When do we ever stop trying to please our parents? I'll tell you when...never. It seems that despite any differences we may have with our parents or how good or bad our relationships with them are, we continue to try to please them. Sometimes it's out of wanting to earn their praise, sometimes just to prove them wrong. Either way, their assessment of our successes and failures resonates with us throughout our adulthood. Obviously, this is a general opinion but I think that this holds true for a majority of people.
Case in point:
I was having dinner with my dad the other night and we were talking about training and racing (the one thing we know we can both talk about without ending up in a 'discussion'). For anyone on the planet who does not yet know, my dad's a runner (because I tell everyone). Anyhow, I was talking about my run on Sunday and how I was finally starting to believe that I am actually faster than I've let myself believe all this time.
Anyhow, my dad proceeds to tell me essentially, that I'm not training hard enough...not pushing myself and not believing in myself as much as I should if I really want to improve my times. I'm not a professional athlete or even an elite age grouper...but he's my dad and he thinks I can be better, faster, stronger.
Fortunately for me, I understand where my dad was coming from and I know that he is just trying to help me be the best I can be in my chosen sport. I know that sometimes I don't push myself as hard as I should and yes, sometimes I just feel lazy. But what I realized is that after that conversation, I found myself thinking of what changes I should make for next season. I was trying to find a way to make my dad happy.
Now don't get me wrong, my dad is proud of me (at least that's what he says) and we've come a long way in our father/daughter relationship. He's very supportive and always happy with my results...even if he tells me I could've gone faster if I'd pushed just a little harder :) I think he probably just believes in me more than I believe in myself.
I still find myself wanting to please the parentals...even as the calendar inches toward thirty-seven...
Dad and me at the 2008 Longhorn 70.3