Are You Strong Enough To Handle The Dude That’s Trying To Date Your Daughter? Do You Have That “Ole Dude Strength”?

When I was a young man growing up, I got into a few fights. I can say that I only lost one, and that was to Charlie Brown when I was about 7 or 8 years old. It’s hard to imagine my 8-year old Big Homie getting into a fight, but I guess we had to really grow up fast in my ‘hood.

But what’s really funny, is that over the years, my dad probably got into just as many fights with the neighborhood kids as I did. He didn’t allow foolishness, swearing or bullying around his house or his children. After a while, cats in the neighborhood appreciated the fact that my Ole Dude didn’t play. He once even chased the thug that stole the bike he “made” (I wish I had pics, that bad-boy had a steering wheel!) for blocks, hurdling fences like an Olympic hurdler, before the dude just gave up and dropped the bike to flee for his life.

Smart decision.

That’s Ole Dude strength and determination right there.

But what about today? First, IF dad even has a presence in the home, would he even be able to physically protect his children or wife? Could you be like James Evans in your house? For my fellow Good Time aficionados  you know nobody was coming into that house and whipping James. Where are the men like that on TV? Now-a-days, it is the woman of the home doing the protecting and dad is sitting there looking like Homer Simpson.

Good example
Bad Example

So, that’s why I thought the goals below by strength coach Dan John were a great idea for CSDs to set for themselves. To give us “Ole Dudes” a good bar to shoot towards in the gym. Most of us aren’t doing manual labor jobs like our parents, but we sit on our tails all day and the research is mounting that office jobs are taking years off of our lives. Plus, when we were younger, we might have exercised to look a certain way, impress a young lady or something, but now that we are older, it’s also about being healthy and having so-called “functional strength”.

…and yes, you still need to look good for your wife as well. If you want her looking as good as she did when you got married, how close are you to that wedding picture?

But I digress…here’s what Dan John recommends:

Push
Expected: Body weight bench press
Game Changer: Body weight bench press for 15 reps

Pull
Expected: 8-10 pull-ups
Game Changer: 15 pull-ups

Squat
Expected: Body weight squat
Game Changer: Body weight squat for 15 reps

Hinge
Expected: Body weight to 150% bodyweight deadlift
Game Changer: Double body weight deadlift

Loaded Carry (Farmer Walk)
Expected: Farmer Walk with total body weight (half per hand)
Game Changer: Body weight per hand

Personally, I think these are great CSD goals to set.  Perhaps you can get an early start on your ’13 New Year’s resolution?

In a few years, some young man is going to likely try to ask to date my daughter (may I recommend Voddie Baucham’s book, What He Must Be: If He Wants To Marry My Daughter http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net/store/product/what-he-must-be-book/to hear how we’ll likely deal with this in my house) and I want him to understand that not only do I have a mental and spiritual presence in my house, but a physical one as well.

Now some of you reading this may think I’m being shallow and that’s fine. But I remember meeting fathers when I was a young man who were scared of their daughter’s date and their little-girl knew it. She knew dad would not come looking for her if she was in trouble and that he could not protect her from that abusive boyfriend or predator.

However, my dad proved to many fools that “Old Man Strength”, was not a myth.

Now it’s my turn.

So, how close are you to the goals above? Let me know!

Thankfully, I think today (at the seasoned age of 42, 5’11 and 210 lbs.), I can go in the gym and hit the Game Changer on the Pull-Up, Squat and Deadlift. But getting the Bench Press and Farmers Walk are going to take some work for me as I’m only at the Expected level.

If we get a good response, perhaps we can turn this into a CSD-team goal for 2013! We could post workout recommendations, monitor progress, etc. What do you think? I’d love to hear your story!

Just because we’re getting older and we can’t do all of the things we did at 22, we have more motivation to push now than we ever did back then, those precious God-given gifts that He has made us protectors over.

My Rack Pull weight, but getting this off the floor as a true Deadlift may be a bit more difficult!

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…just 15 Minutes: “Play Ball!” Style

Finally, a couple of back-to-back warm and rain-free days allowed me and the boys to get out and throw the baseball around. Now we’ve gone out a few times already this year, but now it’s finally beginning to feel like baseball season.

For nearly 10 years, I played in the typical softball league and then I even decided to see if I still “had it” and play hardball. It was good to face real pitching and play with guys who took the game seriously (too seriously sometimes). Then I broke my hand and was forced to spend the next six months in a cast and a sling. I could not play with my kids the entire summer besides running and I officially retired like Barry Sanders. My wife doubted my retirement like Juanita Jordan, but I’m yet to step on the field again. Why, because I now have my own team to play with. A team that needs me more than any other. Not being able to be a Five-Tool Dad (run, throw, catch, hit, and teach), was too much for me and something I never want to experience again.

I am so impressed with the progress my six and twelve-year old sons have made. The elder has played baseball for six years, but the sport seems to be taking on more meaning for him, especially as he reads through a biography on Willie Mays. Recently, he drew me a picture of us playing ball together and labeled the ball park as the Polo Grounds. Now, there aren’t many kids today who even know who Willie Mays is, let alone what the Polo Grounds represent!

My six-year old, aka Big Homie, is showing the quick hands of an infielder and can throw with a little sizzle as well. This is a 180-degree turn from the boy that was scared of the ball just a year ago and threw like Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn. 

That’s one of the greatest parts of being a CornerstoneDad. Being there and assisting our children doing things that let us know they are “growing up”. Sure, mom keeps the teeth, hair from the first cut, and remembers the first step. But dad remembers that first game, keeps that first glove and that first model car.

Right now, I really don’t need “the fellas” to play ball with or other people to do something I enjoy. I can do it with my own boys (and my girls as I was out cruising with my 5 year old daughter the night before) as they can now throw hard and play hard. They are even able to heckle me when I make an error out in the field. Wow, these boys are learning fast. Dad does tend to crank-up his sweet-o-meter quite a bit when the ball comes his way, so the criticism is well deserved I guess.

I’ve also learned that I don’t have to spend all day outside playing with the kids, but if I can continue with starting with just 15 minutes of playing catch, throwing the ball around, or even giving occasional instruction if necessary, the payoff is immediate and appreciated. Just remember CornerstoneDad, 15 minutes is where you start. (See: http://cornerstonedad.com/2010/11/21/just-15-minutes/)

Whenever we leave the park, my 12 year old is always quick to say, “Thank you for taking us dad.” I often respond, “Thank you for going.”

Little does he know, I am the one who is far more appreciative as I have a more finite idea of time than he does.  Sons, I thank you, and will do all I can to remain on the field of play as long as I can with you.

How about you CornerstoneDad? What is the spring activity you remember learning/playing with your dad? Are you still able to play with them today?  What do you enjoy playing with your children this time of year? I’d love to hear about your experiences.