The Rev. Mike Angell is rector of The Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in St. Louis.
“A walking running dancing 10 km long party” is how my Uncle Chris describes the Bolder Boulder. You see, the people of Boulder are about the strangest group of human beings that could possibly conglomerate in a metropolitical unit. Lining the streets on race day are burned out hippies, recyclers, tree-huggers, fraternity guys with a slip and slide, women in hula skirts, belly dancers, and more jam bands than at Lulapalooza. Chris and I flew to Colorado this Memorial Day weekend to run the 10k road race with my dad. Last year at this time they were both with me in Honduras. They had come to pick me up at the end of my year living in Tegucigalpa. We spent a week traveling, having deep conversations over deeper glasses of beer, and generally solving the world’s problems. On one stop we climbed into the tropical forest, and my Dad scared both of us. He climbed with such difficulty and had to stop so frequently that it was obvious he was not in the physical condition this sort of activity required. My dad has always had problems with his knees or his back, but when I was growing up he was the one charging ahead down the path when we backpacked, or encouraging me to make it up one more switchback as I cried out “I HAVE ASTHMA” (I was prone to drama at 12). Watching my dad struggle to make it up an easy path really made me worry…it made him worry to.
That night we talked about how we all needed to be in better shape. Dad particularly mentioned that he wanted to start working out. He said he wanted to be in shape for the Bolder Boulder…a 10k road race familiar to every Coloradan that happens every memorial day. Chris and I said that we’d love to run it with him the next year. Dad really started working on this goal in the fall, walking with friends, working his way up to running. This weekend we got together in Colorado and made good on the promise. AND DAD RAN!!!! Technically he ran half of the race and walked the other half, but he was walking so fast that Chris and I kept having to run to catch up with him. We finished in one and a half hours, faster than my dad had done 10k all year. “The walking running dancing 10km long party” seemed like a celebration of my dad and the work he had done to get himself back in shape. I am proud of my dad.