The countdown is on and my Randy Macho Man Savage quads are preparing for this battle. Don’t know if my calves are ready though. But the rest of my body seems to think that I’ve got this.
In 10 days, my vitamin-D-deficient-but-glucosamine-fueled body will be sprinting, running, jogging, walking and then crawling up 63 stories, along with hundreds of other sweaty and out of breath climbers in claustrophobic conditions to help raise money for the American Lung Association.
Why does this insanity take place?
I’m not a morning person.
But I see his smiling face under a Dodgers hat, I hear his hearty laugh, and I smell that Jovan Musk aftershave in the hallways … and I wake up with purpose. I wake up ready to run stairs. And what kind of elevator-loving-stair-hating person does that?! What kind of person with BenGay-Advil-Ice-Pack-loving knees laces up her Saucony running shoes to storm high school bleachers or winding staircases hidden in the hills, instead of hitting the snooze button?
Me … I do it … because he’s worth it.
He’s worth the trip to the anti-aging aisle at CVS.
Every year I still bake the cake, even though he’s not gonna blow out the birthday candles. Every year I tell the story of why they call him Chito 7 Pantalones. Every year I replay the messages left on my answering machine just to hear his voice again. Every year I decide to make the excruciatingly difficult journey up 63 stories, painfully possible. Every year I go in believing I’m Lindsey Wagner, putting my bionic knee to the test, climbing over 1,000 steps just for him. Every year I finish knowing full well I have nothing bionic in me.
But every year I do it because I am my father’s daughter and his spirit is still with me.
It’s with me on skydiving adventurous or beach bum days, it’s there on the passenger seat when I’m hearing that feel-good song, it’s with me when I’m chasing dreams, and when I’m trying to be a better parent. He’s there in one of his many baseball caps that I wear with a smile, he’s my TV buddy when I’m watching The Walking Dead, Peaky Blinders, or Narcos. He’s there high-fiving me when SC wins, and he’s also a member of my Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy Support Group.
He’s there when I’m climbing stairs.
I got 10 days.
The countdown is on.