With February 14th coming up I felt that love was a good subject for a blog post. Not to worry, I'm not talking about roses and cupids and heart-shaped chocolate boxes and all that other commercial crap that we are subject to at this time of year. Bah humbug!
Instead, in the spirit of heart day, I thought I would honor some people very close to my heart that I do not mention very often. The content of my blog typically contains random ramblings as I try to balance my obsession/passion with triathlon with a full time career and the rest of "real" life. The single biggest influence on my "real life"? My family of course.
I am very fortunate to have grown up up with a family who are unconditionally supportive of me. Even when I failed at something, my mom or dad would hug me and tell me “I love you, kid”. The unconditional support they provided gave me the strength to pick myself up, dust myself off and gave me the will succeed the next time. Or the next time. And when what I was up to just was not meant to be....that was ok too.
My parents accepted that I hated piano lessons. They forgave me for bringing home every stray cat in the neighbourhood. They suffered through my teenage-angst filled Depeche Mode years, and they fully well expected that I would crash my first car. Which, of course, I did. They even lovingly rolled their eyes when I told them I was signing up for something called Ironman ("....but you hate swimming!").
I called my mom in October to tell her that I had just run a 1:25 half-marathon, to which she replied, "is that good"?
They don't care if I run a 5 hour marathon or a 3 hour one. If it makes me happy, then it makes them happy.
I know that regardless of whether I am ultimately successful at something or if I flounder while I figure it out, that my family will love me. They don't say "I told you so". Instead, they say "next time it will work out better." Yet, that knowledge doesn't make me complacent. It makes me more driven.
I have always recognized that the support of my family was a positive influence in my life, but until recently did not realize exactly how much power "I love you, kid" really has had. I read an article recently on why parents should say I love you to their children. You might snark that this is pretty obvious stuff....and it is....but it is also incredibly powerful.
So, to my mom, dad and sister....thank you for the unconditional love you have shown me. It has made me more courageous, more driven and a better person than I could have ever been without. I love you!