What does Father’s Day mean to me?
Father's Day is a very important day for me. My dad and I have a great relationship; I've always been somewhat of a daddy's girl. It's a day to honor him for all he has done for me in my life and show my appreciation.
espnW's coverage of the holiday that celebrates our Dads.
• Danica: For Patricks, like father, like daughter
• Force family: John Force blurs line between dad and boss
• Force photo gallery: NHRA race day
• Ready To Rebound: Taryn Griffey listens to father Ken Griffey Jr.'s advice
• Johanna Long: Thanks Dad, for believing in me
• Emily Cook: Dad made dreams come true
• Briann January: Shout out to my dad on his day
• Candice Wiggins: My dad gave me many gifts
Growing up, my dad was my karate instructor and we used to do karate all the time. Those experiences taught me so many lifelong lessons. He instilled in me the discipline and focus required for sports and those values have helped shape the woman I am today.
When I was young I was involved in so many activities that were time consuming and costly. If it wasn't for my dad's relentless hard work I would have never had those opportunities. He did whatever he could to help me get where I wanted to be -- whether it was getting me to extra workouts or buying me new basketball shoes. You know, when times were tough or if money was tight, he always figured out a way to make it work, he always wanted to provide for his family.
On this day in particular, I feel it's important to reflect back on our relationship and what he has meant to me.
Now that I am older, I try to do whatever I can to show him my appreciation for all he has done.
When it’s his birthday or maybe on Christmas, I usually try to get him a special gadget or something he can use -- he likes that kind of stuff. Now that I’m away so often and traveling all the time, I try and provide him opportunities to go places and see things that he maybe would not have had the chance to experience. And what makes it even more special is that I am able to experience it with him and my family.
For instance, I was playing over in Israel during Christmas time this year and I flew my parents and sister out so we could spend the holiday together. It was pretty special having them there with me.
Father's Day though, is a chance for me to spend a few moments just between him and me, even if I’m a thousand miles away. Sometimes we keep it lighthearted; we have a similar sense of humor. I'll tease him that he can’t spar with me like he used to -- he knows I get the best of him now, and then he'll mess with me right back. But I will always take a moment to express to him, in all seriousness just how much he means to me.
This Father's Day we will be at the White House and traveling in Washington so I think I’ll try to get him a little memento of our trip -- something that I can share, that he knows comes just from me and from my heart.
For Barry January in Spokane, Wash., from me to you -- Happy Father’s Day! Your little girl just got you a little shout out on ESPN!