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Running with My Dad
By Suzy Goldstein Snyder

Running is something that I have been doing on and off (mainly on) since 1981. I was not an athlete when I started at the age of 16 and I never competed in any sports at all. Running was the first sport I took on. I did it to keep my father company, and in turn, he gave me a great gift. He taught me to exercise and to try to take care of myself.

But, this article is not about me. It is about my father, Marvin, a former marathon runner. At 45 years of age, Marvin came home from work one day in despair because Elvis Presley had died. He was not a fan of Elvis Presley, did not listen to his music, or really know anything about him. What he had heard on the news was the Elvis had died of what was at first to be thought a heart attack. My father was gravely concerned. Marvin explained, “After all, Elvis is younger than I am!"

Never having competed in sports, and not a big fan of watching any on TV, Marvin started running. My sisters and I laughed at him. We watched him go out on a run the first time and wondered how long this weird obsession would last. It lasted through the winters of Chicago. He added mileage and dropped weight. He stopped eating red meat. We sat down to dinner every evening as a family, even if it meant waiting for Marvin to return from a ten or twelve mile run. He became my hero.

My senior year of high school, Marvin got me up to four miles in just a few months. We could disagree and run at the same time, discuss the events of the day, but mainly, Marvin would reassure me that, financially, he was investing in my future. He probably had no idea he invested in my emotional future as well.

Marvin has run in almost every country in Europe and most of the states within the United States. Included among the marathons he’s run are Chicago, Grandma’s, and the Drake University Relays. And in 1994, although he had stopped his long runs, he ran ten miles of the New York City marathon- with me. It was the most important ten miles I have ever run. Even though he is 74 years old, he still exercises regularly. We run together occasionally and we still discuss our financial portfolios.

Thanks Suzy for sharing your article.

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