The Running Father

I stumbled across a four year old post today and read my words again. I stumbled across a four year old post today and read words that reminded me that some challenges never go away.

‘On the subject of dreams there is always the question of how to fulfill those. What do you do to turn fantasy into reality. How do you bring the image in your head to life. Are you someone who is more content to dream or are you resourceful enough to turn fiction to fact.”

For a moment I stared at the page and wondered how it is that I am still stuck in this place. Three weeks ago I wrote about Dreams I Have Never Had and described what it felt like to dream

“Sometimes I dream about things that never were and places that I have never been. These dreams I have are bold and bright filled with beauty, mystery and sometimes fear. Sometimes I see the echoes of a future I hope to have and fragments of a past that was. There are dreams that I can’t quite describe but I can’t tell you why that is.

Maybe it is because trying to remember a dream is bit like trying to hold water in the palm of your hand. If you squeeze too hard it quickly pours out all the nooks and crannies and all you are left holding are a few lonely drops. But even if you hold absolutely still you still find that in a short time most of it will still have found a way to escape. Drips and drabs slide down the sides and between your fingers.”

I look at the words and I remember. Remember what it was like to be able to run with reckless abandon. Remember what it was like to run not for the sake of exercise and an endorphin rush but because children run. They run because they can and because little bodies have an enormous appetite for learning and a hunger to grow.

Little bodies have minds that aren’t constrained by reality. They don’t say that things are impossible because they don’t know what it means. And as I stare at the words and remember I think again about what Thomas Edison said  “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” A broad smile graces my face and I realize that I am not really stuck where I was, progress has been made.

“There is something to be said for having a road map that you can follow to see that your dreams are fulfilled but there is also something to be said for enjoying the journey. Be of good cheer. Be strong. Be patient. Be tenacious and never forget that luck may be an occasional substitute for talent but there is no substitute for hard work.”

Today my dreams have a shape and a definition that didn’t exist back then. Four years later I am a different man. I have spent more than a few moments dancing in a ring of fire. Moments where I closed my eyes, grunted and screamed in frustration because there have been hard times. There have been situations which have tested my resolve.

I have wondered if I was being punished and questioned myself. I have closed myself off and looked inwards for answers and every time I have been at the edge I have found a way back. Every time I felt like I was going to be consumed by darkness I found a ray of light- sunshine that lit my way back.

I suppose that sounds a bit melodramatic and maybe it is but I don’t care. The point and purpose of going through these moments in time is to grow or at least that is how I see it. The experiences I have had and the people I have met have helped me reach this place.

Now I am not going to say that I am thankful for all of it. Nor will I say that I am grateful for having undergone it all because I am not. Because I have spent more than a few minutes wandering through hell. I have lost hair and sleep over some of this. I have been through a mental and emotional ass kicking and I am not convinced that it was necessary.

But that was then and this is now. And now I find myself in a different place with thoughts, ideas and a goal. Now I find myself running on a soccer field with a host of children next to me. I challenge them all to a race. The six-year-old girls complain that it isn’t fair so I give them a sizable head start and I still beat them.

Later on I’ll take on the ten year-old boys, I still win but this time is different. For years I have been aware that one day I won’t be faster than my son and his friends. Part of me can’t wait to see how excited he’ll be when he can finally beat me. That will be true joy and part of me is sad. Sad because I wish that I could run forever with him. Sad because there is such a limited window of time for us to compete and play together like that.

Sad because I am competitive and it is hard to imagine that I can’t run like this forever but happy because I have rediscovered the joy of running like a child. Don’t think that I ever really lost it, I just forgot about it for a while.

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