I hope you all get a chance to meet my adorable dad. Born in Greece, he came to North America in the 1960s literally, fresh off the boat. Working as a deck hand, his first port of entry was in Galvaston, Texas where he called his brother declaring “I’m here! In America! Come and pick me up!” My uncle, who was living in Des Moines, Iowa at the time, asked him where his next stop was planned. Luckily, Montreal, Canada was slightly closer to Des Moines, which is where George decided it was time to get off. My uncle connected my dad with some Greeks he knew in Montreal and he found a job working in a leather coat-making factory. The mandatory draft in Greece meant he had learned a trade as a tailor during his 2 years in the army in addition to his totally useless training as a sniper. He met my mother a short while after his arrival, who was working at this same factory as a seamstress. A couple of cheese sandwiches and coffees later, they got hitched. Because he was such an awesome tailor, for my baptism in 1977, George sewed himself a 3-piece suit. I still have the pants, a sick pair of black wool, cigarette pants that fit me perfectly. No joke, they are the perfect length and fit as if they were made for me. This should give you an idea about the size of this man’s frame.
So, he’s maybe 5’6” tall, even though he lies and says he’s 5’7”, and a little bit vain, so he keeps an eye on the scale and makes sure he stays within a couple pounds of his regular weight. This guy used to do one-armed push-ups before they were cool and calisthenics in his swim trunks on our tiny apartment patio in the ‘80s. Even still, as he’s heading towards 70 years of age, he maintains his fitness with regular neighborhood walks to check on the skytrain construction and landscaping every inch of his garden patio.
Last summer, he was visiting Seattle for the day. I had an outdoor workout planned with Mindy Pedersen at Game On Fitness so invited them to come and hang. About a dozen of us were jumping, twisting and pushing through a grueling 45min high intensity interval training session. She had us doing resistance runs at high noon, interspersed with tons of functional movements that left us exhausted and exhilarated. Here’s the conversation I had with my dad while I was trying to catch my breath during cool down:
George: Sooo… that’s the coach you’ve been working with? the one who trained you for the Tough Mother?
Me: Tough Mudder, Dad. Mudder not Mother. but yes, that’s her.
George: that small one? with the watch?
George: she’s not what I expected. I expected someone massive (he does the double biceps move and makes his voice deep)
Me: nope. not massive. small but powerful.
George: no shit. that little person has power inside.
Me: she could probably pick you up and run a mile so she’s got power on the outside too.
George: yep. probably. but she’s got power inside the most.
Power inside is the most important, but, it does feel good to have power outside too.
To read more about my girl Mindy, check out the feature I wrote for MISS BISH. [first one whoop!]
Better yet, come work out with us in North Seattle this summer. Maybe I’ll bring my dad.