December 19, 2005

Strength and Honor

Originally uploaded by billyjoebob.
It's no secret, punkin, that I've let my gym responsibilities slip considerably since you were born. The finely sculpted pecs and arms package that was beginning to take shape early in 2005 has seemed to slip southwards in the wake of a regime heavy on the lack of sleep and sedentary couchtime.

Clothes that had previously made your dad look like some kind of antipodean adonis started to betray the burgeoning behemoth at his waistline. For the first time in over 10 years, bramble, I seriously considered going up a pantsize. This is, of course, unforgiveable.

So back to the gym went your old man. Old being the operative word. Several times during the carefully constructed lightweight and easy on the system back to working out workout, my eyes crossed and I could feel my muscles getting ready to fail me.

I got so used to feeling strong that I think I failed to notice it all fading away. Weights that used to be not difficult to lift had suddenly become impossible to move. The number of chinups that I could do had plummeted. My bike leg was in serious danger of being truncated. Only halfway through it, I turned, breathless, to your uncle Harry and showed him my heartrate. I didn't know they went that high in people who weren't suffering cardiac arrest.

But I finished it punkin. I smashed it out.

And despite the deep pain and aches in all of my major muscle groups for the next two days, I'm going back tomorrow night.

Because I'm not going to be the dad who pants at the side of the soccer field and watches his kid run rings around the bouncing dog.

Because I'm not going to be the dad who drives everywhere.

Because I'm going to be the dad who teaches you to rollerblade, and ride a bike. I probably won't teach you how to kick a footy, because frankly I'm not very good at it, but I'm planning on being the dad who can lift you up with one hand for at least a little while to come.

Love you.


jenu said...

good on you! I'm only 21 but I used to do situps everyday..and then along came my last year of uni. Tomorrow I begin again!

Paul said...

But I finished it punkin. I smashed it out.

This, while not exactly a lie, is certainly testing the elastic properties of the (dramatic pause) TRUTH.

Your father, pumpkin, rather than smashing it out, puffed and sweated, stumbled and bent double. He shuffled around the gym, in obvious pain, and he croaked at me as though even his voice box was rattling under the weight of his exercise.

Smashing it out, pumpkin, implies a certain lack of effort, an ease in accomplishment, an almost dismissive attitude to the work at hand.

None of that was in evidence as your father's heart rate skyrocketed and he urged me to knock 5 minutes off my cardio routine.

Please don't think that I reveal this fact about your father to be malicious. Mischievious perhaps, but not malicious. I reveal this, pumpkin, to show you an important lesson. One that will stand you in good stead. That lesson, and there will be many of these pumpkin, is that the truth will out.

And that opportunities for mischief, when they present themselves, should be taken swiftly and decisevely.

Pol said...

you and harry are both mental.

Did you not know that chaps are like trees, with every passing year we add another ring to our trunk.

Or maybe that is just me?

UK food and drink have not been good to me.

sucks it in and gets on hios bike.