OLYMPIA — The next time you think about walking in someone else’s shoes, find out where they’re headed.
It could be you’ll need a new pair of tennis shoes.
The last occasion our daughter, Traci, paid us a visit she included her daily workout for the Capital City Marathon.
“Mom, I’m going to run in the morning to get ready for the race,” she announced the first evening of her arrival.
“Great!” I exclaimed. “I can just tag along with you and keep you company, maybe even ride my bicycle!”
“Well, OK,” she said with a dubious smile. “I’ll be ready to leave for an 18-mile run by the river at 4:30 a.m.”
I slept in.
Her practice runs took her from one end of the state to the other; first on the eastside while visiting us, and then back home where her miles increased.
A marathon is 26.2 miles. It takes a lot of training, endurance and perseverance.
“We’ll be there to cheer for you at the race!” the family chorused the night before the big event.
I added, “I may even walk and run with you at some point along the course just for fun."
Traci left for Washington’s capitol city at 3:30 a.m. We slept in.
The Sunday morning temperatures soared into a heat wave.
Traci ran. I put on my makeup.
Traci ran. The family ordered iced lattes.
Traci ran. We window shopped.
Traci ran. Her parents waited in the cool of the shade.
At Mile 21 we cheered, held signs, snapped photos and gulped cool drinks. My energy zapped, I sat curbside.
By 12:30 p.m., we were positioned at the finish line, cameras ready. The wait was exhausting.
Then Traci appeared on the horizon. Her moment was captured as she crossed the finish line: 4 hours, 51 minutes and 37 seconds.
Tears of pride came to my eyes. The arduous run looked good on her.
With an icy Starbucks in hand, I staggered from the sidelines to greet our daughter, sweat pouring from my brow.
With one glance, Traci knew I would never be able to walk — or run — 26.2 miles in her shoes. But my prayers had been with her all the way.