In December of 2009 I was visiting my brother and family on the east coast. I received a phone call from my wife, Erica, who was still in Portland. There was something different about her voice, and she eventually told me the exciting news that she was pregnant! The notion of, "I'm going to be a father", is a wonderful, joyous, and daunting feeling that is difficult to articulate. I'm getting butterflies just thinking back to it!
Fast forward to the appointment with the midwife who calculated the due date: August 28, 2010. I exclaimed, "August 28th is MY birthday! The midwife assured me that babies are only born on their due date about 3% of the time. Well, guess what? Our family brought those percentage points up a little! Baby Farah was born on my birthday in 2010, and has been the best birthday gift that I could have ever gotten!
Since then we have celebrated together on that day, and have a special and strong father-daughter bond. Not only because of that, but I have been taking Farah on adventures with me in the baby jogger, in a backpack, on a bike, paddle board, on skis, and on foot together from the time she was an infant.
I have always said that becoming a father is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and every stage has been a beautiful, bountiful journey for us all! Lots of activity, movement, and retreating to nature has been instilled in her, much like my mother did for us, and Farah knows nothing else. I've noticed my daughter's comfort out on the trails, and her aptitude to be athletic, yet I have never pressured her to "be a runner."
Finding my passion is something that I am grateful for every day, and all I want is for her to find somethings that makes her light up. I am so proud of the young woman she is becoming as she is figuring out this world we live in today. I notice that her physical activity prowess has given her self esteem and confidence as she navigates middle school, which can be a very challenging time period.
Farah has grown up immersed in the sport of ultra marathons, and I have been able to share some of the lessons that this sport has taught me: perseverance, dedication, humility, patience, tolerance, grit, belief, positivity, cooperation, community, and more. She has seen women win races and beat all the guys, too, which I love! She continually sees me chasing my dreams, on and off the trails, and I look forward to many more years of being her dad -- a dad that she can turn to for anything.