Friday, March 24, 2006

Family & Friends Friday - My Parents


Where would we be without parents. I classify myself as very fortunate in regards to my parents. They were/are a big influence in my life. A recent message board post on the Cleveland Tri Club asked who was your greatest influence while growing up? Without hesitation I said my parents, also my HS track coach.

My Dad:

He is a very motivated and organized guy. His entire work career was with NASA, something like 38 years (launch vehicle project manager). I remember taking family trips to Cocoa Beach to watch some of his satellite launches from Cape Canaveral. Very cool having an inside track on historical flights that eventually reached the edge of our solar system.

Besides his work he keeps busy with many side "jobs". He was Scout Master (yes IronWil, a scout master) for both my brother and myself. He helped form the Westlake Soccer Association when soccer was in it's infancy for my home town and I was just getting started with the sport. He helps any way he can at church; maintenance, committees, etc. Even now he spends two days a week at Habitat for Humanity with his work crew. The man can't keep still, always wanting to help and always there when you need him.

The most amazing thing about my dad is his compassion for humanity. His acceptance of people is amazing. His tolerance nearly flawless. If he sees the need to help he will be the first one to offer assistance. I can honestly say that I have rarely heard him say anything negative about anyone. Even if he has, it doesn't stick out in my mind. I can only hope to eventually have the same attitude.

My Mom:

I've known my mom as a stay-at-home for my entire life. There was a time when she did work before my brother was born. Go figure she was a math major and also worked at NASA on some of the early computers they had. But for as long as I can remember she was usually there when I got home from school. She was active in her things as well: golf league, Garden Club, Womens Club, Library board, College Club, Investment Club, geneology, quilting,....mom type stuff. Of course she was usually stuck schleping me around for soccer, basketball and track. Oh yeah, and she was a Cub Scout Den Mother. The crap she had to put up with dealing with 8-10 boys at a time.

Now my mom is a tell it like it is type of person. Won't hesitate to ask the hard question or voice her opinion, a strong woman I would say. I got busted at school one year for writing something not nice about a teacher, not that I was a troublemaker. Anyways she went to bat for me because of her previous experience with the same teacher through my brother. I still was suspended for 3 days but I think she understood where I was coming from. And she had to do this while my dad was in Washington, D.C. for work. She has done alot for me.

Well my parents are enjoying their retirement years now. Traveling the world (China, Costa Rica, Alaska, Ireland, Germany) and spending winters anywhere but in Cleveland. They deserve it because of the hard work they put into their careers and family.

I'm excited that they will be at Lake Placid when I tackle IM USA. Every once in a while my mom will ask nervously about the race. How long will it take? Are you going to be ready? What type of training are you doing? My dad has seen me race more often and is probably more comfortable with my abilities. Either way I'm excited because they will see me tackle my biggest race to date.

My parents rock and I'm a lucky guy.

Game on.

6 comments:

E-Speed said...

It's so great that your parents are coming to see you at IMLP! My parents have been to almost all of my races since I started this crazy tri stuff. It is really nice knowing they are on the sidelines rooting you on!

Cliff said...

Hehe,

I haven't told my parents about Iroman yet. As far as they know, I am just training for tri. But they are very supportive in the regard of helping me out whenever possible.

Family support is an incredible feeling.

BuckeyeRunner said...

Great parents. You are lucky. And good for them that they are out globetrotting and enjoying the world - they've earned it!

TriSaraTops said...

Look at you!!! Very cute picture. That's great that you have such supportive parents. It really helps to have people like that cheering you on!

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