There’s still plenty of summer left

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

This morning as I swam at 5am it took the sun just a while longer to rise. The summer is beginning to feel the slow pinch of time. Even as we stay outside playing until what is school year bed time (making smores last night), I notice the days getting gradually shorter. It’s hot and we have plenty of summer left though, along with an upcoming trip to the beach.

Izzy, in a letter back in May I told you that I was sad about our walks to elementary school coming to end. But I also told you I knew there would be moments to take the place of those walks together. The last few weeks we’ve been running together in the evenings as you prepare for middle school cross country.

post training run

post training run

You’ll sandwich cross country in between summer swim team and your Excel short course swim season this year. I don’t have to ask you to go run, you ask me most nights – and that makes me happy, and proud. You look like a pro in your running gear and visors – easily keeping the pace I set for us. You glide easily, floating through the waves of evening July heat, while I labor a bit feeling my age beside your youth. We’ve been working the distance and the pace up slowly; with no complaint from you. While we run we’ve been talking about what middle school will be like, how you need to handle being a 6th grader on a school team made up of 6th-8th graders, what academics will be like in your new school – and even some dreaming about doing Ironman Kona together when you’re in your 20’s and I’m in my 50’s. Who knows if that dream will last or come true someday, but it’s fun to talk about and share a common dream we can work towards over many years together. 

I told a friend a few days ago that life is different than it was when you were a baby. Now, with all 3 of you kids involved in your own sports, my racing has taken a back seat.  I’m not bitter about it in the least – I’ve replaced those personal moments with the moments I get to spend with you now. It seems like yesterday when I pushed you in a jog stroller in a 5k. Now, almost over night, it seems you could run your own relatively fast 5k. You can certainly swim with me at this point.

I’m proud of you sweet Izzy – everything about you: your love of God, your sweet caring heart, your academics which exceed anything I ever did, your athletic ability and drive. I’ve learned not to push you in sport – you do it yourself and for love of the sport, not for competition.

You kids all had your swim team celebration and banquet at the pool last week. It was a fun summer swim season for all of you – especially you two little ones. You both are learning from your sister and emulating her laid back approach to sport (Kate, you’re a little more intense – often talking to your opponents prerace at length. I’d love to know what you’re saying). 

summer swim banquet

You wrapped up VBS at church last week. We had over 1300 kids in our VBS program – and Mommy lead the “crafts” team, so it was a busy week. You kids had a blast though, and I noticed that while you’re already Christ lead kids, talk about God in our house increased significantly last week. While I often write to you about the fun things we do and your sports, nothing makes me more proud than to stand in the hall outside of your room or in the kitchen beside the living room and hearing you talk casually about Jesus and God in your life with each other. 

vbs

crazy day at VBS pretty much looked like normal Max and Kate. Janis Joplin and her body guard Big Max.

crazy day at VBS pretty much looked like normal Max and Kate. Janis Joplin and her body guard Big Max.

Sports seasons, along with the seasons themselves, come and go like life itself – so I hope God is always the center of your lives – the one never changing, never ending constant. 

Last year was a big year for me in a lot of ways, but I’d fallen out of my habit of participating in organized bible study. So last week I put together a group of guys to meet on Friday mornings at my office before work. We’re working our way through the Word itself along with finishing up a study of John Eldridge’s Wild at Heart that we started last year, but never finished. My life, despite all that’s good in it, feels like somethings is missing without constant study and reflection upon God.

I’m training this summer as if for a race – but have none on the schedule. My goal this year is more focused on my “Macro” training cycle – meaning, I’m viewing this year as part of the lifetime of training and racing, rather than single event focused. I’m hoping to move back into 70.3 racing again next spring, so I didn’t want to take this summer off.  

The run rose more slowly this morning, but there’s still plenty of summer left.

I love you,

– Daddy

TRAINING:

Saturday: Ran 8 miles / Ran 2 miles with Izzy for 10 total

Sunday: Biked 20 miles with a short time trial segment

Monday: Ran 3 miles / Ran 2 miles with Izzy for 5 total

Tuesday: Swam 1200 / planned 20 mile ride at lunch