Vicki Huber Rudawsky: Passing the parents' torchDelaware Online, October 2, 2013
When I was younger, I was a pretty good kid. My parents didn’t have much to worry about, mostly because between school activities, homework and a job, I didn’t have much free time.
Ironically, it was my running that probably caused my parents the most distress. Looking back as a parent myself, I shudder at some of the ways I unknowingly tortured them.
|Vicki Huber: 8x NCAA Champ|
Sometimes, the skies would be black and threatening. Sometimes it would be raining, or snowing. On these days, my parents would ask that I not go running, and I am sure I made a face like they were crazy. I mean, why would I let bad weather keep me from getting my run in?
My dad really got upset when it was snowing and I still headed out in the car for evening track workouts. Whether it was me driving or someone else, he was just so worried that we would get into an accident. He didn’t realize that the workout was so valuable that we were willing to take the risk in order not to miss out.
They hung in there, however, and we were all rewarded with a scholarship to college. Then, the torture continued in the form of tearful phone calls. I had a tough time in the beginning, especially since I had never run cross country, and I struggled with the new level of running. I am pretty sure that I called home two or three times a week, crying that the running was too hard and that I didn’t think I could make it. Even though I was only 40 minutes from home, there was not much my parents could do to make it better for me. [Huber did struggle and did improve in cross country, finishing 75th (1985), 29th (1986), 9th (1987), and 1st (1989) at NCAA XC Nationals -- VR]
There were only a few races my parents could see since we traveled by plane to most of our meets. I know they sat by the phone and waited to hear we had arrived home safely from wherever we were, but more importantly, that I came away from my races healthy and happy.
I know my parents love me very much, but I also know they repeatedly prayed that some day, I would understand what they went through all these years.
Well, their prayers were answered.
Our daughter, after playing soccer and field hockey for a while, decided running was her sport. It took a while, but eventually she got to the point where she was heading out the door for long runs and track workouts.
When I would ask her where she was running, she would roll her eyes and reply, “I don’t knowwwww!” Then she would get in her car and drive away, leaving me with a pit in my stomach until I heard her car rounding the turn into our neighborhood.
|Huber was a two-time USA Olympian|
She didn’t choose a college close by. In fact, she is farther away than we would like. Thank goodness I have not gotten tearful phone calls every other day, but I do receive text messages letting me know that the workouts are pretty hard and between running and school, she is tired. [Alyssa Rudawsky is currently a freshman on the cross country and track team at NC State University -- VR]
But, she loves it.
Like my mom and dad, we won’t be able to see her run a lot because of the distance, and we will sit by the phone for either the call or text letting us know how she did and that she is healthy and safe.
Whoever coined the phrase “what goes around, comes around” really nailed it. For all those times I caused my parents stress with my running, I have lived it myself with our daughter. Mom and Dad, I am so sorry! Thank you for hanging in there.
Vicki Huber represented the USA in the 1988 (6th place, 3000 meters) and 1996 Olympic Games (1500 meters). While at Villanova, she won 8 individual NCAA titles (3 indoor and 3 outdoor titles at 3000 meters in 1987, 1988, and 1989, the 1988 indoor mile, and the 1989 cross country individual title). Huber was USATF national champion in the 1500 meters in 1988, set a USA 5K record, and was 4th at the 1992 World Cross Country championships.