Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Metabolic metaphors and lighted lifelines

On the way to my folks for Christmas, we finished listening to a new short story by Stephen King titled The Stationary Bike. Say what you will about Stephen King and the scary stories he tells, but this story fascinated me. (No genre-slamming-finger-wagging, please. I think he's one of the greatest storytellers living; a lit professor I had in college told me that the closet Mr. King ever got to true "literature" was The Stand, which I loved back in the day, whatever the heck that means – literature and back in the day).

The "Stationary Bike" is about an illustrator who is told by his doctor that he needs to exercise, lose weight and bring his cholesterol down. The doctor gives the main character, Richard Sefkitz, a metaphor for his aging metabolism: an older road crew of blue collar guys in chinos and t-shirts, arms inked in vivid tattoos, hard hats and orange vests. They worked overtime for little pay, ate like crap and were tired all the time. They needed better care.

So he buys a stationary bike, sets it up in the basement of his building, and paints an outdoor mural on the wall in front of the bike to "pretend" he was biking though the woods. As you can imagine in a Stephen King story, the metabolic metaphor takes on a live of its own; blood-pumping obsessions with art imitating life and exercise and the fear of impending doom – one's inevitable mortality.

The moral: don't forget the presence of the moment and give and take everything within reason while giving and taking care of yourself.

What the hell does this have to do with parenting and being a daddy? Be responsible for your metabolic metaphors. You're family will thank you for it. I'm 43 and run at least 50+ miles every month – but I cannot eat like I'm 23 anymore (although I was certainly a fatty in my mid-twenties – neurotic stress and strain and 80 pounds heavier – oh the forgotten glory days of high school football). I'm also a writer who knows what it's like to lose oneself in a fictional crowd. You've always got to keep yourself tethered to the nearest lamppost.

According to

  1. Approximately 62 percent of female Americans are considered overweight.

  2. Approximately 67 percent of male Americans are considered overweight.

  3. An estimated 400,000 deaths per year may be attributable to poor diet and low physical activity.

Holy crap. Really? And 15 percent of children and adolescents are overweight and 30.5 percent are obese. No way that's gonna happen with me and my little honey Bea.

But, that leads me to the holiday cheer I'm wearing like a soaked braided belt from the 70s and the sugar plum dream of getting my annual daddy jogging stroller run off the ground. It'll be all about healthy living and loving, that's for sure, wherever the moneys raised go.

And what better role models for daddies to be than through healthy living and loving.

Now, to get it off the ground with lighted lifelines…Pooh thinked harder than he had ever thunked before.

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. 40+ a month is fantastic, Kevin. I think Bea will like the stroller. I know my nephews did when they were small. Put them to sleep, according to my bro.