Fathers Day

Self Portrait on the Donner Lake Rim Trail

Self Portrait on the Donner Lake Rim Trail

Some might call these types of runs pointless miles. Yesterday’s run left me feeling a little depleted and with Dylan napping and the cabin quiet on Sunday afternoon, I stepped out for what is becoming one of my favorite loops: 11.4 miles of some high altitude running between 6,000′ and 8,000′ feet. If we lived this close to the trail, I would probably find an excuse to run this loop just about every day when the route isn’t buried in snow. I enjoy running along the ridges and in the shadows of snowy peaks, hearing the wind howling through the pine trees and smelling the pine needles and warm dust. There is everything to enjoy about those 90 minutes. But at an 8 minute per mile pace and no goal other than just to enjoy the run, these are often referred to as garbage miles: a run with no specific training purpose. These can be my favorite runs. 

Today is Father’s Day. And don’t kid yourself, without the mothers, we would have no Father’s Day. Nicole does the day-to-day heavy lifting with Dylan for which I am enormously grateful. Yet, seriously, how do you describe the joys of fatherhood? It’s probably like trying to describe the taste of peaches (assuming you like peaches as much as I do) to someone who has never tasted them. You just can’t do it. I can’t tell you about it. I can’t even really show you. In the end, you just have to experience it, taste it for yourself and then you realize, “Oh, this is what they meant!” 

On vacation, a young couple came up to us one day during lunch on the ship and asked how it was traveling with Dylan. They loved to travel but are afraid kids would mean the end of their traveling lifestyle. Nicole and I looked at each other, knowingly agreeing that Dylan is one of the best things that has happened to us, and said, “You just do it. It’s different than before but even better.” Being a dad doesn’t limit your experiences, it only adds to them. 

Fathers Day in Truckee

Fathers Day in Truckee

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4 thoughts on “Fathers Day

  1. I know what you’re talking about! I’ve tasted a peach, I’ve heard the howling in the pine trees and smells the warm pine needles, and I’m enormously grately to Robin who does the real day-to-day work. Although I needed to eat peaches more, run on those high trails MORE, and praise Robin more. And you’re right about traveling with the kids.. you just do it, and it’s different, and it’s better 🙂
    Love reading your stories and seeing the pics.

  2. This comment is probably completely different then the others.
    Michael, you are my Son in Law. I really appreciate your incomparable relationship to our entire family, your feelings and your ability to describe any emotion, Fathers Day included… Right now, I have my eyes full of tears, because I realize I haven’t experience to express such kind of emotions as you do, and neither a knowledge. You have a great, different approach to the responsibility to your child, which I had very insufficient one in long past…
    You are really a person with great qualities and
    GREAT FATHER. I love you and thank you. Richard

  3. Thanks for the kind comments. Troy, I’d take some company on the trails any Saturday or Sunday. Bob, my trail companion, has yet to make the move over to Auburn from Santa Rosa. Also, you and Robin are good examples of keeping active and traveling as a family unit.

    Richard, do you remember last Fathers Day? We were somewhere riding through New Mexico in the middle of the night. You and Dave were driving behind me on that long dark stretch to the next TS. It was late in the night and we had stopped on the side of the road for a minute and realized it was suddenly Fathers Day. Here were you and Dave, more than a thousand miles from home, driving some lonely stretch of road after a long day and getting me to who knows where. And there were you and Dave (and the Jody, Valerie, Bernadette, Nicole and Dylan) with me mile after mile, hour after hour. Yesterday, I didn’t forget our time out there and all the sacrifices you and everybody made for me. That time in New Mexico specifically came to mind. You’ve been there for me time and again. Thank you.

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