My father was my best friend and hero in so many ways. When I was 6 years old, he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. I remember him coming home from work with a suitcase in hand. He would change his clothes and go out for a run. I would usually race around the block with him towards the end of his run and he would always let me win!
As I got older, he would take me to neighborhood fun runs. We always had so much fun together. One of my favorite races was the Father’s Day run in New York City (NYC). Whether it was running or life, he always made me feel that I was good enough and when I was sad he wouldn’t allow it. He taught me that in life, there was no time for regrets.
As I continued to run, his health began to decline. His last marathon was in 1990 when I was 10 years old. He ran the Marine Corp Marathon and ended up in the hospital. I don’t remember much of the details, but I do remember hearing the story. I now realize that his running career was ending as mine was just beginning.
I ran in high school for Teaneck High School and he would always pick me up from track practice. Eventually, I would drive him to his hospital visits once I got my license.