She stood on the podium. Her million dollar smile sparkled more than her medal garlanded on her neck. It had been a long and arduous journey. All those vigorous sessions had paid off.
She recollected those days when she was woken up in the wee hours in the morning to go cross country running. The rest of the world would be wrapped up cozily in their blankets, catching their forty winks. While she would be trudging up those trails and hills. Her peers would spend their vacations by the sea while she would be sweating it away on those tracks in the blistering heat. How she hated him then.
He had made her cut her nails and hair short. Dressed in track pants and t shirts mostly, she blamed him for having her feminist etched away. While her peers would spend their days dressed in dainty skirts and perming their hair. “One day you will thank me for this”, he told her.
She remembered her first time at a race. “Look at the finish line and not at others. You are your only competition”. He told her.
Years rolled by. She won some, she lost some. Yet his words echoed every time she went for a run. When she won her biggest race today, that line played again in her head, making her flash that toothy smile for the camera. She scanned in the crowd and looked for him. His proud expression said it all and her heart soared as she mouthed a silent “Thank you Dad”.
Happy Father’s Day!