The Rewards of Fatherhood, Fitness and Frugality
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — How You’re S’posed To Roll

50 Things My Parents Taught Me

Granddaddy and Duchess

Granddaddy and Duchess

Not long ago I was driving along and I noticed a bumper sticker on the car in front of me. I can’t recall exacly what it said but the following is proximal:

“Do not worry about whether or not your children listen to what you say. Worry that your children see what you do.”

I immediately thought of the babies and what they might be learning not from what I say, but from what I do. I thought of what my parents taught me. And when I think back, they really did teach me a lot. And most of it just by going through their daily lives. They weren’t big on the “son, it’s time we had a talk about the birds and bees” pow-wow sessions. In fact, the heart to hearts didn’t really start happening until I was out of college. And usually, I initiated those conversations. But nonetheless, I have learned and am still learning so much from my parents.

They celebrated another wedding anniversary a last June. They’ve been married for 50 years. Contemplating that, I felt a little pride brew up. Not that this accomplishment, if you can or should even call it that, was mine. I just felt like my parents have been able to do something which is difficult. In that moment of pride I posted they’d been married for 50 years on Facebook. The general response was overwhelmingly positive and folks seemed to be “wowed” by it. Which got me to thinking even more. Should a long marriage create such a wow-factor? [Read more →]

Print Friendly

January 3, 2013   1 Comment

Venturing Out On The Mopaign Trail

Now that the Presidential election is coming to a close, I’m venturing out on the Mopaign trail. My Mostache needs your support. Right now the Mostache is in the early stages but over the month it will grow and grow into a Mostache you (and I) can all be proud of.


Help my Mostache raise money to eradicate prostate cancer. Prostate cancer kills nearly 30,000 men per year, most of whom are African-American. So please donate a few coins. Just click the following link:

Mostache appreciates your help.

Print Friendly

November 6, 2012   No Comments

The 12th Man Of Crossfit

Warm Up:

Our warmup is your workout.

Metcon (am):
AMRAP 8 min
3 Snatch Complexes @ 125#
3 Wall Climbs

Metcon (pm):
Teams of 2
AMRAP in 5 min of:
5 Push Jerks @ 155#
Rest 2 min
AMRAP in 5 min of:
5 Deadlifts @ 225#
Rest 2 min
AMRAP in 5 min of:
5 Supine ring pulls

AM metcon: 27 reps
PM metcon: 317 reps

Over the last two years I’ve really struggled with the amount of time I spend on thinking about and engaging in Crossfit. The time I want to spend on it is not the time I have. I’ve struggled with this balance for over two years. My time with my girls is hard to come by and I find myself having to sacrifice other things, especially Crossfit, in order to just hang with them.

I was supposed to meet friends at the box to do the pictured wod. But I also had to get my girls ready for school. To be able to do both I had to enlist the help of my father to drop the girls off to school. Feeling guilty about my selfish decision to Crossfit instead of dropping my girls to their school steps, I dilly-dallied this morning, hanging out with the girls a few more minutes before I left for the box. As a result I was late to wod with my homies. So instead, the wod became my warmup, greatly modified.

Instead I decided to re-do “Camille”. The first time around I did it with friends at Brazen Athletics sort of half-assed. In fact, I wasn’t even going to do it then. But it was something about seeing my friends attempt the wod, suffer through it, miss some reps and then be blasted at the end, that made me want to jump in. It’s one of the weirdest things about this Crossfit community. Things you never have done or just unlikely to do, you do because this community provides one of the greatest support systems I’ve ever seen.

This morning for instance, I had no plans of re-doing “Camille” but my cronies stayed behind just to cheer me on while I did the wod. I had to do it at that point. Within in the wod I wanted to stop several times saying to myself, “I don’t want to do this.” But the voices in the background saying, “C’mon Ben!” motivated me to continue. In football we call the crowd The 12th Man. When the 12th man is making noise he can motivate the team to extraordinary feats. In every Crossfit box around the country, there’s the 12th man. Some voice or voices you hear bellowing from the corner urging you to keep pushing. I love this community. Sometimes stealing a little time away from parenting feels worth it.

Print Friendly

October 19, 2011   1 Comment

The Perfect Holiday Gift For The Single Dad

The gift giving season is upon us and if you’re like me this time of year gives you as much anxiety as it does joy. For me at least, there is some guilt associated with taking gifts from my loved ones when all I really want is to spend some QT with them. For me, I’d rather have their time than some token. I feel like their time is worth so much more. Then there’s the other side of the coin. Finding that perfect gift for those I love so dearly. The process can be an extremely stressful situation. Most of that stress, at least for me, is wrapped up in notion that whatever gift I give, it can never represent what I truly feel for the receiver. But I cannot help it. I want the receiver to feel I care deeply and if I could I would wrap that in a pretty box and put a bow on it.

There’s a simple solution to all this holiday stress. Just tell me what you want! Kids have no problem writing or telling their wish list. So why can’t we adults do the same? And don’t say, “Oh, you don’t have to get me anything” or “Whatever you get is fine”. Can you spell bull-ish? Remember the Hide-Your- House-Key-In-A-Rock I got for you or the Never Ending Candle Bowl? You hated those gifts. So just tell me what you want and it will make both our lives simpler. I know there’s only a few days left ’til the big day, but there’s still time.

Even though I stress out about getting my peeps gifts, I don’t stress about what I will get. I could not possibly care less. If I see everyone around me smiling and happy and stuffed from sweet potato pie, then I’m happy. I get things you can’t put a value on, every day. (Sometimes I forget but I eventually remember. Thanks fam.) So when I say, “You don’t have to get me anything” or “Whatever you get me is fine”, I really truly mean it. You’ve already given me so much. Like many of the single dads I talk to, we have an appreciation for the little things and just want those things to remain intact. Being with our family is the perfect gift.

But… (did you see it coming?)

We single dads are a caring lot and know you might be stressing out about getting us a gift, despite our most convincing arguments we have all we want. So, I’ve decided to put together a short list of items that ANY single dad would want. Rest assured, most of us would be more than happy to get one just of these items and not necessarily on the big day. So feel free, family and friends, to pool your resources and buy his gift after the big day when everything is properly priced at deep discounts. The single dad in your life will feel less guilty accepting his gift. To the list:

1. Olympic weightlifting shoes or…

Nike Romaleo
source: Rogue Fitness

There is no way any self-respecting father wouldn’t appreciate the proper footwear designed to assist him in lifting heavy items. Sure, he can get by doing that stuff barefoot or in his old sneaks from college, but I’m sure he would appreciate the hard soled support Olympic weightlifting shoes provide. And given is low-key nature, he isn’t too particular about which kind you get him, he’d be appreciative in any circumstance but man those Nike Romaleos look mighty fine. [Read more →]

Print Friendly

December 17, 2010   1 Comment

Love Jones, Lions and Loyalty

The other day I told you I would be real-er and honest-er. I want those who come to this site to have a good idea of who I am. In attempting to be more open-book, I imagine in some instances I will be toeing the line of making a fool out of myself. But everybody plays the fool sometimes. There is no exception to this rule. (Hmm, that sounds familiar.)

I am not saying I want you to know me so well that we have to be BFFs or anything. But I think when you read you should offered the context of me. Of course you will not get it all in one sitting. I can’t go that deep. I can give you a little something. In terms of subject matter, there are three places I can start. Things I’d really rather not tell but would rather it be me than someone else, things you should know about me and things I’d like you know about me. So I put together this quick, preliminary list.

I absolutely, positively and wholeheartedly love these two ladies with all my heart and soul.

The Babies

The Babies

I am not foolhardy enough to think my relationship with each of them will always be happy-go-lucky. I know plenty of grown women who are estranged from their fathers for one reason or another. I hope The Babies and I are spared this fate. 

I won’t always understand them and they will not always understand me. They will not always like me. I hope they will each forgive my past, present and future f’ups and foibles. One thing is for certain, I’m going to work my rear end off to always let them know I love them and would do anything for each of them no matter if we’re together or apart or wherever else our lives lead each of us.

I smoked marijuana when I was 17 years old and never touched it again. I didn’t get what the big deal was. I have never done any other illegal drugs, I don’t smoke and I rarely drink alcohol. I have to admit though I think smoking and drinking are kinda cool looking. I defy anyone to tell me Humphrey Bogart wasn’t smooth as silk in every movie he ever did. He was chain-smoking and binge-drinking in every one of those movies. Legend has it he was smoking and drinking like it was going out of style in his personal life too. Apparently, it’s what contributed to his death. He was probably smooth as silk in the coffin too. Yeah, I think I’ll continue to stay away from the drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. [Read more →]

Print Friendly

March 26, 2009   15 Comments

…And I Hope They Burn In Hell!

A Time to Kill
source: MovieWeb – Movie Photos, Videos & More

The last time I wrote about movie fathers some of you responded with your opinions about who you thought should make the list. I have to say, great minds think a lot alike. A couple of you tagged some fathers that were on my top ten. So you know I just had to go back to the drawing board to see if I could shake things up with the list a little. After some thought it mostly remained the same. Some of these movies fathers had to make the list. There is no question about it. But I did through a few twists in there.

The last time we had, 10. John Quincy in John Q, 9. Bryan Mills in Taken, 8. Cleo McDowell in Coming to America, and 7. Furious Styles in Boyz in The Hood. This time around I’m going to give you two for one. I kind of wanted to finish my theme of intense, in your face, “break my foot off in your a – -” type fathers before I move on to the others. So here we go.

6 (tie). Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel Jackson), A Time to Kill and…

Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson)


Oh, have you ever heard anyone say, you don’t mess with a man’s daughter? Well, you don’t. Trust me you don’t. If you do, one day you might come across someone like Carl Lee Hailey. Based on a John Grisham novel, in A Time to Kill (also suggested by E.Payne), Hailey was just an ordinary guy living an ordinary life. He kept his head low, tithed at church, went to work everyday and loved his family. That’s how he rolled. [Read more →]

Print Friendly

March 1, 2009   7 Comments