Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Biggest Shoutout Ever

While I was on my 16 mile hill run today, it occurred to me- as it frequently does- that I wouldn't be the person or the athlete I am today without my Dad.

And this occurred to me because, in the course of 16 miles, he served as my 4 water stops: he couldn't ride with me because he was too tired, so instead, he drove to strategic points along my course with Gu2O and cold water for me. He also had my outdoor ice bath already filled when I got home.

He has:
1. never missed a single race, getting up at 3 am in order to drive
2. volunteered at races so I could race since I registered late
3. spent thousands of dollars on gear (including "his bike" that I race with), and gas and lodging for all of the far away races
4. spent countless hours on the phone with me discussing training plans
5. encouraged me to take longer getting my Master's so I could race as much as possible
6. urged me to sign up for IM KY even though he'll be driving me there and back
7. is already making Kona plans for next year
8. reads up on everything triathlon and bike related so he can offer advice
9. serves as a bike mechanic and helper and team dad for the entire Rutgers team
10. coaches and helps me train in every way possible, whether it's biking with me, meeting me with water, biking while I run so I have a moving water station, sneaking into the reservoir after hours to swim with me, or paddling on a surfboard while I swim.
11. is my coach, my mentor, my inspiration, and my best friend

So, to say thank you to him, I bring you my Dad and I over the years in picture form:
This is my dad, circa 1987, participating in the Milford Biathlon. I was just recently born, and this was one of his last races.

Here I am, on Uncle Steve's back, watching the action and loving it!
Then here I am, the same year, heading out on my first ride! How awesome do I look? Apparently, it was one of the easiest ways to put me to sleep.

As anyone can see, I was clearly a total Daddy's Girl: I'm wearing his hunting gear and waiting to be old enough to go to West Va for "huntin' camp" in November. That's right, this vegetarian hunted until she was 15!

My second birthday and what do I get? A cycling outfit, complete with bike shorts and jersey with yellow stripes. I sorta wish I still had it...

I had training wheels for all of two minutes before I demanded they were taken off! This is me when I'm 5 showing my sister how to ride a bike (before her training wheels went on and stayed on for 3 years!)

OK, so we didn't exactly go out for a century ride or anything, but how cute is this?

And now...

Last year at a 5k- my second race ever, and the first time in my life I had ever gotten a trophy. I was so pysched! Dad raced it too, and while he was pissed at his time, we were all proud of him!

And this is last year at the race I'm doing again next weekend... the race that started it all. Skylands Triathlon was the race that Dad did back in his day, so me and that course have a lot of history. This year, I have every intention of bringing home a trophy for him. Dad has given up a lot for me and really been the driving force behind my crazy desire to be a triathlete.

So yeah. Thanks Dad!

(And for all you moms out there, don't worry, a post about how much my mom rules is forthcoming. Without her support, I'd be totally screwed!)


Anonymous said...

Molly - All of us at Skylands will be wishing you well next week. Have fun, and thanks for doing our race.

Missy said...

That rocks, makes me a little weepy! My dad rocks too - what they don't do for their little girls, I swear. They'll get up any time of day or nite to help ya, it's just a fact. Love the pictures.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Thats soooo cool to have a dad like that.