I grew up in a step-family.
My parents had divorced when I was very young and years later my mum found someone else who made her happy. My baby brother was born and we were a happy family. As happy as families are anyway lol! As much as my step dad loved my sister and I he was always very wary of stepping on my dad’s toes as it were. He never wanted my dad to feel that he was trying to take his place in our lives. Even after my dad died he still struggled with being the main male inﬂuence in my life. So much so he initially refused to give me away when I got married. He eventually agreed and you can see in the photos how proud he is. Because he has always been my biggest supporter.
Not that he would ever admit it. That would show weakness surely. Nevertheless he would be the one sitting up with me at all hours of the morning watching the Grand Prix live on TV (the “noise woke him” ) he was the one who would calm my mum down and get her to see my side of it when we had had a row (“anything for a quiet life”) and he’s still the same now. He watches out for me, will do anything for my kids (under pretend duress obviously!) and he’s forever turning up at my door with a homegrown cucumber or potatoes or some other weird veg that a butty in the allotment next to him has grown but has no use for!
So last week when I turned up on the doorstep at 8.15am in my running kit he didn’t bat an eyelid. Until he realised I was having a lift with my mum to her work and was planning to run home (6 miles) He laughed and told me that I “wasn’t normal” but as we were leaving he shouted “Text me when you leave”. Like the dutiful daughter I text him as I set off from my mum’s work. 3 minutes later I receive a text “are you home yet?” I took that as a challenge and thought two can play that game. So all the way home I sent him pictures. A running commentary on my journey home.
Until at last I reached the sign to the village. I took a picture and sent it to him. In reply I got what is possibly the biggest compliment he could give me.
It makes me smile every time I look at it. Granted it doesn’t look like a compliment at ﬁrst sight but I know that he is amazed that not only did I want to run 6 miles home but I actually did it, on my own, for no reason.
He will be the ﬁrst person I text as I cross the line at the Silverstone Half on the 12th as Formula 1 was a huge part of our lives when I was growing up and he will probably call me an idiot again. But I know ﬁrst thing Monday morning he will be telling all his friends what I achieved. He is my biggest supporter and I wouldn’t have it any other way.