Sunday, May 29, 2005

Dad can't be weak

Okay, so of course I know that both parents gotta be strong in many ways, but we're talking about dads today because, well, that's what I'm gonna be, so that's where my mind is.

So a couple of months ago, I got this sudden irresistible urge to start working out. Not just work out, but to do so with the goal in mind of getting stronger. It was weird. Weirder than that was that I followed this inclination and started working out 3 - 5 days a week, doing both cardio and weight training. That's definitely weird for me. Even weirder: I started paying attention to the food and drink I ingested, both the type and the quantity. Two words: FUCKING WEIRD.

Now sure, I've had brief bouts of health awareness here and there over the years, but never were they serious, nor did they last long...geez, I talk about it like a disease. This time though, it feels, well, different. As in, more lasting. Like, I might keep this up for a while.

So over the last couple of months, I've seen and felt my body change. The story doesn't end there though, nor does the oddness. See, the other day, I was talking to a good friend of mine who happens to be the father of a child of his own, a one year old I think. And this topic comes up, and I tell him about my newfound regimen, and he pipes up with, "Yeah, well, you'll need it when the kid's born." And starts telling me about all the physicality of being a parent and the stuff he does with his kid and how he'd have probably slipped a disk by now if he hadn't gotten in shape. Later on that same day, I'm talking to a guy at the gym who, it turns out, had messed up his back about a year ago, but was in the gym staying fit for the express purpose of being able to play with his three kids.

This gets me to thinking...was this sudden urge to take better care of myself some kind of inborn instinct that kicked in with the impending onset of fatherhood? It's not like it would be the first one I've noticed. From what I can tell, little children look up to their parents like they're superheroes: strong, good, capable of any feat. Was this tractor beam pulling me into the gym actually a subconscious desire to get myself ready physically to meet that challenge? Whatever it is, I now feel that I'm working with a purpose, not just wanking with weights. Beyond all that, it certainly makes me start to think about the non-physical challenges ahead, and if I am at all ready for them.

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