Depending on your history, Father’s Day is either that warm and fuzzy holiday celebrating the man who makes you feel like a princess or it’s a day that highlights an emptiness, rather than a fullness. I’ve alluded to my own daddy issues before and how running has helped me cope, but I’m not alone among the Salties or my larger group of running girlfriends whose fathers were disinterested, abusive, gone too soon, or never around in the first place.
Carl Jung took Freud’s Oedipus Complex idea a step further, and coined the term the “Electra Complex,” where girls develop attraction to their fathers and competition with their mothers. If those feelings are not resolved, say the psychoanalysts, big problems with self-esteem and choosing sexual partners can persist throughout life. The modern equivalent term, perhaps is the commonly-thrown-around “daddy issues.” Now, of course there is widely-varying opinion on whether having a troubling relationship with one’s father actually leads to repetitive unhealthy relationships with men, but we do that know that girls with healthy relationships with a strong father figure do have better self-esteem as adults.
Lots of us, like the Salties in the photos above, have great relationships with our fathers, but for those of us with difficult or nonexistent relationships with our dads the act of running itself seems to be used as a coping mechanism. In fact, running even helped Ginger heal her difficult past with her dad, and now they have a positive relationship!
We thought we’d ask you which camp you’re in. How has your relationship with your father impacted your running? Does running help you deal with a negative past, or is your dad your number one cheerleader and fan?