Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Yesterday was my first squat day on the 5/3/1 program. I am afraid to squat. My hips fight me the whole way, I have to work like hell to keep my low back from rounding, and I've hurt myself a couple of times because of it. I considered not doing squats at all with this program, but this is my life damn it. I'm not going to give in. I'm going to break the faulty movement patterns, and get my hips and back truly functional. To do that I have to squat. Not heavy, just work on the movement. So no extra reps, and honestly, I'm not moving the weight up until I can free squat the weight.
Starting out on the box, then lower box, then free squat the warm-ups, then free squat the lighter sets, then all sets. It's going to take time, but I am determined.

good mornings (very low, very strict)
3x10 at 135

Something more serious happened yesterday. I feel very conflicted, and am writing about it more to collect my thoughts than anything, so please bear with me. I got an email from my father yesterday. He informed me that he has prostate cancer. His prognosis is good (at least that's what he told me). All the indicators are that he'll be ok, but still he's got cancer. I love my father. I really do, but we're not all that close. I live far away, and we just don't have much in common.
Now that he's sick, I question myself a bit. I guess everyone goes through this when their parent gets sick: guilt and questioning. Did I make the effort to see him when I lived less far away. Am I a good son? Was he a good father?
So far my conclusion is this: it doesn't fucking matter. He did the best he could to be a father, and I'm doing the best I can to be a son. I am doing right by him by living my life, being a man, and some day passing the legacy on to someone else to be the man or woman they choose to be.
It would be worse if I lived closer and spent Sundays in church with the old man, because that's not who I am. Above all else my father and grandfather taught me that being my own man is important.
My grandfather owned and ran a saw mill. He risked a lot to open that mill when he very easily could have just worked for someone else. He worked longer and harder than men half his age, and did so with a smile on his face.
In a time when his family all lived in the same tiny town he grew up in, my dad married a girl from Detroit, and moved away. Dad worked in an office for the state of Missouri while his dad and brother worked in the mill.
I married a girl from Boston, and moved to Seattle. While my dad pushed papers, I push packets.
We both saw a wider world and found our own place in it. I moved further away, but he left the family business. I am sure neither were popular decisions with my grandparents just as I'm sure he's not happy with my choice of area code.
I never really saw the parallels until just now. Things are not that different. The distance is greater, the idea is the same. I just hope he can see it.
It's fear. We fear our parent's mortality, because that means we're next. We fear their death because there is no repairing a fouled relationship once they're gone.
I am afraid. I am afraid that my father doesn't understand. That he only sees the differences in us, and not the similarities. I am afraid that he doesn't understand that while we don't hang out and do things together that I am doing my best to carry on what he and his father taught me about being a man. I am afraid that I am missing the point, and I have overlooked some important detail of our relationship. I am afraid that I am a bad son. I am afraid that the grand kids I haven't had will only get to see pictures of him.
I hope he gets better.
I hope you are well.

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