Bundled up in my Goodwill Outlet Columbia rain coat, I was ready.
My Iphone was securely tucked into my arm band, the headphones run down my sleeve and at the ready to be popped into my ears.
I gingerly climbed out of my car after waiting more than an hour for the monsoon-like conditions to subside.
All for a charity run.
I have never wanted a race to happen as much as I did Saturday morning. The proceeds were going to the Indiana Parkinson’s Foundation, a cause close to my heart.
My father has lived with this debilitating disease for more than a decade. He goes to Chicago twice a year for check-ups, but has to be driven by a former co-worker or friend from church because he is no longer to make the trek behind the wheel.
There was a time not too long ago when my father relished the challenge of big city traffic. In 1996, he and my mother drove me to the Rosemont Horizon (now known as AllState Arena) to see The Cure. I was very shy and socially inept at the time, so I had no one to go with. My Dad weaved through five lanes of traffic on I-294 with ease. While in college, he got the automatic toll lanes down to a science.
Now, my Dad’s driving is limited to local spots, like church or the bookstore or the grocery.
Hence, a big need for me to do this specific 10K Saturday.
Then, the lightning came.
Lots of it, along with pounding wind.
The race was called, leaving me disappointed. I felt like I’d let my Dad down. I called him and explained the situation. He was understanding and agreed it was not wise to run 6.25 miles in a driving rain storm.
A day later, the sun shone again. So, I decided to do the run anyway. I’d run a 10K (for fun) before. So, why not try to set a personal record?
I did. I set a personal record for time. I did so with my Dad on my mind–I felt like I owed it to him (and anyone else battling Parkinson’s) to run.
If I cannot have the achievements I hope for in the professional realm, at least I can do something meaningful and healthy outside of work.