Dad Diary: Save Me from My Son

44-image2I was going to title this Blog post “Child Abuse” and then cleverly explain that my child is kicking my butt, but that seemed horrible. But truly, my son is kicking my butt. Humbling me. Yet, motivating me.

Do you remember my Project 44? It was my mission at the beginning of the year, a year in which I was turning 44-years-old, to build a personal improvement plan to get my weight to 144 pounds, go to bed at 9:44 nightly, wake at 4:44, exercise for 44-minutes daily, write for 44-minutes daily, and on and on.

I started. I stopped. I tried again. I stopped. Like everyone and their New Year’s resolutions and #Whole30 and 90-Day boot camps, I fizzled out. Then, I changed jobs and on the day I made that decision, my daughter had started a countdown-to-Thanksgiving note on our family chalkboard (where we write chores, important dates, things needed at the store …stuff like that), and my son wondered, “how many days until Christmas.”

We did the quick math and were amazed – there were exactly 44 days until Christmas.

If you read this Blog, you know I find meaning and messages in what some might think are random, everyday coincidences. I believe in coincidences. But I also believe Angels in heaven, possibly under the direction of Jesus, can’t really call us on the phone or text us, but are allowed to communicate to us through clever methods, and we need to be on the lookout for clues and what they want to say to us.

Was it my Mom? My Uncle, Grandmothers, or a host of other Angels that keep an eye on me? I don’t know …but it was clear …someone wanted me to realize #Project44 could be a reality (editor’s note: my overall neglect of myself will not allow me to get my weight to 144 pounds by Christmas, but I’ll make a dent).

Don, you say! Get to it! Why and how is your son kicking your butt? Oh, because that night, when I told him about the message I was getting to get back to #Project44, he and I dreamed up #Bootcamp44.  My son, being 13, wants to build muscles, get in shape, exercise and be faster for sports …ya know …all the stuff a teenager cares about. Me? I want to live longer and be healthy, again. I’m tired of wondering what chest pains really feel like, or did I just sleep wrong? I’m tired of my breathing issues and wondering, hmmm, if I was in any kind of better shape, would my breathing improve (and then combined with proper diet, how healthy could I actually be)? Could I really get my weight to 144 pounds? Would exercise really help my sleep like every article ever written on “sleep” and “stress” suggests?

So we started. We knew it wouldn’t be every day, but we are lucky to have a church near our house with a walking track and community center, and rooms where they have dance and karate classes, and it’s FREE!

#Bootcamp44 started simple enough…

  • 11 Push-Ups
  • 11 Sit-Ups
  • 11 Burpees
  • Ladders across the gym (some call these “suicides”)
  • Repeat 3 times (see why we picked 11? Do it 4-times and the workout is 44 of each exercise)

Then my son had the idea of “adding something new every week, or adding two things per week. And now, here’s what our workout has grown into…

  • 11 Push-Ups
  • 11 Sit-Ups
  • 11 Burpees
  • 22 Mountain Climbers (each leg comes forward 11 times)
  • 11 Dips (on a bench)
  • 11 Pull-Ups (with assistance)
  • Ladders across the gym (some call these “suicide sprints”)
  • A walking lap with dumbbell shoulder presses while walking (8 lb dumbbells)
  • Cool down lap
  • Repeat 3 times and end with a 44-second plank

Like I told the woman who works the front desk when she asked at the end of our workout last nigt, “did you two have fun tonight?”

No! I told her I’m being tortured. The kid is relentless. He never will let me take a night off. He’s always like “when are we going to the gym?” He won’t stop. He does the entire routine faster than me. On the Ladder/Suicides, he gives me a head start and then passes me. It’s humbling. But I guess that’s the difference between a 13-year-old coming into his prime and a 44-year-old a few years past his prime.

Seriously. I would let him have ice cream and play Playstation all night if he’d just let me skip – and he never lets me skip.

Oh, and did I mention, in between sets, he’s doing the other teenage boy thing …jumping up to touch every doorway or ceiling because boys like to jump and jump higher and amaze themselves at how high they can jump and how tall they’re getting.

Between sets, I pray for the roof to collapse and for forced evacuation from the facility in order to end the torture.

It’s for my own good. I know. But it’s killin’ me (even though it’s actually doing the opposite).

Wish me continued luck.

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