My son and I decided to work out together, last night. It had been awhile since we had last done this, and I was looking forward to tossing the weights around with him. He had been inundated with homework, training with his school’s track team, and lining up his college opportunities this past week. It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that he would be graduating from high school within the next couple of months, and that he would be attending one of the local colleges a few months later.
We finally got to the gym at around 6:30 P.M. It was a Sunday evening, so we pretty much had the entire place to ourselves. He started out with about 30 minutes of cardiovascular training on an elliptical machine, while I proceeded to jump right into some dumbbell and plate-loaded machine work for my upper body. We both orbited around each other, after he was done with his cardio workout, doing our own workouts, until he walked by to ask me about when I was going to perform my barbell squat and leg press workouts.
I always work my entire body with each weightlifting workout (usually three times per week); a regimen which I had adopted when I first began to attend law school, almost twenty years ago. I just didn’t have the time to set aside for, “leg days”, or “chest days”, etc. I shared this with my children, when they became old enough to lift weights at the gym. My youngest daughter deviated from this program, up until this school year, as her new school’s academic standards were substantially more rigorous than those of her previous school. Vince has always kept to the “total body” weightlifting training model, as a way to facilitate his football, track & field, and martial arts training.
When it came time for me to spot Vince when he did his bench presses, I marveled at his almost exponential increase in strength, since last summer. I was also suitably impressed with his poundage/repetitions when he executed the incline barbell press. When it came time for us to work the squats, I knew that Vince was in a completely different league than I was. He could literally squat hundreds of pounds more than I could, and manage to do more repetitions than I could, when we both lifted our maximum poundage in this lift.
Despite Vince’s strength and muscularity, he is also quite quick on his feet (4.8 seconds for the 40 yard dash), and he has outgrown his adolescent lack of muscular coordination (as evidenced in his Jiu Jitsu training). We both performed five sets of barbell squats, and then moved on to other parts of the gym. I showered up, while Vince got in a few more sets of dumbbell presses and some abdominal work.
We spent the rest of the evening talking about his life; his friends, his aspirations. There comes a time when every parent has to let go of their children and let them live their own lives. Seeing Vince turn into a focused, decent young man is a source of silent pride for me –his dad-, and yet, I can’t help but wonder where did all of the time go?
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