My tear ducts are probably impaired. At 4:50 in the morning today, I found myself watching a video shared on Facebook and crying a river. It was the video of a father and son in the Ironman together.
Ironman, as it turned out, is a series of long-distance races consisting of a 3.86-kilometer swim, 120.8-kilometer bike and a 42-kilometer marathon, raced in that order and without a break.
What was different about this particular Ironman was the fact that the father, a retired lieutenant colonel from the Air National Guard, would:
- pull his quadriplegic son who had been born with cerebral palsy in a boat tied to a bungee cord attached to his waist in the swimming stage
- use a special two-seater bicycle for the biking stage
- push him in a custom-made running chair in the marathon stage.
The father’s love and devotion was unbelievable. And the son’s zest for life outside of his wheelchair was very inspiring.
The son was asked once, if there was anything he could give his father, what would it be? He answered:
“The thing I’d most like is for my dad to sit in the chair and I would push him for once.”
This post is dedicated to the man who fathered me. Wherever you are, Tatang, know that you are loved and greatly missed. Happy birthday!
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