This week, my dad turns 92. He would never call himself a feminist, but he would call himself fair-minded and fit.
Here’s his life in fitness:
- As a kid, he rode his bike with his friends 4 miles each way to watch mechanics work on airplanes.
- He played basketball for Jordan High School in Long Beach, California.
- He served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years and passed his annual Physical Training test.
- He ran with me (age 10) and my brother (age 7) across The University of Arizona lawns on our way to watch college football games.
- He joined his co-workers in walking up and down stairs a 20-story building, three days a week, when his co-workers prepared for a hunting trip in the Rocky Mountains.
- They stopped, but he didn’t. He continued stair climbing three days a week until he retired.
- He walked the dog twice a day.
- With his free time in retirement, he went to the gym three days a week. He swam, he shot some baskets.
- He played basketball in the Senior Olympics on a 70+ team.
- He continues going to the gym in his 90s, walking briskly on the treadmill and lifting weights.
- Here’s how he supported my fitness:
- He cheered me on at Saturday soccer games from age 10.
- He and my mom bought me a ten-speed bike.
- He took time off from work so he and my mom could be the only parents cheering at my weekday afternoon junior varsity basketball games.
- He said “Great opportunity!” when I told him I’d take my savings to pay for a trip to play soccer in Germany.
- He said “Great way to see the country!” when I told him that my college graduation present to myself was a bike tour across the USA.
- And now he asks, “Where did you ride this weekend?” every Sunday when we have dinner together.
So Happy Birthday, Dad, and thanks for your genetics, your example of every day fitness, your encouragement, and your amazing optimism.