Well, it’s been a couple of days since the New Year’s ball dropped and many of us now ponder the coming new year with the interrogative singularity: “How do I deflate this chocolate-covered, four-ply belted, Santa Cholesterol Michelin tire from around my cupcake inflated midsection?”
My New Year’s resolution this year is to not eat anything made out of wood. So far, so good.
Folks, we have been materially blessed to live in a city where the homeless are obese and have their own cell phones while some of your own over-pampered niblets of primogeniture are too fat to pass a physical-ed exam.
Parents need to make a commitment to their kids that they will be in better physical shape than their kids at least until those parents pick up their AARP card. Of course, this is a fantasy, but a parent must constantly endeavor to instill fear of their ancestral omnipotence in their children as early as possible. This is so your kid doesn’t assert his/her primate dominance in order to ambush you with a cricket bat during a Haagen-Daz induced coma while you were watching re-runs of “The Biggest Loser” and then snatch the car keys.
If you, as a parent, choose to not stay in shape then the only other remedy to survive your children’s teen years is to drink. Heavily. Name your poison; bourbon, tequila, Formula 409 and strychnine are good for openers. Since I suffer from OCD as well as PTSD, I do ‘em all. It’s not an urban myth that “the teen years are the toughest.” Just ask a parent.
Parents, don’t you want to actually play with your kids? Wii doesn’t count. Go outside! Don’t you want to wrestle in the grass with your grandbrats and beyond without the worry of fecal incontinence? It’s a tough maneuver when your granddaughter yanks out your catheter during a little rough-and-tumble and asks. “Grandpa, why are you making that funny face?”
First of all, there is the old saying that, “if you don’t move it, you lose it” whatever the “it” might be. Now I have been wearing a jock since I was about 8 years old. My sojourn into several varieties of martial arts systems have kept me from descending into accelerated decrepitude to which the flesh is commonly heir to.
This is one of the reasons that I have crashed and bashed around in the martial arts for over 42 years. Taiji-chuan has been a personal favorite for about 30 years. I still think I suck at it but I feel good after doing about 10 sets in the morning. I figure that’s what really matters. And it’s not like yoga insofar as it has a practical purpose behind the movements. You’ve probably all seen a bunch of old Chinese people at a park doing an exercise that looks like a Triad mime gang stoned on Valium. But look at the obvious. They’re all old people. Some of them are really old! And some of them are even older than that!! Not only are those geezers old enough to have grandchildren but they have the vitality to actually chase those little monkeys all over the yard.
Why? Because their parents did taiji-chuan as did their grandparents ad infinitum. I used to practice many of the movements on my children while playing “tag” with them. Then they began to copy me. I did judo for many years. My 120-pound daughter can splash dance a 220-pound man into the pavement at the blink of an impertinent remark. My son’s martial skills have served him well in the military. (This is that “practical purpose” I spoke of earlier.) And they are, unlike their father, polite and well-adjusted individuals on most occasions.
Neither child is a candidate for Jenny Craig, either. Neither am I. We eat and drink whatever we want as this is a side benefit of living a martial lifestyle.
If you want to learn how to live forever, go over to 220 Pier Ave. It’s a place called Sacred Energy Arts. See Sifu Matt Cohen. He’s a great guy to start with and to end with. He is scary awesome at what he does yet makes the art accessible no matter how thick your skull might be. Don’t be afraid to sweat either. You will learn some really cool things, Grasshopper. While bringing money is good, bringing a sincere commitment to your long term health is worth the investment. It beats a “public option” any day.
Steve Breen has a man-crush on Jack LaLanne and is still the “best looking mailman at the U.S. Post Office.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.