Eliott Loves To Run

Eliott likes to run.

Scratch that. Eliott LOVES to run. On rainy days, when he’s cooped up inside, he runs from one side of the living room to the other, just to get his legs moving. It’s only a few steps, but a few steps is all he needs. He backs up, scrunching himself against the wall like a cat preparing to pounce, then blasts off, full force to the opposite side of the room, where he relies on a wall, a piece of furniture, or maybe even his brothers to stop his momentum.

He does this over and over again. For hours. No matter what, he has to keep moving.

I used to be like that. When I was a kid, I’d go down to my grandma’s house and toss a tennis ball against her house. I’d catch it with my ball glove and toss it back again and again. I played entire baseball games there, setting up a complicated system of rules where, depending on where on the vinyl siding the ball hit, it would be a ball or a strike or a hit. If it was a hit, I’d have to catch it and throw it back to get the runner out. A game would take about two hours. Sometimes I’d play several games, there at my Grandma’s house, over the course of a day.

I played real baseball games, too, with actual people. I rode bikes, and swam, and ran and climbed trees in the woods. I was fairly active when I was a kid.

And yet somehow I grew up fat. I lost the weight some in my 20s, back when all I had to do was work full time and go to school part time. But now, with a wife, four kids, a demanding job and a bum knee, its hard to keep in any kind of shape that isn’t circular.

But today, I read some research of childhood obesity. It seems that the number one contributor to childhood health and avoiding obesity is the influence of the father. If I’m fat, they’ll be fat. If I’m fit, they’ll be fit, too.

I went on a walk for lunch yesterday. It was nothing special. Just a mile around the block by my office. I’ll try for two miles today since yesterday was kinda easy. I’ll try to do some ab/core exercises tonight and maybe one of the many exercise dvds we have tomorrow morning. I’ll start talking with the kids about it, too. Maybe they’ll want to exercise more. And maybe I’ll find some fun stories to share here, this first Fat Tuesday post.

I’m excited and I hope it goes well. Because Eliott loves to run, and I’d like to see him keep doing that.

Something Might Happen

I just started writing, on an extremely part-time basis, for the good folks at Redleg Nation. My first article went up this morning. It’s about Opening Day, and you can read it here.

Dad said not to bring my glove. “We’re all the way up in the red seats,” he said. “No one’s gonna hit it up there.” Then, as if to emphasize the point, “No way. Not. At. All.”

But I brought it anyway.

It was an early April morning in 1988. The late ’80s were good years – the years after Pete Rose had broken the record but before the mess of banishment – when the Reds seemed to always finish second to either the Cards or the Mets no matter how hard they tried.

Dad and I rode a city bus down Winton Road from the northern suburbs, through St. Bernard, through Corryville, past UC, and straight through Over the Rhine like a Barry Larkin line drive, ending up on Fountain Square an hour ahead of the Findlay Market parade. It was Opening Day, the holiest of baseball holidays, and we reveled in our annual pilgrimage.

I held the glove under my left arm. Dad eyed me sideways. “You never know,” I said. “Something might happen.”