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Back to School: Year 2 August 20, 2007

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Blogging, Celebrities, Coaching, Discipline, Exercise, Family, Fitness, Flatulence, Food, Football, Love, Nutrition, Parenting/Children, Sports.

Once again, we’ve taken our oldest son back to college, moved him in, and said our “goodbyes.” Though I would have presumed that sending him off to school would be easier this year, it wasn’t.


What made it harder? The myriad of ways we spent time together this Summer.

A “Rocky Summer
Back in April, my oldest son decided that he wanted to get into “football shape” over the course of the Summer months. In May, he stumbled upon Sylvester Stallone’s “Sly Moves” book, containing Stallone’s workout routines, diet tips, and general advice about staying in shape. (There was no mention in the book about his alleged HGH use, or the impact it may have had on his current physique.)

So, over the course of the past 4 months, our house has been subjected to “Rocky’s Cookies,” a home-brewed version of “Stallone’s Protein Pudding,” and a half-dozen other concoctions. Likewise, going to the gym with my son included a required listening to the “Rocky Theme,” or something similarly inspirational.

According to Gym
During his time at the gym, he pushed himself amazingly hard. Much harder, in fact, than I would have expected any 19 year-old to push themselves. By mid-June, he established a routine that had him at the gym by 6:45am Monday-Friday, and by 10:00am on Saturday. He took Sundays off from the gym, but generally ran a mile or two, did some sprints, or some similar football-related exercises.

One unexpected benefit of his workout schedule was some regular father-son time. Seeing him getting up early every morning and working out made it difficult for me to sleep in, so I started setting my alarm for 5:45am. In that way, I could be up in time to fix both of us a decent breakfast, gather together my work clothes, get dressed for the gym, and meet him there.

Now, it’s one thing to say that he pushed me to get back into regular gym attendance. He did that. It’s another to suggest that I was, in some way, “keeping up” with him in his workout regimen. The guy is an absolute workout machine.

In spite of my inability to keep up, there were several ways in which I felt that I was part of his workout. If he was lifting close to his max on squats or bench, he would generally ask me to spot him. We would discuss various strategies for working one muscle group on Mondays, another on Tuesdays, and so forth. On Saturdays, after his “speed work,” we played with the medicine ball.

Time for your Medicine
One of my least favorite things to help my son with, was what he called “medicine ball crunches.” To begin, he would lie on his back with his knees bent, and I would stand on his toes. He would then sit up, hold his hands slightly above his head, and I would “toss” him a 15 or 18lb medicine ball. He would catch it, lie back down with the ball behind his head, and then explosively perform a crunch, throwing the ball into my chest.

Now, if you’ve never been hit in the chest by a 15 or 18lb object, moving at a decent velocity, I can tell you (from experience) that it gets your attention. On my first “catch,” the ball went right through my hands, as I wasn’t expecting it to come at me that fast. It hit me right in the sternum, almost knocking me on my back. (Fortunately, there was a padded wall about two feet behind me.) I determined from that point on to actually get my hands on the ball prior to it hitting my chest.

Occasionally, my son’s throw would be slightly off target. Sometimes this was from fatigue, and sometimes it was because sweat on his hands would cause the ball to slip. Regardless, I had to be on my toes (as well as his), lest I risk some other portion of my anatomy to a 15 or 18lb pummeling.

Note: In spite of having determined long ago that I do not wish to father any more children, there are some parts of my body that I continue to be highly protective of. I determined that if I missed, I would miss catching high throws as opposed to low throws.

Summertime Blue
As of this past week, he’d made significant gains in all of his lifts, lost about 10 lbs, and improved his quickness. More importantly, he learned that he can discipline himself.

As for me, my condition hasn’t improved nearly as much, but I’m left with several powerful memories of this past Summer:

  • Getting up before 6:00am to fix a high-protein breakfast for the two of us
  • Spotting him on various lifts
  • Catching a 15 or 18lb medicine ball before it damages internal (or external) organs
  • Testing out various recipes from Stallone’s cookbook (some of these were REALLY good)
  • Cleaning up the endless residue of daily protein shakes, protein pudding, morning oatmeal, eggshells, and so on that two adult men go through on a daily basis
  • Sitting around discussing the various “issues of the day,” long before the workday starts

I’ve talked with several of my friends about their sons or daughters being home for the Summer, and how they found it frustrating because their children spent so little time with them. I’ve listened patiently, and tried to be understanding when they’ve said, “Well, you know how it goes… when they come home, they don’t want to spend any time with Mom or Dad, and so we’ve seen them even less than during the school year.”

No, I don’t know how that goes at all… and I’m glad.

P.S. Now you know some of why I’ve not been posting to my blog. I’ve had higher-priority things keeping me busy. 😉

P.P.S. Logging this entry under “Flatulence” was not a coincidence. Buy “Sly Moves,” fix the “Rocky’s Cookies,” and you’ll understand why.


1. texas2 - August 20, 2007

Very neat blog I will have to say….. Creating wonderful memories the are priceless. Hope you and your son have many more to come and I am sure this will impact him in a way that he may not even realize for time to come. Hmmm now you have peaked my curiosity on the Rocky’s Cookies.

2. oscarandre - August 21, 2007

The stuff of life, Tim. I’m sure your son will remember this Summer with his Dad for a very long time.

3. Tim - August 21, 2007

Thanks texas2! Good luck with the Rocky’s Cookies. 😉

Oscarandre, it most certainly is. I just hope my son remembers it as long as I will. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. – Tim

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