The thing is, I'm going to be 47 this week. I'm an old man in the world of fitness. Shouldn't I get to live the rest of my days eating something other than salmon, asparagus and brown rice? The truth is that my daughters have been my fitness inspiration for many years.
See, I've always said that I'd work out until the girls moved out of the house. I want to be ready when they bring home boys. I've kidded that when that day comes, I will tear off my shirt, grab my ax and chop the wood I've been holding onto for over a decade. Then, I'd come in, sweaty and dirty, and extend the hand not holding the ax and shake the boy's hand, "Hi, I'm Riley's father, Mr. Baxter."
My wife shared this running joke with a friend recently who didn't find it all that funny. Apparently she had recently read an article written by a mother of a teen boy, who found this kind of joking and posturing offensive and disrespectful.
You have to realize, that I didn't read the piece, although I would have loved to. What I'm working from is what my wife told that her friend told her, after reading the piece.
Based on that, it sounded as if her boy was polite and respectful to the young women he dated, and she (as well as her son) felt insulted when a father of a teen girl tried to put him in his place, even if he's joking.
I was once that same boy. I was polite and respectful to the girls I dated, and I moved awfully slowly (partially out of that respect, as well as my lack of experience). But, I recall datinig a girl in high school whose dad was a police officer. He was very nice to me, but I knew he was a cop who had a pistol in a box on the top shelf of his closet. So, when things ever got hot and heavy, I knew I had to make good choices knowing that there was a dad with a gun waiting back at home. And, that was fine, because the brain of a teen boy (even the polite and respectful ones) can easily get overrun with emotion and passion. Having that pistol-check in the back of my mind, allowed me to think before I acted.
I only joke about the whole ax thing, but the exercise part is very real. I want any boy who is dating my daughter to have in the back of his mind, "Her dad is pretty cut," so that he will slow down before he acts.
And, if this will offend the boy and/or his mom, so be it. We are still living in a world where there are far more sexual assaults on girls than there are on boys. So, I will take that risk that I might make a sensitive young man a bit uncomfortable to ensure that my daughter is safe.
Besides, I have been on both sides of this coin. I was that polite, respectful teen who was put in his place, by the Alpha Male police officer dad. And, now I am the dad of two girls. The writer of the piece that I am referring to, has never been either.
If you can find the original piece, please comment below so I can read it myself. Thanks.
Image courtesy of ©MorgueFile.com/taliesin