Today’s 5K was a special one. I walked my 5K with my giant ginger son Walker, which in spite of how it sounds, isn’t redundant at all. He was home and I asked him to spend 45 minutes with me while I walked. He’d already worked out today. Melissa had already gotten her last January 5K in the book, so it was my turn and I didn’t necessarily want to face it alone. OK, so that’s not really the reason why I asked him to go with me. I wanted to spend a few minutes just talking to him about life, the universe, and everything.
He and I walked what is now my semi-regular trail. It’s kind of a decreasing circle. The first two miles is a long stretch around the neighborhood, with the last “leg” being just over one-half mile ending near the house. He was impressed that I had it timed so well that we finished no more than 50 yards from the front door.
I needed some time with him. You see, he turns 21 next week and this was my last chance to speak to him in a father to son, parent to child sort of way. Yes, I realize the wrongness of what I just wrote, but at 21, he’s a fully-grown adult. He will have transitioned from minor to adulthood. I also know that chronological age has little to do with mental age, but it’s more of a rite of passage than anything else.
I plan to have a couple of beers with him and talk future stuff. I told him that, “I’d buy.” I told him that the happiest day of my life would be the day that one of my kids bought me beers somewhere. We laughed at the humor in that statement. He quipped with, “I thought the happiest day might be when I drive up in a pink Corvette and toss you the keys.” I said, “Yes, that would be a close second to the beer thing.” Another laugh followed.
Our 5K stretched into an hour because our pace varied with the topic at hand. We pondered his future. I offered my help. I doubt he’ll need it or take it, but I offered nonetheless.
I think he might be a little proud of me for taking on my 5K a Day Challenge. I get no medal at the end of it. I get no applause for it. Heck, I might not lose weight by doing it. But it’s as I described to him, a challenge. I formulated the challenge, I accepted the challenge, and I committed to the challenge. As you know from reading, I don’t necessarily feel ‘it’ every day. Some days I don’t really want to do it at all. I told him that too. “I made a committment and I’m sticking to it,” I told him. That’s the difference between success and failure. Making a committment and sticking to it and seeing it through is success. I hope he understood. I’m not famous for subtlety.
It’s easy to quit something. You’re off the hook and aside from any feelings of guilt that might plague you, you’re done. You never have to face the challenge again. No more stretching. No more soreness. No more shin splints. And no more looking forward to that looming 3.1 miles that faces you every day.
How many times, as a parent, did you say, “If you don’t stop that, I’ll turn this car around and just go home.”? You see? It’s easier to quit and go home when things get difficult. No one ever says, “If you don’t stop that, I’m going to keep driving until we fall off the edge of the earth.” That would be going too far, both literally and figuratively. No one does that. We teach our kids with those kinds of statements that quitting is easier. I’ve always tried to tell ours that quitting is not an option. Only time will tell if I’ve gotten through. If I complete an entire year of 5K walks, then maybe I’ll have a better leg to stand on, both figuratively and literally.