Fitness and Fear

My dad has always been a fit man. I seem to recall him jogging regularly when I was a wee lad and I know for an absolute fact that he walks regularly these days. And not just a sight-seeing stroll, but a good, brisk walk. He has taken far better care of his body than I have of mine, and it shows. When I was twenty hanging out meant spending time with friends; now it just means hanging out of your jeans. My dad has never attained the level of midsection jiggle that I have, even with my mom’s terrific cooking and even more outstanding baking. I’m not sure if he’s sporting six-pack abs, but, ladies, I can honestly say he has quite a hot tush for a seasoned citizen.

I am now at the same age he was when I was playing youth basketball. I remember during one of my practices watching dad do some layup drills. Sure, even I can do that now but not with the same energy level, nor duration, as he. Heck, I couldn’t even handle the Mikan drill beyond a few hook shots before needing a sit down. In fact, the first year my oldest played basketball the coach of the 13 & up team asked if I’d like to scrimmage with the kids to help them practice in a game situation. It didn’t take long for me to silently pray that someone at that practice was a fully-trained paramedic. There was a moment when I was chasing a loose ball down the court when my legs just gave out due to fatigue – and we hadn’t even made it through one quarter of play yet. I was so glad I told the coach I couldn’t stay long because I had to get home. That “couldn’t stay long” became “I gotta get the heck out of here” right quick. I’m happy to say I can last longer these days, but nowhere near what my dad could’ve done back then. (And probably now, for that matter.)

But there was a time I was very worried about my dad. He had a chest cold and they took an x-ray to see if pneumonia was present. What that picture revealed was an orange-sized tumor in his chest. They scheduled surgery to remove it and dad told me not to worry. I didn’t worry, he seemed calm and sure that all would be okay. So, following his lead, I didn’t worry. But I was four states away, so when I heard they bumped up the date of surgery – significantly in my opinion – I started to worry. Not being a medical professional I’m not sure if bumping up a surgery is all that routine. A few days or so and I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but I think it was over a month. Why? Was dad in any eminent danger? I was walking on the proverbial eggshells, not knowing if I should call mom, say a novena, whatever. It was a stressful time for me, and I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like for my parents.

But, fifteen plus years later, Dad is still kicking. He may be a father, but after getting his chest cracked open and a sizable invader removed, he’s proven himself one tough mother as well. And, he’s still in great shape. Makes me think I should get off my butt blogging and go for a walk. Yeah, that’s a great idea. There’s a new burger joint down the street – I hear they have this triple-decker bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg on a toasted donut for a bun. Um…wait, never mind.

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