Happy Father’s Day To My Biggest Fan

My dad, Russ Perlman, and I at the Maccabiah Games in Israel (1997)

Looking back years ago at the hundreds of track and cross country races I competed in, it’s hard to imagine a starting line without his fierce look of confidence; a back stretch without his tips to drop my arms or relax; a home stretch without his loud cheers; a finish line without his smile and look of pride; or a weekend where I didn’t have the unique opportunity to watch a race on film and relive the moment.

It’s hard to imagine a time in my life that he weren’t there – because those times don’t exist.

My dad…my biggest fan.

No matter the day of the week (a workday or weekend), the time (morning or night), the location (Boca Raton, Gainesville, Alabama or Israel), the race (a dual meet or state championship), my dad was there. He fought for my best interest, he made sure things moved along smoothly, he gave me every opportunity in the world to do my best, he bragged about me to colleagues and friends, and he believed in me.

My dad…my biggest fan.

I often joke about the shoe boxes full of video tapes in my dad’s closet. Along-side of his most valued possessions, he keeps hundreds of hours of film of me running, competing and winning races. If you sneak to into his house without him expecting you – you’ll often find him watching the old races, the old relays, the old championships. He still cheers and smiles like he did in the actual moment.

My dad….my biggest fan.

I took his love, his support and his pride in my accomplishments for granted for so long. I assumed all dads had the same amount of enthusiasm and pride for their kids. But as life has gone on, I have realized more and more how lucky I truly was. And how rare my dad truly is.

My dad…my biggest fan.

Thank you dad, I love you!

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