On August 6, 2015 my Father, Robert W. Neeley passed away. A strong-willed and passionate man passed these very same traits onto his children. The words “I can’t do it” were not allowed in our home. While we didn’t always see eye to eye over the years, I admired his drive and wanted so much to be noticed by him. During the last weeks he was alive, I was able to have some good conversations with him and found that he was a fan of the Run Zombie Run campaign. He asked how I was feeling and was I looking forward to getting all 30 races completed. I told him of the many obstacles I had faced over the past months: the hamstring, the groin and several different foot issues. He kind of chuckled and said…”You’ll be fine and you’ll finish this because you’re my son.” That was an amazing moment for me! My Father was never very good at telling you how proud he was of you. He had no problem telling others all about your accomplishments, but to say them to you…very rare. I was kind of choked up and said, “Wow!” He chuckled again and told me to just keep running and he’d be proud to see me finish the 30 races.
Well, he decided to leave before the big party for the 30 races. I’ll be at #24 next weekend. He may not be here to share in the festivities then, but he’s with me now as I run every mile! I’ve been challenged to run 100 miles during the month of August by my good friend Brian “Monk” Taylor. I decided to take on that challenge and dedicate the miles to my father – the man who has given me the strength to always push, never quit and to be the very best! Dad may have had a hard time sharing his feelings but I know in my heart that he loved me and was proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish thus far in my life.
I’m over 70 miles for the month of August and just 7 races away from completing the 30 races I’ve set out to run. I know I’ll get it done… my Dad told me so and I won’t let him down. I’ll continue to have my chats with him on the open road. We all know that’s where I find my serenity. Strength, drive, passion…yeah…that’s my Father.
For my friends at Mobile Meals of Toledo…I’ve got your back! I’ll get this done and continue to raise awareness of the many needs you folks have. To those that are fighting and surviving cancer…I’ve got your back as well! I’ll carry you on my skin, on my clothing and in my heart. For you Dad… I’ll never quit!
See you on the road…