We just got back from a glorious week skiing the many slopes of Park City Utah. As a family there is no activity we enjoy doing together more than skiing. AND WE LIVE IN THE MIDWEST!!!
Anyway, Utah also happens to be the home state of world champion runner Brad. Brad has set three Masters world records in the mile and steeplechase. Nobody, anywhere, ever, had run faster at his disciplines than he did!
Brad, quite literally, is one in a billion(s)!!!
He's also my friend.
This is why for two of the days we were skiing in his home state Brad hung out with us. He didn't join us on the slopes as much as he'd have liked too though. He has put skiing, with its inherent risk of injury on hold for now. Brad is currently training to tackle a whole new set of world records now that he's moved up an age bracket.
Today Brad turns the big five-O!
He didn't ski with us but he made sure to run with one of us while we were together. Our 15 year old son Ryan is a high school runner and very much looks up to Brad. Who wouldn't?! Brad has invested a lot these last two years in inspiring Ryan to push himself farther than he knew he was capable of. That makes Brad a Super mentor...that is someone who inspires someone else to do something they didn't believe themselves was possible.
When I speak, Ryan looks at me funny. When Brad whispers, Ryan runs! Hah!
To see my boy excited about un-strapping his ski boots, thighs still burning from the slopes, only to lace up his shoes to go on a 6 mile training run with his mentor, meant the world to me as a father.
I know one thing. My son may not have the genes of Brad’s son Garrett Barton, who set two all-time school and county running records this week. But what my son is learning as he tries his best is the work ethic required to be a World Champion.
Folks, regardless of how fast my boy ever runs, seeing the example of what it takes to be the best in something is a life skill any parent would wish for their child.
I can't think of a better friend, than one who's going to be a super mentor to your kids and a living example to the winner you want them to become.
Happy 50th Birthday to someone who has become a super friend to me! My wish for you Brad is to now go get some new world records.Ryan Wittstock, after all, isn't the only one you're inspiring!