How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Today’s Run

Time – 1:10:07
Distance – 7.4 miles
Pace – 9:26 min/mi
Elevation – 166 ft.

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What’s “legacy,” Dad?

Went out to do 7 miles and get in some distance. I want to keep adding to the weekly totals. If I get my 14 on Sunday, I’ll be at 37 miles for the week. The goal is to build to 45–50 before the end of the year, although Baby Girl may slow that down a bit. Good run, felt fresh after the recovery yesterday. The run was a little quicker than I anticipated, but I’m okay with the fact that I can do an 9:15, 8:54, 9:12 for miles 4, 5, and 6. Not setting any records, but I can run and enjoy it.

Having kids makes you think about “legacy”

It’s true. When you have kids, suddenly, there’s a part of you that will continue on after you are dead and gone. There’s a part of your personality, which, despise the “Born This Way” mentality we have as a culture, is instilled into your children. They pick up parts of you, both genetically and practically, and they become your true heirs.

It’s Adoption Month, and, as an adoptive father (I’ve done so for the Teenager, he’s my wife’s biological son), I can tell you that all of the above still holds true, except the genetically part, of course. Kids will take on their parents’ nuances, their quirks, and, sometimes, their faults. But, at the same time, parents can pass on their hopes, dreams, aspirations, and successes.

The Teenager has talked about wanting to go into technology. His mother is a retail management guru (when she’s not a homeschooling guru!). His grandparents work in the church. The biological donor from the other side does Who-Knows-What. I’m guessing this is my influence.

At the same time, he’s found himself. He likes Pokemon, the Trading Card Game. It’s his hobby, his obsession, and his success. He’s good at it, and continues to improve. And, frankly, if there are people out there who are “Pros” at e-Sports, my kid’s “sport” can be Pokemon. Fair is fair. And don’t get me started on the Legos…

Little Buddy is the spitting image of me. He’s got my build, got my looks, got my craziness. There’s nothing more entertaining than taking a tubby little 4-year-old out for a “run” to the end of the street and back so that he can go out with Daddy. Makes my heart melt. But, he’s his own person as well. He has autism (like his brother) and a version of ADHD. He’s into trains and drawing and puzzles. He hasn’t fully figured out how to all of his words yet, but he’s got a lot to say when they do come tumbling out.

The things I teach these two now, and Baby Girl when she gets here in the next month or so, will be the things about me that exist after I pass. Their love for the outdoors (something I didn’t enjoy as a kid, despite my parents’ best efforts), their desire to travel, and their willingness to help each other and the world at large are the things I push for the most. I want them to be “good people,” no matter their hobbies or interesting characteristics. That’s not to say that I’m a “good person” also, but I want them to want to try, as I do.

I fail at being helpful or kind or polite a lot of the time, as we all do. Life gets in the way, we get stressed, and things don’t go our way. I still hope to make the effort to do the right thing in the moment. And I know that I’m a model for my kids. My efforts are what they see, not my words.

This is why I run. They see me go out the door. I tell them that it’s so I can be healthy and happy and live with them as long as possible. I want them to know that the things that interest them can be important, too, if they put in the effort to do them. My running is an example of following a dream, and I want them to follow their own.

I want my kids to live out a legacy of “doing.” It’s just one more reason that I run.

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