Your body may give out but don’t ever give up!

Posted: January 28, 2013 by Keith Townsend in Lessons from dad
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I was running outside in Chicago in 20 degree weather and it reminded me of my dad. Just after a few minutes there was nothing more I wanted to do but stop, go in the house and warm up. But, all I could see in my mind was my dad saying, “Son, your body may give out on you, but don’t ever give up!” I ran for about an hour and a half and had gone better than 7 1/2 miles. My dad passed away about 3 years ago but I remember these words as if they were spoken just yesterday.

My dad was as physically tough as they get. He was an alley mechanic by trade, not only was he the strongest man I knew he was the toughest one as well. He would have me, my older brother and my younger brothers (when they were old enough) come out to the alley and help him work on cars. The problem was that Chicago get’s cold. If you’ve never experienced 20 degree whether with a wind chill then you don’t know what it’s like to work in the cold. Then try using metal tools to twist bolts in that weather. I hated everything about it. My hands would sting, my toes would go numb and my face would hurt.

He would routinely scold me about being too soft using this phrase. After about 20 minutes of helping him, I’d wanted to stop go in the house warm up to some hot tea and food. I really didn’t understand that the hard work that my dad was trying to get me to do provided the hot tea and warm home. I just wanted the comfort.

I pursued a career in technology so that I would never have to do what my dad did to provide food and shelter for my family. But the impact was made and I can’t do anything to change it. My wife often complains that I put myself in unneeded physical strain. I’m sure if you asked my sister-in-laws and my soon to be sister in-laws they’d say my brothers are the same. In order to fight off diabetes and continue to provide for my family I have to run. Diabetes doesn’t care if it’s 20 degrees outside or if I had a hard day at work. It doesn’t care that my feet hurt, or that I have some deadline at work. It wants very much to kill me and stop me from providing for my family. I understand my dad now.

I guess I wish down deep I was as tough as the old man.

I run to make my dad proud!

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