What it takes to lose weight
August 22, 2013
I won't hold that I have the best of motivations for losing weight.
As humans go, I'm deeply flawed. Ask the fellas at noon basketball. Ask my colleagues. Ask my family.
Heh. Heh. Ask my son.
He was a pencil-necked cross country runner with T-Rex arms through college. Then, as happens to so many college athletes, career life got busy and it became not so easy to get out for those long runs and workouts. Pretty soon you begin to fill out at bit. And then maybe a bit more.
I'm a loving parent who wants only the best for his children. I say this wide-eyed, hand across my heart, no smirk. I swear.
So around February, I began taunting the lad.
"Watch out, I'm going to weigh less than you pretty soon."
A laugh. I weigh 174, 175. He's "ballooned" to all of 158.
Pretty soon I'm 170. "Good job, Dad!"
165. "I'm coming. You better get running."
160. The smiles begin getting what, a little rueful?
The taunting is starting to get annoying, I know. But we're culturally Irish on both sides, and everyone in this family gives as well as they receive in a household seldom lacking for, er, lively banter.
He's changed jobs, taken on a kind of mission impossible role. The kid is young enough, confident enough, dumb enough and gambler enough to get after this opportunity with gusto. Maybe he'll be scarred, but I doubt it. I think that however it goes, the lessons will be incalculably valuable, for life as well as career.
But he needs to run. That's the foundation of his discipline and better habits. And happiness. The more pressure to a job, the more you should build in that physical routine — more so for your mental fitness than the body itself.
When I hit 157 and a quarter, I texted. I danced. Oh, I taunted. Then I met the kid for a beer at the Boot in Eagle.
One of our friends there who we hadn't seen in awhile turned around, sized him up, and said, "You haven't been running as much." I swear, he had no idea.
If I had feelings, maybe I would have felt a twinge of sympathy. Well … nah.
His wife has a kinder, firmer touch, and he actually listens to her. But I must say that lately he's been making a bigger point to mention events like the half-marathon he ran with her recently at Georgetown and the 24-hour relay he did in Wyoming with her and a team of her friends from grad school.
So I've had my fun, made my points and maybe helped him a little with recommitting to his path. Or maybe the old man was just his annoying self, and as wise staffers are wont to do, just play along, nod politely — eventually he goes away.
But hey, going after the kid got me to drop almost 20 pounds. Hmm, wait a minute.
Who was working whom?