Sunday, February 27, 2011

Is an Ironman like giving birth?

So this weekend was two back-to-back days of 9am-2pm of "birthing class". For the most part, it was a combo of moments of awe, terror, and gross-out. Imagine videos of circa 1980 footage of women giving birth (in hospital, or "family births" in Mexico), fellow 'students' going off about their home birth plans, and fathers-to-be saying "I don't believe in pain" and looking like that pregnancy and birth plan was their idea and not the mothers'. Yup. That much fun.

The only moment I could relate was when the instructor was describing birth: the endorphins, pain that was more like work and not acute, hydration, fuel, zen inward-focussed moments, and the sheer relief/awe at the completion. She said it was like doing 10k run x 2. I heard it as "an Ironman is just like giving birth". In fact, they told me that some sports drink for Jen during birth is a great idea.

So is birth going to be Jen's Ironman? For whatever reason I feel like birth might be tougher, but at the very least different. ;-) Still, my experience at 140.6 miles might be the closest I ever get to what she's going through: the preparation, the sacrifice, the process, the discomfort, the event itself, the joy of the accomplishment, the pride and love for what was achieved.

I know it's not the same, but at least I feel I can relate a little bit.

One thing's for sure (here comes the cheesy moment), my Ironman physique isn't nearly as gorgeous as Jen pregnant. She looks primed and ready for go-time and more than capable of the task.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dad wheels

I have been on a bit of a spree getting “toys” that are for Ironbaby as much as they are for me: Video Camera, DSLR Camera (Mirror-less, though. ”travel-sized” is important), etc. I’ve now bought something a bit bigger: new car. It’s fun to drive, stylish interior, great stereo, cool features, and… it’s a wagon (for the record, I’ve wanted a wagon before I was thinking about children, so there).

My buddy Gerry pointed out that I could buy several of the most top-end bikes on the market today for what this car cost. Up to a couple of months ago, bikes would have actually been the priority. Now I wanted to have enough space in the car to carry baby gear, my bike, and maybe even a 2nd bike that my kid could ride.

Moral of the story: Today I felt like my way of thinking isn’t changing as a result of being an expectant father… …being an expectant father is integrating into the way I think today. Maybe fatherhood will be evolution or progression to the way I am today, not replacement.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Before the starting gun

Well, I think being a good Dad is going to be being a good father, but also being a good example. So I thought a Blog would be a great way to do this.

I’ve finally admitted to myself that I’m at least hopeful that I will be excited to be a Dad. I’m also hopeful that I can learn a few things about balancing fatherhood with the other cool things I want from life, without having to lose out on either. As with everything else I’ve wanted to try, I’m up for a challenge.

My idea for this blog is to chronicle the adventure of adding fatherhood to my list of passions. I love my life today. ”23 Year-Old Jared” wanted to become what is now “33 Year-Old Jared”: I have a beautiful and kind wife, wonderful family, great friends, a career I am proud of, success in sports and music, life & travel experiences I would not trade, and a very comfortable lifestyle.

Still, there is something about fatherhood that needles at my curious over-achiever nature. Or is it terror? Whichever it is, it certainly stems from naivete.

Today is 45 days, give or take, from the day that Ironbaby will lay eyes on the world. T-minus 45. So I’ve got 45 more days to figure out how I’m ever going to survive. It’s not unlike racing Triathlon: the same way that the reality of the race crushes all my intent for the day, I will be sobered by the reality that all plans and preparation now mean nothing.

I’m not sure how often I’ll post, but I hope to do so meaningfully. If for nothing else, it might be fun for me to read my own tragic or victorious tale.