down, but I could care less about the time--I just started to think about what it would mean to me to do that with him. He's never run outside--always on the treadmill--so there would be the added benefit of being with him when he sees what an experience it is to run a race. We agreed to do it together. But I guess this year, this race, isn't meant to be. I'm okay with it, and I know there will be another but I'm just a little sad about missing this one.

What's more important than races is that my dad has done an amazing job. Since that February day in the hospital, he's lost 55 pounds. He's done it all the right way--eating well and exercising--and he's completely changed his way of life and the way he looks. It makes me so proud to see him, but also to hear how much it has changed the quality of his life to be so much more healthy. He and my mom have made major strides toward health this year. He's an inspiration. At his last visit to the doctor, she actually told him he can stop losing weight. Amazing.

My dad last fall and this Halloween

I'm so proud of you, Dad! I'm sorry I had to bail on the race. I can't wait until I'm better and we can do another one together.

Oh, Lord. Being goofy with my mom a few weeks ago.
photo by Beau Hause

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. So inspiring! I love it.. I wish I had the inspiration to do that with my mom. Unfortunately (or fortunately) she hasn't had a wake-up call from the doctor.. just the generalized "you need to lose weight" but no serious health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart problems to wake her up... Praying that she does before she gets the "wake up call" :/

    Your dad looks awesome! I'll be there walking if you plan on even doing that in the morning.. let me know!

  2. I'm so sorry you had to miss the race, but it is fantastic that you can do another with your dad. It is amazing to see the changes he has made! Congratulations to him on taking control of his health!