When I was a kid growing up in Nashville, I started running with my dad. That’s me between my father and my older brother just before a race in 1978.
Fast forward to today, and I’m the dad running with my son. My 12-year-old son, Sho, asked me to run with him in his first half marathon, the Paine to Pain trail run in New Rochelle, NY. We stayed side-by-side for the entire 13.1 miles, and he listened patiently to my advice on running form, breathing, pacing, etc.
The most unexpected part of the race came when we were stung by hornets! We picked up our pace through that section and jumped every time we felt the slightest tickle on our skin. Sho had to walk for parts of the second half, and I worried that he might get discouraged. But he kept a positive attitude despite the discomfort. As we were chugging up a steep hill near the end, he turned to me and said, “I’m so glad we decided to do this race!” It’s a memory I hope he keeps for a long time. Perhaps 30 years from now, he’ll run side by side with his own kid, telling him stories of the adventures he shared with his dad long ago.