Throughout this journey there have been people that have stuck out in my mind, who without them I wouldn't be able to even think about doing this marathon. And there are also people who constantly run through my head during my runs who inspire me and keep me motivated. If you are reading this you might just be one of them, Yenster, Oliver, Meg, Mom, Chris, Rat, Pig, Katie, AA, Jesus, Molly Hightower, Jordan, Dick/Rick Hoyt, Linda, and the list goes on and on.
There is one person who has been with me from the every beginning of this crazy ride called life, my dad. You see when I was born, dad was already on the climb to become one of the most successful basketball coaches on the west coast and now one of the most well known principals in the state. People say I look like him, I don't see it, but everyone else does. When I was little I can clearly remember many times when my mom, Katie and I would be walking through the mall, the store or riding our bikes and someone would stop me dead in my tracks and ask if I was Mike Albrecht's daughter. I would say yes with pride. Often he would ask if we wanted to come with him to different events and almost without hesitation I would say yes. I loved being associated with him. He taught us people skills and how to handle ourselves in public. He taught us to respect the people who were older then us and how to have a good sense of humor, us being the butt of many of his jokes. He taught us how to be great public speakers and how to command a room.
But one of the greatest lessons dad taught us happened every night when he tucked us into bed. Dad would come in, no matter how late he would get home from coaching and say a good night prayer, always the same. Then he would say the same two things every night...EVERY NIGHT! First we would tell us that is he lined up every little kid in the world, which two would he pick? Katie and I. There were no doubts. Even when we were bad or had gotten in trouble that day we knew he would always pick us. He taught us that parents really truly do love their kids.
The second thing he would say was something that I have taken with me everyday and now with training for this marathon I have relied on this phrase almost every run. He would say "if you work hard and try your best you will be successful." But he would leave out "work hard" and "try your best" and expect us to fill that in. Every night he drilled that into us. That is pretty powerful to think about now that I am older. That someone who loved us so much wanted us to know that he believed in us and that we could believe in ourselves. Not working hard was unacceptable and so was not trying your best.
So next Saturday when I stand on that start line of my first full marathon I will say that mantra in my head over and over again and thank Jesus that He gave me such an amazing dad. Thanks dad for giving me confidence, respect, the power of "Wonderwoman braclets" and most importantly the knowledge that I have a dad who loves me.