Last year my father had a stroke. He's one of the lucky ones. While his day-to-day life has been impacted greatly, he is still here with us. His recovery is a long haul which he works hard at. With rehabilitation, he hopes to be able to drive and work full time again.
Growing up I played on a travel soccer team, I was never very good, and my father volunteered as an assistant coach each year. Thinking back on it, I'm convinced he did this because with my lousy skills I never would have made the team without his commitment to be a coach.
We used to have training mile long runs we were supposed to do on our own time. I always cheated. I would run half way around the block, sit on a curb for a bit, and then sprint a few blocks home and pretend that I just ran a mile. I remember some days when I really didn't feel like running I would slip a few dollars in my pocket and head to the local deli and stuff my face with mozzarella sticks before perfecting my few-block sprint home.
So why run 26 miles, 385 yards in one day now? You could call it interest on all those mile-long runs I short-changed my father growing up.
Or you could say that I'm doing this because in the year following my father's stroke, he has shown me incredible strength, courage, and self-belief. In one moment my father's life was turned upside down, but he continues to keep his head up and believe that he can still do whatever he puts his mind and body to. This is my way of saying "Dad, I am so proud of you, and you are an incredible inspiration."
Stroke is something that so many of us face in our lifetimes. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and can strike at any moment without warning. The National Stroke Association estimates that nearly 795,000 Americans experience a stroke each year.
Just in the past month of waking up at the crack of dawn, lacing up my shoes, and hitting the streets I have come to find a sense of inner peace and calm through running. While running at night through the dark with nothing but the putter patter of my own feet on pavement, I've found myself reflecting upon the meaning of life, family, and those I love.
That being said, this is the first of what I hope to be many posts about this journey I'm embarking on in honor of the bravest man I know: my father. So follow me, and I'll promise to try to write one post a week.
Lastly, if you can find it in your heart you can support my effort and donate whatever you can in honor of not only my father, but whomever in your life has been impacted by a stroke. Visit my Personal Fundraising Page to learn more and support this cause.
Thank you and until next time,
Dylan Abrons Armajani
For more on fitness and exercise, click here.
For more by Dylan Armajani, click here.
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more