On my way home from work today I was thinking that this would be a great day to get in a second workout. The Indiana Spartan Sprint is quickly approaching and the Ultra Beast looms in the not too distant future, so any extra work that I can get in the better off I will be (at least mentally). I was trying to decide what would get top billing: log carries up and down my hills or plain and simple hill sprints. That thought process was exterminated when I talked on the phone to my wife. Plans came to a crashing halt when she informed me that she was going to the PTO meeting at my daughter’s school. If you’re thinking “Why was Jeff not going to the PTO meeting?”, then you obviously do not know me. The list of things that are less appealing than a PTO meeting is incredibly short. That announcement meant that my evening immediately transformed from training night to Daddy-Daughter night.
This entire blog has been and will continue to be about training and racing, which should clue you in to my commitment to the sport. Every burpee, every rep, every mile, every pull-up, push-up, and box jump is important to developing the physical skills and ability to improve my performance on the obstacle courses. However, each one of those pales in comparison to every smile, every funny face, every “watch this Daddy”, every game of tic-tac-toe, every kiss and hug that helps form and strengthen the relationship with my little girl. My workouts are difficult, tiresome, and oftentimes grueling, but the end result is infinitely less powerful than the tender, light-hearted laughter with my little one. Sand bag carries give me the strength to compete in obstacle races, but sharing a bowl of pineapple while watching Little House on the Prairie with my daughter weaves another thread into my lifelong bond with her. Yes, she respects my commitment to fitness and is a little Spartan kid herself, but that would mean absolutely nothing to me if I fail to develop a relationship that will carry throughout her life. I couldn’t care less what her views about obstacle racing is as long as when she is 12, 22, 32, and beyond that she trusts that I am there for her whenever she needs me. This reminds me of when she was 2 years old and I was in the final stages of writing my dissertation. I would not sacrifice the time to watch and enjoy her growth, so I waited until she went to bed and I would stay up late writing and revising. I still had a full-time job and I don’t drink coffee, so those were some rough months. I barely remember them. It seems like forever go and my life and interests have changed dramatically since then, but the one constant is that my family will come first.
Today, obstacle race training came in a distant second. A much more important task was at hand. No regrets.