I was perusing the Wall Street Journal the other day and I noticed that one of the most popular articles on the site was titled “Why French Parents are Superior“. Now you gotta know my people are originally from France. It was during early Canadian history (during the early 1700’s) that my ancestors came over from France to Canada and started our family’s war-mongering history. Our people fought in the American Revolutionary War, at the Alamo (one that I am really proud of), the Civil War, and every war of the 20th century. We even have a line that goes into Arkansas and the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. Seriously.
I have to admit that I am somewhat nationalistic and for someone to say that anyone is superior in any way to a cohort that I belong to is deeply offensive to me. That is why I come in first place in all of the races I enter. So I am going to take a minute off from triathlon training tips and running product reviews to tell you why I feel that endurance athletes, specifically runners, triathletes, and cyclists make the best parents.
Now if you disagree with me, take your communist loving soul back to North Korea or China and praise your omniscient overlord leaders. I know that if you don’t see things my way then you must be one of those parents that let’s their children do things like pick their own clothes for the day and not to play football. If you fall in either of these categories, please stop reading my blog and spend you time reading the Pravda or something.
Here is my list:
- My endurance is better than my kid’s. If my son wants to stay out all night and do who knows what when he is older, then I can run all over town to find him and drag him back home. I probably have run or ridden on every street in my town, so I will more than likely be able to track him down without any challenges.
- I already own a GPS tracking device. I wear the Garmin GTU so my wife knows when I stop into Krispy Kreme Donuts to cheat on my diet. I can plant that thing on my son so I can see where he is at all times. I know, I know, the Supreme Court just decided that GPS tracking without a warrant is unconstitutional, but they are not parents. I am beginning to doubt they are anything but robots.
- Anytime my son accomplishes anything, I can say, “Yeah, but I am an Ironman”. I can pull out this trump card anytime he accomplishes anything in his life. He is 8 and still hasn’t finished one. I have tried to get him to sign up for an Ironman, but he just won’t pull the trigger.
- I know what a Fartlek is. Fartlek. Fartlek. Fartlek. I love that word.
- I can plan every minute of every day. Balancing family, work, and sports makes me create a plan that provides me the structure for success. What kid doesn’t love an overly structured upbringing complete with no free time?
- I can teach the boy how to shave his legs and most of the rest of his body. What more would a child want than to learn the fine art of depilation through the use of sharp instruments. What boy wouldn’t want to go into a high school football locker room without any leg hair?
- Two words: Wardrobe Choices. I know when my son is in high school he will be pumped when I arrive at his sports practices and games in my spandex because I just ran or biked to the field/gym. I am sure his friends will be really impressed by my Castelli jerseys and cycling bibs. Compression socks don’t really look like panty hose, do they?
- I know motivational mantras to keep him going. In the WSJ article, the author talks about being firm with her children and it won’t send them to therapy. I agree and want to take this a step further and include shouting running mantras at my son. What other parent knows the meaning of suck it up buttercup, smooth is fast, everything ends, if you aren’t puking then you went too easy, and my favorite, HTFU. On top of that, only parents who are runners, triathletes, and cyclists can yell these at a game or practice and get away with it. Mostly because they will be in the spandex.
- He can learn the value of work by paying for his own college. Seriously. I have carbon wheels, the new Di2 electronic groupset, and new spandex to buy. My running shoes can only have 350 miles on them before I need a new set. Most likely I have three sets of runners that I rotate ay any one time. And then there are the gym memberships because where am I going to get my swim yardage in, at the lake? And race fees? They are an investment in me.
- His Dad is the Baddest Dude on the Planet. I really believe that. When other parents at a game start talking about their weak workouts, I will dazzle them with my knowledge of kinesiology, periodization, and rules of triathlon and running. Once they start telling me about the races they have done, I will always have gone faster, farther, and suffered less. A marathon? Dude that was cake. I went out and rode 100 miles as my cool down. Wait, you rode a century? I did too and felt good at the end so I turned it into a 100/20 mile brick. I just wanted to see how my legs would respond.
- and the bonus…I can teach him acceptance and love. Acceptance of the people who are at least as fast as I am and love of the people who are faster. If you don’t have carbon wheels or a PowerTap, you need not apply. I am sure my son can use that throughout his life.
So being French may guarantee that you are awesome, but being a runner, cyclist, or triathlete will guarantee that you are the best parent ever. I mean think about it, don’t you believe endurance athletes make the best parents?
Like I said, if you disagree, please, move over so I can pass you on the left.