There is something heart wrenching about watching your kid being pushed to their absolute limits physically. Tonight I watched my son do push ups, sit ups, leg raises, and up and downs till he could barely move, and just when I thought he was gonna pass out from exhaustion, he ran and ran and ran. He ran around the field, he ran suicides, he ran up and down hills... he ran till I swore he would drop to the ground, taking only four short water breaks and pushing his limits for two whole hours. Why would my son participate in this madness you ask? It is all part of the coaches conditioning for his team that will prepare them to play football this season for the Copper Hills Grizzlies.
When Mike started going to football practice a couple of weeks ago, I have to admit I thought his dad was a bit of a dunce for going along to ALL the practices with him. I did remind him after all that "the last thing the coach would want is to have 'sous-coach' dads standing around watching their every move." Still, it did not deter him from going every night to sit on the field and watch his son. After I had made fun of him CONSTANTLY for a few days, he finally talked me in to coming and watching a practice with him.
As I sat and watched my son exert himself, my first thoughts were "How on earth can they expect the kids to be able to do all this? And in this heat none the less???" However, as I was sitting there fretting, I couldn't help but notice that every few minutes, when Mike started to look particularly drained, he would look over at his dad and there would be this very "manly" exchange between the both of them. His Dad would pound his chest in a "Tim-the-Tool man-Taylor" fashion, or clap his hands and yell "good job" or "keep going bud" and then Mike would give his dad a bright smile and a thumbs up and take off running with a renewed energy. This went on for the entire two hours. Needless to say, I finally got why his Dad felt the need to be there each night... and I will never give him hassle about going again!
As I sat there tonight watching this tender exchange between a father and son, I also remembered an experience of my own. I had gone to participate in the Alonzo Stagg 50-mile hike with our Stake. There were quite a few kids my age going and we had started at 9pm on a Friday night, and had hiked all night. My feet were killing me. I knew they were bleeding inside my tennis shoes, but I didn't want to take off my shoes in fear that I would not be able to get them back on again. I was literally on my last leg. I knew I only had a few miles left, but I was feeling like I had reached my limit, and there was no way I could make the last stretch. All of a sudden, my dad came jogging up behind me. It turns out that someone from the Stake had called my parents to tell them I had made it most of the way and had invited them to come and be at the finish line when I got there. My dad had found out what checkpoint I had last checked in at and came and found me on the trail. I was SOOOOOO happy to see him there, and he became my crutch to get me through the last few miles. Literally, I leaned on him the rest of the way. I honestly don't think I would have made it without him!
So cheers to two fathers who were there for their kids in their hours of need!
And cheers to you too Mike. You look dang good out there! Not to mention, the chics are gonna dig you in that uniform :)