Luckily I didn’t have to rent a tux to go along with my wife’s grown-up prom dress. My dad owns a tuxedo which I was able to borrow and wear because my dad and I are essentially the same size. At first that weirded me out a bit, but after a little reflection I considered our similar builds a good omen. Currently I’m 35 years-old, 5’ 10”, about 163 pounds, and relatively comfortable with the size and shape of my body. My dad is 61 years-old, 26 years my senior, and apparently he and I can share clothing. If I can live another 26 years and still be wearing the same clothing I am today – especially considering that those years will be spent living with my crazy cake-baking wife – then I will be very pleased with how things have turned out.
Of course, I am making the assumption that 26 years of minimal weight gain is in my future because I’ve got half of my father’s genes in my genetic make-up (did I mention that my mom is also roughly the same size as when she was in her 30’s? That should count for something too). But that assumption does beg the question: to maintain my 35 year-old size into my 60’s do I have to start running regularly?
Let me explain.
When my dad hit his mid-30’s he started road running. He was out running every morning. He ran 5Ks and 10Ks. He ran in all varieties of charity runs. He did the Chicago Marathon a number of times. And he still runs – though I don’t think as frequently – today.
So that’s why I ask myself the question, “Do I have to start running”? And I mean seriously running every day so that I might wear the same shirt I have on today again on May 5, 2034?
Crap, I hope not. I took up the sport of road running for a while. I ran a few of those 5Ks and 10Ks with my dad. I really didn’t like running. I thought it was boring. Of course I was just a kid then and a lot of things I thought boring when I was a kid are no longer boring to me now. None the less, I’ve pretty much stayed away from running as exercise since then.
This past fall Heather bought a treadmill for $5 at a garage sale and we put it in our renovated basement. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to start using that treadmill a few times a week (One, I wanted to justify the existence of the thing in our basement. Two, I knew some extra exercise would do me good.).
Surprisingly enough, I have kept that resolution – more or less. It hasn’t been as regular as I planned, but I still get down there and walk/run for 30 minutes. What surprised me more than me keeping the resolution this far into the year was how much I didn’t find running on the treadmill boring. It was a 180-degree reversal from my impression of running when I was a kid.
I found it relaxing to be clipping along in a steady trot, the rhythmic patting of my shoes on the surface creating a hypnotically soothing sound. In fact, I caught myself wondering that if I found running on the treadmill enjoyable, what would it be like to actually run on the streets and see something different than the same wall for 30 minutes? That could almost be . . . fun.
So now the convergence of my possible interest in running meets the revelation that my dad and I, despite 26 years difference, are basically the same size, which slams into my desire to replicate what my dad has done. My brain can’t stop fitting this information into a logical argument that goes something like:
You are your father’s sonWhen I start this post, it was supposed to be about going to the dance, these goofy photos of Heather and I from our high school proms, and how I was the only one in the building who knew the words to “Swinging On A Star” by Bing Crosby when the DJ played it. (Well, the guy who requested it probably knew, but on a night where 90% of the prom attendees were in their 30s and 40s and the music was a mix of 70’s album rock and cheesy 80’s pop, hearing Crosby’s crooning blast over the speakers stuck out like a sore thumb. And singing along with Bing made me an even bigger sore thumb, at least until Heather made me stop.) Obviously I didn’t end up anywhere near that.
He’s run for 26 years to get where he is today
Strap on those running shoes Brendan
The prom was a lot a fun and the turn out of parents makes it likely that there will be another prom next year. If Heather and I attend, I can only imagine what sort of mid-life revelation I'll encounter. This year I learned I need to start running to keep up with my dad. Next year it will probably be something about wearing sweater vests or learning to enjoy the Weather Channel.