Showing posts from October, 2010

I'm Starting With the (Wo)man in the Mirror

Sometime between the ninth Iron Man passing by and the appearance of my son, dressed as Michael Jackson but more closely resembling Weird Al dressed as Michael Jackson, I whipped my left arm out of my jacket, flexed, and said to the woman sitting next to me, "Does this look bulky to you?" Women and their "I don't want to get too bulky." I lift the heaviest weight I can for most exercises and am not bulky, despite what m y children say . Genetics play a part in how any of us look, of course, as does the amount of fat masking the muscle. But if the fat is there, it generally will look better with a little muscle providing what is often called tone. And if the muscle is there, and you pay attention to nutrition, you'll burn the fat more easily, and fight off the effects of aging and osteoporosis and all sorts of things women worry about. Writers are told to pare down their pitches to an "elevator speech," a brief explanation able to be eeked out betw

Breathing: It's Overrated

Monday night, following heavy sets with both barbell and dumbbells on the flat bench, I had the distinct sensation that my ribs were poking through my heart, and that my lungs, in solidarity, had ceased all major operations. Greg says this is my punishment for having another man spot me on the dumbbell press, but my feeling is he shouldn't be spiteful when I'm here knocking on death's door. Reactions have been mixed. Regular folk are alarmed upon hearing phrases such as "I can't breathe," whereas powerlifters are like, "Go stretch. You'll be fine." I must admit that stretching has done nada; only time is taking away the feeling that the 45-pound dumbbell is sitting on my chest. I figure by next Saturday's meet, I'll either be really strong from carrying this imaginary weight around, or I'll pass out from the lack of breathing.

Puppies and Kitties

Of the four bench press competitions I've been involved in, two have been held at my local Y, and the others at farther away locations. For those far away I've had to mail in my registrations. When I do, I like to use mailing labels with puppies and also kitties.

Good Grief

Recently I began the process of writing a 504 plan for Theo's diabetes care at school. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides protection against discrimination for children with disabilities, including those with diabetes. I'm writing a comprehensive plan of care to be followed by school staff in order to keep the disease managed with as little disruption to Theo's day as possible. My preparations include reading a brochure called " Your School and Your Rights ," written by the American Diabetes Association, where I found these words: To qualify for protection under Section 504, a child must have a physical and mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities... In making this determination, a person with diabetes is viewed as he or she would be without the help of mitigating measures such as insulin. Without the help of mitigating measures such as insulin. It hit me: Theo can do anything, go anywhere, be anybody, but.


Big guy at the gym is taking four 45-pound plates off the bar at the incline chest press. "For all I know you didn't lift that," I say, teasingly. "You put them on there to look like you did, just to impress us." "Yeah, and I sprayed myself with water to look like I'm sweating." I put the key in the 190-pound slot for close-grip pull-downs. "Running out of weight here," I yell. "Sometimes we're trying to impress ourselves, right?" Big Guy says. "If you're in here, you're not satisfied. You keep topping your last weight. You keep going, because it's never enough." "And you hope that discipline translates over to real life," I say. "I just turned 40," he says, "It all starts quitting on you when you turn 40. You gotta push yourself, but you gotta accept what you're given, too." "40's in a few weeks for me," I say. "I've realized that this is it--thi


About sports, friends, school and life, Simon is ambivalent. But ask him about LEGOs. Ask any ten-year-old boy about LEGOs. Have you ever asked a ten-year-old boy about LEGOs? Watch as unbridled prepubescent devotion is channeled into small, colorful bits of plastic. No need to ask how or why; the heart goes where it will. To there: to LEGOs . Not long ago we were in a store browsing the LEGO section. A boy approaches. He's short, on the pudgy side, with auburn hair. He's standing at the end of the aisle listening as we wonder aloud if we should buy a particular police wagon set. He's quivering. And then he speaks: "It's...a" The words come in small bursts. It's as if his head is a balloon and someone's letting out the air every few seconds. "Oh yeah?" I ask. "How come?" "It's," he says, breathless. "The mini-figure...he fits in there, can close the door,'

Fashion Sense and Sensibility

In my house, stuff isn't often new. It's borrowed (from the library), used (from a thrift store), or donated (from a friend). The day we gave Theo a white sheet of paper to draw on, he flipped it over and exclaimed, "There's no writing on the other side!" When friends with good fashion sense gave us some clothes for the boys, we were grateful. Simon especially liked this shirt ...and on Sunday, wore it to church. He's a handsome boy, and he looked quite good in the shirt, what with all the hand-stitched, asymmetrically hip designs. But sometime during the chorus of "Take Me As I Am," I looked over at his right sleeve and saw this: Now I'm all for celebrating the body, and this mermaid's v-taper certainly is cause for a party. But seeing as the pastor had just concluded a sermon on being stewards of the inner life, I rolled up my son's sleeve and got to work on just that.


The D-Mom blog is a great resource for parents of children with type 1 diabetes, and I'm happy to have been added to their blogroll. Now I'm thinking I need an avatar, too. Who out there can draw?

Eight Seconds

Simon is standing. I'm behind him cutting the back of his hair. He's talking. We're laughing. "Mom?" he asks, and leans forward. Mmm, I say, holding my scissors back. The lean becomes a fall. His face hits the door frame. His head rebounds off the sink. His body crumples to the floor, eyes are open, staring upward. I'm screaming. He won't talk. I won't leave him. I have to help him. I don't know what to do; I don't know what to do. Then: He talks. He's fine. Why is Mom asking me my name? It's not a second son with diabetes; he just fainted. After his bike ride. That's all. Just an eight-second reminder to love the ones you're with.

Man On Wire

On August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit strung 200 kilos of cable between the tops of New York's Twin Towers and walked, knelt, lain, and danced across it. He and his cohorts spent the previous night juggling the logistics of this criminal act of poetry in the sky, which lasted 45 minutes to an hour, six or eight crossings between. Friends on the ground alerted crowds to the dancing speck in the sky. In a time before cell phones, without the means to broadcast the news to anyone not in the immediate vicinity, people looked up. A photograph shows faces angled upward, arms hanging slack, lips parting. Police gathered on the tower roofs; Petit laughed and ran to the middle of the wire. Ran: how would they follow? When he eventually gave in, the elegant act was traded for the violence of arrest, of handcuffs and the danger of a steep stairwell. Some friends would deny they knew him, pretending instead to be journalists. The police report would accuse him of "intent to cause public incon

People In The Place

Theo, with guest appearance by AquaMan.

Here We Go Again

A phone call, the words bench press competition girls only and You in? and I'm in. November 6. Here we go.