Friday, January 08, 2010

Stepping (Up) to the Beat

My kids are growing up now. I've always seen it as my job to facilitate my children's lives, to be there when they need me and optimize their chances for success. I did all the normal "dad" stuff. Took them to their games, their events, and on vacations, when we had the time. My youngest son who just turned fourteen has said that I "never want to do anything with him". I listen. Unfortunately for Matthew, doing something with him, more often than not, means sitting with him and watching him while he plays video games. While this is fun for him, it's hardly fun for the "victim".

Despite all that, there is often truth from the mouth of a child (young man), and what it really comes down to is getting Matthew what he wants, more time with me, and what I want, to be a good husband and friend, a good father, a good triathlete and Ironman, and a most excellent computer nerd guy. It makes me wonder if my oldest son felt the same way, and whether or not I squandered my opportunities with him. I certainly hope not. All of my children make me so proud. I have my work cut out for me in the new year.

Yesterday, I had to meet a company representative to fill out the paper work on a new contract I am starting Monday(!). I am on a quest this year to find a permanent job AND improve myself in my career choice. As such, I was running late when I got home yesterday, after having to stop off at the grocery store. I threw the hot dogs on the counter (yup, we were eating good last night) and told the boys to feed themselves while I ran to the gym (5 minutes away) to do my 25 minute strength routine. When I got back, I ate then sat down at the kitchen table with Matthew and read my new book while I digested my food. Matthew was delighted to have me comment on his game play between the pages.

At about 8:30 PM, I decided I better get my buttocks on the trainer and knock out my ride. What better to spend more quality "Matthew time" then to haul the trainer into the kitchen and pedal away. My critique of Matthew's Xbox skillz were much much sharper on the trainer. Be careful what you ask for! I rode for forty-five minutes, fifteen warm up, then 5x1 minute 90+ RPMs, 2 minutes easy, then a fifteen minute cool down. It started to snow a little heavier outside. After my bike workout, I retired to the couch to read the rest of my book and drink lotsa water.

I woke up at 5:30 in the morning and waited for Dee Dee to come home. I knew the roads would be slick, and I was worried about her. About 6:40, she pulled into the driveway, and I was happy. She was about twenty minutes later than normal, but given the road conditions, I'll take it. Both Matthew and Jimmy were out of school for the day. The entire city shuts down with two inches of icy snow. I got to sleep in! Then, I headed to the gym to get in some quality workouts. I didn't have to be at my old job until after lunch today.

This is considered a recovery week. I hopped on the treadmill for an easy 5 minute walk, then proceeded to run/walk at a 10/1 interval, always keeping my heart rate before AeT. Near the end of my run, some peppy music came on over the loudspeaker, and I picked up my pace, but not my speed. I counted my right foot strikes and was surprised to see my cadence at 90, right where it should be. That made me smile, even if my HR drifted up into the 150s :-) A nice relaxing 1600 yard swim in the pool wrapped up my gym session, and then it was off to work.

I don't usually listen to music when I run, but I enjoyed stepping out (and up) to the beat on what should be an exciting new year for all us.

Wes

16 comments:

Backofpack said...

Way to go - figuring out a way to balance what you needed with what your son needed. Maybe you could suggest to him that you'll spend video time with him, but he has to spend an equal amount of time with you, doing what you like. He could jog, bike or swim with you. Or you find a compromise activity for both of you - movie night? Anyhow, good luck on your training!

Juls said...

Way to go, Dad!

Shannon said...

You're a great husband, friend, athlete, & FATHER! Keep on going Weslicious.

Darrell said...

Of all your roles and identities, sounds like you've chosed the right ones, husband and dad, to put at the top of the list. Kudos!

Joe said...

Good post, Wes. So much of parenting is watching, thinking, listening, reacting as kids grow. Nice job hauling the trainer in with young Matthew.

Keep your eyes and heart open... and your older son probably is grateful too, even if he doesn't say it much yet.

Karen said...

Lots of comments and not enough space... ahem.. do I talk too much?

1... Yikes - You have snow too! I thought so from FB - tell DeeDee from me to take extra care!!... and you too! .. oh and for the record.. avoid yellow snow... cats have been there!

2. Yeah for your cadence (she says with a hint of jealousy), focusing on that last year has got you some rewards!

3. Yeah for supporting Matthew whilst on a turbo session... good idea - probably helped pass the time too!

OK - that's all.... for now... coffee calling...

Firefly's Running said...

Niiiiice!!

Tea said...

You did good. I never liked "watching" video games either. But, I started watching them while I was on the treadmill. While running, I started asking alot of questions. Before I knew it, I was able to actual hold an intelligent conversation about different games.

It doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you do it.


You did good Dad.

Michelle said...

Very creative solution, Wes!

Kevin said...

Glad to hear you've lined up another contract. Hopefully 2010 will be the year you find something permanent.

Stuart said...

Something I struggle with and my kids are a lot younger!

Nice cadence!

Runner Leana said...

Nice job! Way to combine some father-son time while getting some training in too!

Jess said...

Sounds like you've been busy, but I think it's an awesome idea to drag the trainer in so you can hang out with Matthew! Way to find time to both things!

MAJ said...

sorry I'm so behind. Go on with your bad self! I'm excited to hear about the job front. I kind of got stuck on that part since I'm in that sort of career-reinvention mode myself.

Renee said...

Very good post Wes! I think it is very important to address balancing parenting with your training goals. I think you are doing a fantastic job as a parent for the simple fact that your 14 year old WANTS you around! That alone says tons!

Jess said...

Hey you forgot me you favorite daughter in your blog! :) You need to blog about the Atlanta Beat when the season starts especially since you are running in our 5K!