So where do I get it, that athletic ability and competitive spirit that I draw on to do all these crazy things I do?
It may help to understand where it comes from by hearing a little bit of the interchange around my parent’s results in this past weekend’s Race For The Cure 5k. My Mom does this race most years and has been running pretty consistently for decades and often wins her age group. Why does she think she can? Because she’s pretty darned good at it, wants to win and, well, she often does win. It’s pretty simple.
My Dad hasn’t run in decades, but he’s retired now, so he’s started back as one of those projects. My Dad timed himself on his training runs, saw some improvement and is motivated by these incremental gains. He checked out other race results for his age group and saw that the men’s field is pretty competitive, even for the geezer category, so decided that winning his age group wasn’t in the cards. Yet. His goal was to break 30 minutes. He’s the analyzer.
The good news is that they both achieved their goals. My mother won her age group yet again, and my Dad ran a 29:0x chip time. I asked my Mom how it feels to be the family champion and outrun her husband by 2 minutes. Her response? ”Like an old lady because I get slower each year, I think. I guess I have to work out more to be faster. Maybe when I retire I can do that.” Ooooh…snap. Yeah, sigh… I kinda suck but I won somehow. And beat my husband, who used to be quite an athlete in his younger years. And who’s retired, which I’m not, and has more time to work out. Friends, this is what we call advanced trash talk. Hilarious.
So I forward this info to my brother Derek who doesn’t really like to run much but did a 5k once out of influence from a girl he was dating at the time. His comment? “Fortunately, at least Dad was slower than my 5k running time. I guess that’s what happens when you walk in a running race.” Of course, Derek’s one of those talented, semi-motivated athletes. He can outswim me whenever he wants to, but he has to really want to, which he did a year ago at an open water swim. It was a BIG DEAL, having younger brother beat big sis, the “athlete” of the family. Believe me, I tried my hardest that day. He just outswam me plain and simple.
So perhaps a little bit of competitive spirit runs in the Parr family, don’t ya think? And a little bit of talent, energy, and drive. I love my family.