Growing up I believed my dad was Superman. He was strong, brave, and had these ginormous hands that put The Hulk to shame.
Getting older doesn’t scare me. It’s seeing my dad get older that scares me because there’s the realization that Dad is no longer Superman with super human strength, super human hands, or super human health. Both my parents have had health scares this past year and as a result my dad in particular has worked to lose 25 pounds, releasing 100 pounds of pressure on his bad knees.
This year, for his 60th birthday, dad asked me to buy him a recumbent bike. Not my mom, but rather me. “Why me?” I asked. Dad has never asked me to buy him anything nor does he like accepting gifts.
My father now sees his formerly over weight, unhealthy daughter as an expert in fitness. He’s been so encouraged by my weight loss journey and the work I’ve put into running that he would only accept a bike from me.
If I could change my life and my health, he was sure that he could do something about his…even at 60. He admitted that for a while his bad knees were discouraging and made him sad. But instead of moping about it, he decided he wanted to do everything he could to help strengthen his knees.
Sometimes the thing we view as weakness, like asking one’s daughter for help, is the thing that makes us stronger. And other times, let us remember that we inspire others even when we don’t think they’re watching- so let us continue to press on toward our goals. If not for ourselves, then for those who are quietly watching.
My dad is not Superman but he is indeed a super man.
Happy birthday, dad.