Since I don't coach at a University anymore, my life has changed a whole bunch. I train people online, write and do podcasts for Ironcompany.com and write for Startingstrength.com sometimes. I also train some athletes at a local baseball academy. It's all great and rewarding. I don't have to deal with "administrators" telling me what to do when they have zero knowledge about strength and conditioning. I don't have to go to meetings where Im pounding coffee and speed like substances just so I don't fall asleep when big wigs are discussing some horseshit that pertains to nothing.You know, people who just like to hear themselves speak. And I never deal with coaches whose only lifting experience is lifting their soft asses out of bed in the morning.
But my real job is taking care of the "boys" in the household. That's the 12 year old son, the seven year old son and the 6 month old male Labrador puppy. Seems like that's no big deal, taking care of them?
First off, because I am still trying to housebreak the puppy , Rebel, I let him out at night whenever he stirs in his kennel or barks, no matter what time. If he makes noise, I get out of bed and let him out. Last night he was good; he only got me up at 12 midnight, 2:30 and finally for good at 4:15. I do this because I'd much rather miss out on some sleep than be on my hands and knees mopping up a river of urine (Just how does his bladder hold so much?), or holding my nose so that I dont puke when he does other "things"in there. Lord, thats awful. And he's sitting there looking at me like, I feel great, Time to retrieve? Yeah, in 20 minutes after I fumigate the place.
The kids? A joy as usual. My 7 year old started coach pitch baseball this year. My thing was to try to get him to not swing as hard as he can every at bat. And to watch the ball.Watch the freaking BALL. He'd get 15 swings and crush it on the 15th swing and then after wards, he'd get in the car and I'd try. I'd try to be so positive as we were driving away from practice, telling him what a great job he did, but then, I'd start coaching him.
So did you watch the ball like daddy has been telling you to do? Yes? Then how did you miss the ball so much? Silence. He only wants to hear positive feedback and looking in the rear view mirror, I see his crestfallen face. I say , if you cry, you are walking home. I'm just trying to help! I know, he says and stares out the window. Now , I feel awful. Just let him have fun, I tell myself as I grip the steering wheel with white knuckles. He is so sensitive that I have to temper things with tons of positivity in order for him to keep his head up. I get it, I understand it, I am not a little league father nut, but watch the damn ball, right?
And the food thing. My kids don't think anything is good if it is made at home, but if we bought it at a fast food place, it is stupendous, the best thing that they have ever eaten. My wallet is empty and they wanna go to Burger King. And the 7 year old only likes a few foods at home. I swear, the two foods, the two real foods that he will eat are grass fed, organic hot dogs and Italian wedding soup. That's it. Vegetables? They make him dry heave. Fruit? Berries under protest. Go to a restaurant and he will eat only the bread. He likes fries and Italian ice when we go out. And dough nuts. Last night, he ate 6 hot dogs with ketchup.
The 12 year old has always been a food snob. If he was eating pancakes and the syrup touched the bacon a little, he wouldn't eat anything on the plate. I'm like, WHAT? There are starving people all over the world and you don't like pancakes and bacon because a little bit of syrup touched your bacon? Unheard of when I was growing up. We were visiting my mom and dad one day and he didn't finish his main meal, but then had the cojones to ask for dessert. My dad was like, oh no no no. The kid saw nothing wrong with the whole situation.
When I was a child and my dad made me a sandwich, if I lifted up the bread to see what was on it, he'd take it from me. You either want it or you dont .
My 12 year old tears the sandwiches apart that I make him, dissecting the amount of meat or the type of mustard on there. My dad would freak out if he saw him doing it. I just watch him do it and wonder where I went wrong in raising him. And then I'll say, lets go out! And they get excited but then in the truck, they fight like cats and dogs. I hate you! You are the worst brother ever! Dad, Max is breathing on me! Dad, James is looking at me! I try to stay calm, thinking about how I had told myself that I wasn't gonna yell at all today. I do that when I wake up in the morning, I smile in the mirror, and tell myself, no yelling, lots of patience, no yelling. But then a few hours into the morning, I am yelling and threatening and I know that they have broken me once again.
In the morning, they wake up and right away its, Dad, can we go to McDonald's for breakfast? No, I say. I will make you something here. No, that's okay, they say. So you aren't gonna eat? No. For them , its McDonald's or nothing. They'd rather starve than eat a homemade omelette. And then the 7 year old asks me 20 more times about going to McDonald's. I get madder and madder and more frustrated as he keeps asking me. He is trying to wear me down and I know it, and sometimes, I am ashamed to admit, I load them up in the car to go to McDonald's just to shut him up.
Meanwhile, after feeding the dog and letting him out 10 more times before 8 o'clock in the morning, he starts whining agin. Then I let him out the back door, thinking that he has to go to the bathroom so badly because he was protesting so loudly, and he literally walks out the backdoor and lies in the sun, and looks up at me.That makes me crazy! I THOUGHT YOU HAD TO GO TO THE BATHROOM, YOU BIG DUMMY? And then he looks at me and cocks his head and continues to sun bathe.
So it's not easy, I have no control over any of them. I keep thinking that this is a test somehow, but its a test that is kicking my ass, like the SAT did. I love them all though, and I'll keep trying to get it right!