It's the trip that I can't miss, every single year.  Because every single year since 2005 (yes, long before I even needed to "take a day off of work") I've made sure my job knows I'll need THIS Monday off to spend some time with my grandpa.

This trip was last week for me so yes-- I was off of work and out of town last Monday. Since I was in fifth grade, this has become a tradition that my grandpa and I share and it's one of the most cherished events in my entire life.

When I was a kid, my grandpa introduced me to my first love: Track and Field.  Mostly because I just liked to see how fast I could run and well--he always found himself of a track. I was blessed growing up to never need a babysitter because I always had grandparents to watch me while my parents worked--often this meant waking up at 4:30 a.m. to hit the track and run two miles with my grandpa Howard, or "Howie" as I've affectionately called him, for the majority of my youth. All year long, our runs would build up to the Senior Games in Pocatello, Idaho. This past week--it was our 13th year making the trip. I remember the years I was too young to drive! Now, Howie gets to rest while I get us there.

He's a hero, a state record holder, and a lifelong athlete that inspires me.  This week he brought home two golds and a silver (listen, it's not his fault the guys on his relay team weren't fast enough--ok!?).  We had a ton of laughs, got lost of a couple of times, but it never matters because moments with this guy always help me grow a little and remember what's really important. He's a constant reminder of what "growing up to be a man" consists of--just being a good person. I've been blessed and yes, we're already counting down to next years games!