So as I’ve mentioned before, my father is coming to the lifting event on Saturday at Crossfit Durham. I’m very pleased, excited and a bit nervous about this.

It’s really no big deal. I just find it amusing that these feelings are occurring at all. I’m 42. I’m an adult living a life independent of my parents. I’ve got the spouse, family, career, mortgage, etc to prove it. I’m blessed that my parents live in our community and we have a fabulous healthy relationship where we can rely on each other when necessary. But we do maintain separate houses with seperate rules and have seprate lives.

At first I thought that somehow having Dad come to watch me compete in a sporting event was making me feel very child like. To a limited degree that’s true. It reminds me of high school swim meets and little league baseball games when he used to coach our teams. I’ve been thinking about how 20 years ago, Dad, my younger brother and I all played on the same local softball team for a couple of Summers. Those are all fabulous treasured memories which have been tucked away and ignored for far too long.

Then I realized that was only one layer of what’s been rattling around inside my head the past few days. I’ve been thinking about where I was a few years ago and how I was throwing away any chance that I might have to play a sport side by side with my own children.

I got to thinking back about how when I was little like many kids, Dad was the strongest guy I knew. Whether he was turning a wrench changing the oil under our car, hurling a soft ball on a line from third to first base or throwing my brother and I across our family pool so we could cannonball into the deep end, he was always the strongest man I knew. He was my first super hero. Dad still is my hero.

Now I find myself occuppying this dynamic middle place which I’ve never taken note of before. I guess I’ve dwelled here for some time but never realized it. Because I’ve finally gotten fit, I’m able to play with my kids. I frequently swing my daughter as if she were a kettle bell. Sometimes I use the 9yo, too. Every Spring, I coach my son’s little league team. There’s nothing more gratifying than hucking a little league ball across the infield from 3rd to 1st to another parent and really popping their mitt to show the kids how they should field a grounder and throw properly. When the pool is not too crowded, my son loves being tossed around at my parent’s club. I can do all those things with my kids now and so much more.

My 9 yo son and my 70 yo father will both be there tomorrow watching me lift. While I have very specific and ambitious goals for the day, the numbers are really irrelevant. Of course, yes, I simply want to make my Dad proud and I know that no matter what the outcome that will be the case. I guess no matter how old we get, if we’re lucky, we never outgrow that.

Beyond that I really want him to see that from here on out, as long as it’s within my power, I’m going to be all right. Dad never said anything year after year as I added pound upon pound, but I know he worried about my health. Guess he figured it was up to me to make my own choices and follow my own path. Tomorrow is a chance to show him, to show them all really, that while I may not be a super hero or the strongest guy in the gym, I AM healthy. And from here on out I’m going to be healthy and be there for my kids just as he was for me.