Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Time is Now

     The most important word that I've used lately is, "Now."  We are not promised tomorrow so the most important time in all our lives is "Now." I'm bad about looking ahead and trying to achieve personal goals that I have set for myself or my family and forgetting to appreciate the here and now.  This point was made clear to me this week at The University of Alabama-Birmingham's annual Father and Son baseball camp that Jesse and I attended.  I wanted to cherish every moment, and I really did not want this time to come to an end.  Soon Jesse will be some famous baseball player or President of  the United States or maybe a doctor or a lawyer and my "lil partner" will be gone.  I truly believe that the most important thing that we'll ever do is affecting the lives of our children in a positive way.  This experience was top notch, and even all the running and drills were fun.  It was nostalgic too, because it reminded me of my practice days nearly a quarter of a century ago.  I like to think that I've got a little game left, but I sure ain't no spring chicken anymore.  During an outfield "tracking fly balls" drill that involved continuous sprinting one of the coaches noticed my labored breathing and asked, "Mr. Perry, are you OK?"  Double Whammy- First, that whole "Mr. Perry" thing again, and second- no matter how hard I try to stay in shape and work hard to be the best I can physically, Father Time has his own plans.  I told the coach, "I know plenty of women and probably some men that would pay you top dollar for this kinda torture, and you could make a mint."  I've always been more of a weight room junkie anyway, and although I do perform cardio exercises the very idea of too much aerobic type stuff is not really my thing.  This whole experience reminded me of a few exercise related incidents that have happened over the years.  My goal is to live life now, not in the future or the past, but right now.  The most important time is now.  Makes sense when you think about it.
     When I used to work out in old Gardendale Civic Center or Fultondale High School weight room or wherever I could find weights, one of my favorite "motivating" type things to do was to rub Icy-Hot or Ben Gay on my weight lifting gloves and forearms.  The whole point was to get a little bit of a burn and have that glorious liniment smell.  Everybody has their own thing, and that was one of mine.  It seems like these products were stronger when I was in high school than they are now, and they would really burn.  Now, the one "Cardinal Rule' that could not be broken when performing activities with this stuff is to always wash your hands really well after you use it.  Never and I mean never go to the restroom before your hands are thoroughly washed and the hot stuff is dispersed. Obviously, there are parts of the body that you do not want Icy-Hot or Ben Gay to get on.  On one particular day, I got to talking, as I am prone to do, and forgot all about the "Cardinal Rule."  I went to the restroom, and let me tell you I was hopping a bit after that.  You sort of just have to let go, and accept your fate because not much is gonna cut this burn.  This same type of experience happened to me again in the Police Academy some years later when the Pepper Spray instructor told me right before she sprayed me in the face with the horrible stuff, "Whatever you do, don't stand straight up, you don't want this stuff finding it's way to your nether regions."  Well guess what I did, yep, stood straight up.  The only way I can describe being sprayed with pepper spray is, "Bobbing for French Fries."  That stuff is hot, and I spent all night sitting on top of an air-conditioner in the dorms we were staying in.  Horrible night, and by the way if you have enough of the stuff on you it reactivates every time you shower for a few days.  Just be careful with Icy-Hot and Pepper Spray that's my PSA for the day.
     I had a class in my first semester of college at Jefferson State Community College, or as we called it "Harvard on the Hill" that was like my version of Basket Weaving.  The class was Weight Training 101, and it was learning how to work out.  It was an easy credit, and most of the stuff I already knew.  I ended up taking several of these kind of classes.  I took Introduction to Aerobics, Beginning Jogging, and Archery for Beginners.  I figured the longer I could stay away from English and Math the better off I would be.  For a guy whose true major was beer and girls this was par for the course anyway.  The instructor of my Weight Training 101 class was serious about his instructing, and we had plenty of lecture time.  There is a science to pushing and pulling weight it appeared, and this guy was going to teach it vigorously.  On one occasion he was speaking about the importance of aerobic exercise as a complement to anaerobic activity.  He began to talk about a woman he knew that ran marathons and did those Iron Man deals.  He continued to speak to the importance of all this running and stuff, but as an 18 year old gym rat I wasn't buying it.  Right in the middle of his speech about the greatness of cardio, and this woman who had mastered it, I expressed my philosophy by saying, "Sir, I get that this girl can run and all, but How much can she Bench?"  I thought I was being witty, and for a guy that thought this was a legitimate question and your "Max" was a number of extreme importance, I didn't understand why I got the negative feedback.  Well, I did learn how to make a "C" in Weight Training 101.
     Well that's all I've got time for today, cause I've got to get after it and do my "Now" thing.  I'm going to go out and dominate this life.  I want to have the confidence and feel good attitude like the guy I saw at Maddie and Jesse's dentist yesterday.  This young man was no more than 15, and was a patient.  The dental hygienist came out and said, "James are you ready?"  He nodded confidently.  She went on to say, "Do you go by James?"  He looked her in the eye and said confidently, "I go by Brick." Brick is the man.  Not only did he embrace the fact that he wants to be called "Brick", heck he even said it out loud.  I want to have as much confidence as young Brick.  Maybe I can start calling myself Concrete or even Black Top.  Food for thought.  Our time is Now!