Some Things Never Change
I get very nostalgic each time I go back home. Wichita, Kansas itself is a town built on nostalgia. In a lot of ways, my hometown remains just as I remember when I left 8 years ago. Same roads, same favorite restaurants, same movie theatres, same routine. My parents also seem to be caught in this time loop. Their routine hasn't changed in the last 30 years of my existence. One thing though that has inspired me is how dedicated they are to staying active. Every single evening, I'm talking about EVERY SINGLE NIGHT..my parents would run or walk for at least an hour. They would go travel around the entire neighborhood, covering 4-5 miles in the process after every dinner. Didn't matter if family was in town, or if it was a holiday. If it was too cold, or raining outside, my parents would take turns walking a mile on the treadmill while watching American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance.
Both my parents have raced in the past. In fact, both my mom and dad have completed marathons. Of the two, I could only find pictures of my dad during his racing days. I fondly remember awaiting his arrival at the finishing line for one of his marathons. That race finished at Lawrence Dumount Stadium, an old semi-pro baseball field in downtown Wichita. I remember following my dad and running around the bases with him as he finished the last 100 meters of what would be his last marathon. During that race, he had knee problems that kept him from running his normal stride. But did my dad give up? NOPE! Instead, he found that skipping was possible without too much pain and so he skipped the remaining several miles to the finish line. Incredible.
I admire my parents for so many reasons. When I think about what I've learned from them I can point to two things: Consistency and Perseverance. Sometimes people ask me how I'm able to run marathons and complete Ultrabeasts. Aside from all the specific training plans and workouts, the key in my opinion is being consistent. This applies to consistently executing your training, eating right, getting rest, and sticking to a game plan for race day. Of course there are times when one or all of these things get sidetracked. I'm no professional athlete, life often gets in the way of my preparations for these races. Therefore, practicing perservance and overcoming obstacles that get in your way is just as important to accomplishing any goal period.
My dad has ran 6 marathons and other countless races. Most of these races happened while raising me and my brother. I remember waking up during a few saturdays wondering where my dad was at. He would always come back slightly out of breath with such a runner's high that was contagious. I would ask him where he went and how far he ran and would be amazed at his response. I couldn't imagine running to the end of the neighborhood let alone to the edge of the city! Even on weekdays, I remember both my parents waking up super early during summertime to get their miles in before it got too hot. To this day, my parents put in work. Friends still living in Wichita recognize my parents as "that couple that walks all the time".
During this most recent trip, it seems that my hometown could be on the verge of significant change. The highway is getting longer, new restaurants are popping up, and downtown is building a number of new urban apartments and lofts. Wichita, once known as the biggest small town in America's heartland, appears to be evolving into something new. I'm not sure how some of the locals feel about these changes, but I'm excited to see my hometown try to be something more. At the same time, I'm happy to see that when it comes to two of the most important people in my life...some things never change, and that's just fine with me.