Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pump Us Up!

My brother and I were talking yesterday about our kids, and how his three boys are sports mad even though he never played sports as a kid. His eldest, who is 12 1/2, has already shown amazing progress as a distance runner in races with kids and adults; his middle son is particularly adept at baseball, soccer, and basketball; and his youngest, only five, throws a baseball with enough acumen to land him in some major league bullpens.

I have always loved sports, still root for the Red Sox and the Giants and was overjoyed when the Warriors won the NBA title, and I cycle every day and have even completed four marathons (in a galaxy long, long ago), but my talent in any athletic area has been fairly south of mediocre.

Miguel can easily out-drive me off the tee in golf. I may have a slight edge in putting, but he looks like a golfer, I, like a hacker. He surpassed me on the basketball court a couple of years ago, stuffing my shots and out-gunning me to the hoop. He is faster and almost as savvy.

Just the other day, in view of a horrified Maya, Miguel and I wrestled in her bedroom, and he pinned me down on the bed and I could not break free. The torch had been passed.

So my brother and I were ruminating on where the athletic skills come from, because we know the genes were not passed on from us. Unless, we said, there is something hidden in our family's DNA code of which we are unaware. The passion for sports I understand as it applies to Miguel. I can be a rabid sports fan, my dad is an uber sports fanatic, and I still love cycling in Marin County and hiking in California.

But we are gobsmacked to explain why Miguel is the incoming captain of his high school golf squad or Scott's son nearly won a 3-mile race last year where he was one of the younger entrants. Athletic ability may be genetic to a degree, but it clearly was harvested on the mothers' sides when it comes to my brother's and my kids.

Now it turns out Maya wants to strengthen her upper body for gymnastics. Her instructor suggested I help her do pull-ups on the bar across the door frame in Miguel's closet. I told Maya we could do pull-ups together. I could always use some (more) muscles and definition in my arms and chest. And, who knows, maybe Miguel will let me have a wrestling rematch.

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