Over the years I have filled a folder with story ideas, most of which I haven’t begun to develop yet. My plan was always to publish a book of short stories one day and a few of those you have already read in previous posts. Every week I sit down with the intention (great word) of taking one of those ideas off the list and writing to you. But lately it seems that my life has had a different plan and (in my humble opinion) has laid in front of me some great seeds to plant a new thought down into words.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I am over the top in love with my kids and my role as a father. The other day I thanked my ex for giving me these kids. It was in the context of her thanking me for taking care of my daughter who needed to go to Urgent Care for ear aches. It was my ex’s day, but she couldn;t get out of work, so I went to get her. We have finally begun to be able to work as a team which is a great feeling in itself.
Anyway, she thanked me for taking her and I said something like “I enjoy being able to be there for her when she is in need or in pain. Protecting her gives me purpose.” It’s the last line I want you to remember because when i said it I knew I had always felt it, but never verbalized it. I kind of had one of those “hmmmm, did I write that?” looks on my face haha. It hit me that right now it’s my main focus, and that’s a good thing. When my marriage ended I had a huge feeling of loss, and if I was being truthful I would say it was less a feeling of loss for my ex, and MORE of a feeling of loss of my purpose. We all probably do this to ourselves right ? We create our identity based around the things we “choose” to be our purpose. And so although I lost the purpose of Love and protecting my wife, I never lost the role and purpose of doing that for my kids. That to me is a magical feeling.
Flash forward to today. After making my first Waffles EVER (the Disney Cruise with the kids last week resulted in my kids deciding that Waffles Rock, so I bought me one and the ex one, and now we are waffle people since our kids are hard as hell to get to eat anything), I had my kids on my lap on the couch hugging and kisssing. My daughter Taylor asked to see my phone, which she always does, and I knew if I gave it to her she would be on Youtube watching a bunch of mind numbing LPS videos. If you have kids you know what that is, but if you don’t it’s basically what Cabbage Patch Kids were to my generation. Little dolls that people (mostly adults) do voices to and make really stupid little shows that my daughter is addicted to. But I digress haha So instead of letting that scenerio play out again, I asked if she wanted to watch some of my saved videos of when she was a baby at the hospital. She said YES YES YES !! =)
So I went through a bunch and we all laughed and smiled and it was great. Several funny comments came out of it like Taylor refering to herself and saying “Oooooohhh mmyyyyy gaaaawwwwdddd I was gorgeous” lol and “What happened to mommy’s face” which was swollen from giving birth and weight gain from being pregnant. I said “Taylor her face is swollen from GIVING YOU LIFE” lol I forgot they had never seen their mom heavy because when not preggo she’s barely 110 lbs. Surpisingly she didn’t notice or mention her dad who at the time of her birth was a disgusting 242 lbs which was the heaviest I had ever been. All related to stress and frustration with my career. They know me now, a sleek 190 lbs lol
The last video I played was titled “Taylor’s first Bath.” It was me recording the nurse giving her a bath in the hospital. She basically SCREAMED the whole time, until ONE MOMENT at 2:58 into the video. You will have to go to thie link to watch it if you want to know why it brought me to tears……happy tears. And why my daughter said “I knew it was my daddy.”
Watching this today with them made me remember a quote I have said in class for all my 20 years. Not sure where it came from or if it’s something I reworded from another quote, but it’s always been a powerful one. I’m not taking credit for the quote, but I am also not giving it to anyone because I am not sure who coined it and I need to get this story over to Dennis to post so you will have to look it up yourself haha. The quote I use is “Life is filled with Days that meaning nothing, but MOMENTS that mean everything.” Before I throw that line out in class I usually say something personal and only after building the moment up, so in this short post it may not have the same pizzazzz lol but here itt goes. I would say “I may not remember what tv show was on, or what I had for lunch on the day my kids were born, but I CAN describe perfectly the first sound they made. Then I say (insprational music and trumpets kick in here please haha) “That’s because LIFE is filled with Days that mean nothing, but MOMENTS that mean everything!!!” Then I usually tell them I don;pt cae if they forget the rest of class, but remember this one sprint 20 years from now. There’s a lot of “lines” I have over used in the last 20 years, but that one (in my opinion) isn’t due for retirement just yet.
My point…oh how I know it takes me so long each week to get to “my point” lol What can I say, I love to write and if I had the ability to make a living doing it I would. So my stories draw off into many tangents haha. The point is that we all know and live that quote I mentioned. You may not know who wrote it, and you may have never heard it said like that, but you live it just the same. When I look at the life my kids are going to have to navigate through compared to mine as a kid it scares me to death. I only had to know what my teachers taught, how to get to a few tv channels an hour or two a day, and how to DIAL (no, not tap a screen but physically dial a rotary phone), and maybe every so often fix my bike chain. NOW look at all these kids have to learn and all the constant information they have to take in, sift through, and decide which are the things they will store and which are garbage and can be forgotten. And with that kind of dumping of informtation, are they at risk to forget some important things!?!? I’m sure they will, and I’m equally sure it will be okay. And the reason why is that they will only forget some memories…….but my daughter who is 4 and a half, won’t forget the “MOMENT” that her dad cried like a baby when we watched together the “MOMENT” that her dad and her had on May 9th, 2011 close to midnight at Sky Ridge Hospital which was recorded and can be seen at 2minute and 58 seconds into the Youtube video link below =)
If you have read any of my posts you probably also know that my class and the gym where I have taught for almost 20 years are also a huge “purpose” for me. Anyone who teaches for any length of time MUST have it as a purpose because its not really something that the majority of us can do to make a living from. For me it’s never felt like a job, at least not at this gym. It’s something I take Pride in, care about, look forward to, and that really does help my feel like I have a purpose in this life. I assume only other instructors read this; however non instructors should know that for us (instructors) we do it because we all have a need to be part of the solution (better health and fitness) and are absolutely addicted to that ever present positive energy that builds up in a class that YOU (the instructor) are orchestrating. And when it’s good, it’s life feeding. When it’s bad, its crushing. As an instructor how many times have you felt like you failed in the attempt, only to have someone come up and say how great it was. If you’re like me, you usually say thank you but because you didn’t feel it you don’t take the credit. Well WHY NOT !?!?!? It’s not just about you !! (yelling at myself now haha). If THEY (the person taking your class) had a “MOMENT” then you just helped one person succeed right ?? Let them have that moment and just do a better job next time right ? And most of all, BE THANKFUL that you were present in someone elses moment. Getting a gues role in a movie still makes you a movie star right ?? =)
If you have kids, do this with your kids but if you don’t than do it with someone you love or who knows you well. If you don’t have anyone around than do it with yourself (mind out of the gutter please). Sit down with a pen and paper and start writing down some memories in as much detail as you can. The example I gave earlier was the day my kids where born. Write it all down and then when finished walk away for a few hours or even a day. Then come back to it and what you will find (like I did) is that all the “memories” will be surrounding the “MOMENT” like an army ready to attack. Being in the Hospital is a memory. Knowing her date of birth is in my memory. Remembering that they gave her a bath right after coming out is a memory. What color my under wear was, lost forever. Which phone I had at the time, couldn’t care less. But what took place on that video at 2 minutes and 58 seconds and lasted long enough to know that it wasn’t a fluke and that a MOMENT, no wait a FUCKING MOMENT (read earlier post to get the meaning of adding the cuss word there lol) was taking place is something that will stay in my mind and most of all my heart, for eternity. And I know that you have those moments too both in your past and in your future. As instructors who get to push people through uncomfortable physical situations, we have the responsibility to anchor their success to something mentally and spiritually powerful so that they can access it later when we aren’t there to help them along. For me I use sappy personal stories like this, but maybe for you it’s something totally different. So find out what yours are so you can REMIND youself of their power, and then use the principal in your class and through out your whole life. There’s so much power in it for them as well as you. It’s what reduced a 190 lb bad ass (kidding) like me to tears on a Sunday morning lol
I’m a Father, I’m a Spin Instructor, I’m a Business Owner, I’m a son, a brother, and American and on and on and on. Some of these roles give me purpose, some also give me memories, and some I have great passion for. But they are all still just “ROLES” just like Jeniffer Aniston plays in a movie right ? She isn’t the person she plays in those movies, BUT every so often I am sure she acts out a scene that she is proud of and for her that’s the moment she decides to remember because that’s her moment. It doesn’t mean the rest of the movie didn’t matter, it just means that if she could only save one clip it would be that one. I had a failed marriage and I can choose to kick myself for the failure, or remember all the horrible parts at the end, OR I can remember the moments that brought me joy like those two little bundles upstairs playing while I type this to you. And because I am able to do that, forget the “memory” but remember the MOMENT, I was able to sincerely thank my ex wife for giving me my children and ultimately a greater PURPOSE than I have ever had. And that my friends is more powerful than any negative thought I’ve ever had!!
I always get to the end of my posts and feel like I need a “Doogy Howser” clever ending line. Something that ties it all in and is funny lol Something that the guys will say “damn I wish I talked that smooth” lol and just in case my soulmate and future wife is reading, something good enough to show all my sweet and caring sides while still sounding like bad ass who could protect her from anyone lol But right now I am drawing a blank and this post is due in a few minutes. So I will end with this – Thank you for reading my posts and for allowing me another week to force myself to look at my life and the world around me so that I may find the beauty and gifts all around me. I was in a dark place for a while and only saw things to bitch about and now I find myself remembering who I was and how I loved life and felt a passion to inspire others. Each day I get less and less angry with my circumstances and more and more in love with the life I currently have. And this is in large part from the purpose I’ve been given to write this post to you all. I hope it’s touched, helped, or inspired at least a few of you. Now go make some moments !!
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