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You reap what you sow...

Not to brag, but I have the best parents ever. Seriously. They are supportive, kind and have provided me with the proper tools in life for me to be able to succeed at what I desire. They have prepared me beyond belief for the things I have faced and continue to face. And when I reflect back on things, accomplishments in my life, they are often what comes to mind. While I have a constant support system of friends and family (parents included), they are the foundation.

So when I was reflecting last week on my upcoming race, I really wanted to thank my parents for getting me there. While I had wanted to physically write a letter, it ended up being an email. And here is where I am going to share something personal with you - our correspondence.

I have been meaning to write you all week, but it has been kind of hectic around here. But, I just wanted you to know that I am going to Miami tomorrow to meet some girlfriends and run a marathon. I have been training really hard and I am hoping to qualify for Boston. There is a chance that I will make my time goals and a greater chance that I won't, but I am still going to try. If I do qualify (and if am able to go next year- 2012), I would really like it if you were there. You set a great example for me when I was young by running and, because of that, I started running. I never forget that when I am training for things. On top of that, you and mom instilled in me the importance of setting goals and striving for them and that to me is what Boston is about. I love you and hope you will consider coming to Boston with me if/when I ever make it.   ~ Randi

To which I received a perfect response crafted by my dad:
My dearest Randi,
Of course, we would love to go to Boston with you.
Again, thank you for the very kind comments about our parental influence; I'm sure Hunt and Linc will say the same things to you in a few years.
Good luck in Miami this weekend.  Will the marathon have a tracking website?
Love Dad

It is amazing to me how our parental influence can affect us in more ways than we realize until we have time to reflect on it. As a child, my father ran in races which exposed me to the sport. I watched him train for 5ks, 10ks, a half marathon and even a marathon in high school. While this gave me a great foundation on both the sport and goal-setting, I would not be where I am today without my parents' guidance. They provided me with the right tools and examples-- mentally and emotionally-- to set, strive for and accomplish my goals.
As parents, we need to realize that what we introduce our children to today and the values we instill in them can make a lifetime of difference. It did in me... as I think it does in all of us.

Like I said, I have the best parents and here's hoping that Hunter and Lincoln say the same thing in years to come.