The first year I raced my daughter was in 1989.
Ringwood manor in Northern New Jersey.
We were there for a family outing, and the long south lawn had “race” written all over it.
She was nine.
I was thirty-one.
Lots of laughter as we crossed the finish line.
I kicked her butt. 🙂
As her thirty first birthday approached, I asked if she was game for a rematch?
“Yes!” she told me.
Thought it was an excellent idea. 🙂
I had no idea how this race would pan out but I thought, what a great way to make a memory with one of my kids.. (Can’t imagine for the life of me, racing my dad like that.)
I’m a blessed man to be able to have the kind of relationship I do with each of my kids. The ultimate goal of parenting as I understood it, was to work myself out of a job….go from authority figure, to peer.
Several months leading up to our rematch, my daughter was going to the gym, going on long bike rides, eating healthy. She was focused and excited about how great she felt, and I felt in some small way, I was a part of it.
One day over coffee, my mom, quietly suggested I let her win, if it looked like I might beat her.
“No way!” I said. 🙂
“It is a real race, and if she doesn’t win this time, there is always next year.”
Just after our rematch in 2011
Afterwards, she confided in me, there was a part of her, that was glad I won, because if I hadn’t, it meant her dad was getting older. Plus there was always the chance I might keel over from a heart attack or stroke, and she didn’t want that on her conscience. 🙂
Well, this past Saturday morning, we had another rematch.
If you’re doing the math, you know I am now 58, and she is 36. At some point, she is going to win. That’s just how it works.
(The last time we raced, I think she would have won, if it had been a longer distance. I’m fine in a short sprint, but a long distance…don’t feel quite so confident 🙂
We settled on a mile this year. Four times around the track.
This year, I asked if we could walk it, so we did.
Thought it was a great way to transition into yet another season of our relationship…
The papa (that’s me) is starting to not be able to do all the things he used to be able to do…and that’s fine by me.