In lieu of a cake with 16 candles, I celebrated my sweet 16 hiking to the top of
|Kendra and her dad atop Yosemite's Half Dome for her 16th birthday|
For 31 years, my father and I have built our relationship on adventures—making first tracks down freshly powdered slopes, longboarding in the glassiest of surf, serving up aces on our local tennis courts, and pounding the pavement through the streets of
. San Diego
So, when my father was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called multiple myeloma in 2003, I planned our next adventure with a greater sense of urgency.
My father’s 2:32 marathon best is a testament to his belief in the impossible. Self-coached, new to the sport in his mid-twenties, and without the benefits of modern endurance sport science, he hit awe-inspiring times with a diet of dedication and sweat. In the early 80s, however, he traded in his long, lonely training runs for skiing, surfing, tennis, and jogging with his little girls.
At the time of his diagnosis, it had been almost 25 years since his last marathon. I, then in my 25th year of life, had never run one. Although we had thrown around the idea of running a marathon together, it took this diagnosis to galvanize us into action.
Impossible though it seems, we trained, raced, and qualified for
|Kendra and her dad running her first marathon together|
While my dad won’t lace up his shoes next to mine in our next great adventure, he will again be right by my side. every. step. of. the. way. I will hear him in every conversation I have with myself when my body tells me I can’t, but my dad knows that I can.
Read more about my story and join my team: http://www.active.com/donate/mmrfIronman/Poppy