At the beginning of the year, I commented on my weight loss success. To recap, that guy over on the right, that was me back in April 2007. Looking at the picture now, I barely recognize myself. Wow, I was fat. I couldn’t do a single pull-up without a machine providing weight assistance. Then, in September 2008, my first daughter was born. That was the motivation I needed to not just lose weight, but to improve my overall fitness. I was determined to be a healthy influence for my kids. Fortunately, the event coincided with learning about carbohydrate restriction for weight loss and a Paleo lifestyle for overall health.
Fast forward four years. We’re spending the July 4 weekend with my parents in Big Bear Lake. There’s a nice park with a playground down by the lake, about half a mile from the house. Playground equipment isn’t just fun for children and is way more exhilarating than a stuffy old gym. There are kids climbing, swinging, and sliding, contributing to an energetic atmosphere. The warm sun beats down me, manufacturing that essential of hormones, vitamin D. Not only is the equipment is good for the climbing and sliding you’d expect, but it’s good for pull-ups and dips. No one has told any of the kids that they need to go to the gym to exercise, they’re doing all of this for fun.
So now this is me, playing with my daughter at the park this morning after breakfast. Inspired by MovNat, I couldn’t help myself. I saw those angled supports on the swing set and thought it would be fun to climb to the top. It turned out to be really easy. After doing a few pull-ups at the top, my daughter looked at me and asked, “Are we swinging, Dada?” I replied, “Yes, sweetie, we are swinging.”
Moments like this are why I’ve become so obsessed with health and fitness over the last few years. I can play with my daughters. I mean, really play with them. I’m not standing around the edges of the playground, merely encouraging them to do things I can no longer do myself. Someday they will be able to climb higher, run faster, and jump farther than me. But that day is far off and, as long as I’m around, I will give them a run for their money.