Today is my son's 18th birthday. It is an important day for so many reasons. Of course, I am so proud of Turner. He is a wonderful young man who is making excellent choices. He is working so hard in school and in wrestling this year. His current situation is a great example of the post I made yesterday. Discipline = Freedom.
Turner has been disciplined in his studies, chosen to take difficult classes, remained focused on the goals, worked extremely hard in his chosen sport, was disciplined enough to avoid trouble and because of all of these things he is experiencing tremendous freedom. He has been admitted to tons of schools for academic reasons, as well as receiving attention from many college wrestling coaches. He is basically able to write his own ticket to where he wants to go and what he wants to do. I am extremely proud of him.
Today is also a day that reminds me that physical fitness, diet and taking care of my body was not always a top priority for me. Nope...in fact, I got pretty out of shape at a few points and neglected my body pretty badly; but it was Turner who helped me to turn it around completely.
As a fishing guide, I worked 12-15 hours a day and when finished would polish off a 12 pack while getting ready for the next day. I was on a See-Food diet (See food and eat it) and really paid no attention to my weight, cardiovascular conditioning or even strength. Soon, the physical toll of guiding fishing trips caught up to me and I started to have back trouble. This was the first clue that I needed to take some steps to get stronger in certain areas.
When my wife and I started to consider having children about 20 years ago, everything changed for me. I did not want to be out of shape, in fact, I decided that I wanted to be a positive role model for my new child and show them that it is important to take care of your body.
It was tough, but I turned it all around. No more drinking, and I started running. It was a chore to run at all, but soon I was getting 30 minutes in every day. I worked my way through almost every running injury that there is and patiently stayed the course. My diet improved and when I read Enter the Zone by Barry Sears, I developed a much better understanding of how food nourished our bodies. At the very least, I became very clear on what a carbohydrate was, which foods were fat and which contained protein.
I dropped tons of weight and on this day 18 years ago, I had regained my athletic life. My business was improving steadily and my wife and I welcomed Turner into our lives. From then on, everything changed. I realized that I had to work far more than ever before to make sure that I could provide for my family and I had some serious motivation in the form of an 9 lb 1 oz baby boy.
Realizing that being a fishing guide was like being a professional athlete, (at least the type of fishing that I was doing...pushing a boat around in the wind all day, every day with a long stick) I began to put my physical state as a priority. This priority was not a selfish act, rather it always came from a place of wanting to be able to do my job better so I could work more days in a row without having to take a day off. More days equaled more money and we needed every cent we could get back then.
In the guiding world, physical fitness is a strange concept, but it turned into my edge and I was able to be on the water anytime the phone rang and never had to turn down a trip because I was tired. (Discipline = Freedom)
It is hard for me to believe that Turner is 18 today. So many things have happened in his life and sometimes it seems like yesterday that he was born. His life has been a journey in so many ways. It is certainly a learning process to raise any child, but the first one is kind of like trying to hack your way through a jungle with a machete. There are no owner's manuals so we just had to forge our way the best we could. We made tons of mistakes along the way and continue to make them today. Turner has always been patient with us. Thanks Turner...one day you will have a child of your own and realize what every parent does...wow...this is tough. It may be tough, but it is worth it...every moment, every laugh, every tear, every smile, every day...it is all worth it.
Today, we honored Turner's birthday by doing a workout that I named for him a while back. I chose to do it in the 20 pound vest just for kicks:
Run 1 mile
Row 1000 m
Happy Birthday Turner! I love you.