Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Airborne!

Ahh, just finished my second day of strenuous workout since getting back from fat-accumulation (aka: Christmas) Break. This day was a 40 minute run staggered at 2 minute intervals of alternating walking and running pace. The first twenty minutes was a turning back and forth between 2 minute bursts of brisk jogging and leisurely walking. The second twenty I used to gradually work up my running speed until the last 2 minute burst was 9 mph. Total was right around 4 miles in 40 minutes. Certainly not my early college competative best of a 17:52 5-K. Then again, I'm twice the man I was back then, in all kinds of ways. Definately going to fix that.

I remembered all the army running songs that my dad taught me back when I decided in 9th grade to start playing football. We'd head out at 5:30am before he went to work, go down to Carol-Ann Cross park. Dad never insisted that I be good at sports, but he wouldn't have his son be anything but his best. We started by running 1K and walking 4K. Each week we shifted one Kilometer from the walking to the running category until I could run three miles with relative ease. I can still remember the moist new-morning dew smell of Arkansas in the summer. Plenty hot, and even more humid. Lungs struggling to get another breath, just like breathing with my face atop a humidifier. My dad still plugging along, singing the songs from his younger days when he was an officer in the 3rd Infantry. "I want to be an airborne ranger, live a life of total danger, I want to go to Vietnam, I want to kill some Charlie-Kong, am I right or wrong? You're right! Am I weak or strong? You're strong! Sound off! One Two! Sound Off! Three Four!..." okok I'll stop. One obvious must keep in mind that he went through Basic Training during Vietnam.

Dad still cuts a pretty lean figure. The warrior in him has never quite died down. It changed, it got a new occupation, but it's still there. He still has a fire in his eyes and an energy to his step that will doubtless kill him young. It's hard to live long when you're wired for sound 20 hours a day. It's a lot to live up to. I'm often a man of talk and thought - if I even deserve to be called a "man" in the true sense of the word. Dad is squarely a man of action. His convictions are clear, unambiguous, and virtuous of a stripe, even if not entirely consistent or well-thought. He's always gone by the basic maxim that history favors the Willing, not the Wise. Very different than the hippy boys who constitute much of his generation. Fulmer's have never been much for society and its trends in any case, for better or worse. When the leaves fall down we'll be northward bound. Contrarians by training. Outsiders by blood and instinct.

It strikes me that this is a side of my father that will die with my remembrance. While my sisters are probably closer to him in many ways than I will ever be, my exposure was different. I can still remember a young officer in military dress who had tried his hand at being a mercenary when the US military proved too stale for his ambitions. I can remember how mom and dad bought me piles of presents when we were eating a steady diet of beans and chicken so that dad could go to law school. I'll remember the able-bodied mover who, along with my uncle, moved all we had into and out of six different houses by the time I was my sister's age. My first toys were model lightsabers and 1/72 scale British SAS in combat stances. Other kids played Monopoly, we played Stalingrad.

Overall I'll take dad and his follies any day of the week. He taught me first and foremost what it means to make a committment and carry through without question. A type of nobility and love that is to the death. Love is to the death you know. The number of things you are willing to die for is your measure. Anything less that total committment cannot be Love and cannot be called virtue. Few there are who still grasp that concept. We live in a society of cheap thrills, self-fulfillment drivel, and petty merchants. We slander the word "love", applying it lackadaisically to non-committal relationships and temporary feelings without even realizing our vice. We "love" so many things that we forgot what Love means. It's a shame.

Anyhow... 25 pounds are melting off this frame before I go to Europe this summer. you got that Theo? "Twenty-five or Bust".

Write that down...

3 Comments:

Blogger a part said...

Roland, my new orthodox friend :)

just wondering if you've had a chance to read Pope Benedict's first encyclical yet. Lots of food for thought, so I'd love to see some discussion on it. I'll probably finish reading it tomorrow and be ripe for discussion by that point...

Good luck getting back into a workout. I started jogging again a few weeks ago. Jogging in LA sucks though, cars everywhere. I'm definitely looking forward to getting back up to Northern California as regards Ye Olde Workoute Routine.

Here's the link to the encyclical if you haven't read it yet:

First Encyclical

2:32 AM  
Blogger Theodore Paraskevopoulos said...

I'm down 6 pounds Rayous Maximus. It's thanks to my new spinning classes at the Gym. 4 times a week!

7:17 AM  
Blogger Blogchik said...

My dad never was a military guy, but he's always been in shape and looks younger than he is. Thank God, he never got the middle-aged beer gut. He probably works out more than I do. Which reminds me, I really need to start!

11:12 AM  

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