Sunday, June 18, 2006

how to try to spend father's day while being 3000 miles away

obviously, i couldn't make it home to spend time with my father during his day. but here's a story about how i did spend it, and it's all relevant.

after i purchased my fourth couch (and hopefully my last), i walked over to borders bookstore and bought "from the streets to the ring: a son's struggle to become a man" by teddy atlas. in short, atlas is a boxing trainer who is known for training mike tyson as a teenager and michael moorer when he became heavyweight champion. he is best known for giving these insanely inspirational speeches between rounds to the mercurial moorer that have become boxing lore. he's now a commentator for "thursday night fights" on espn.

he's also a staten islander, and the son of a locally famous doctor, who in his case, was known for his generosity and philanthropy.

a quick aside: about ten years ago, my dad and i were in schaffer's bar in staten island when atlas came in for a beer. we're both big fight fans, and we were kinda star-struck when he walked in. my dad urged me to go shake his hand, and i did. my hand hurt from the moorer championship ring he had on his finger. but that's besides the point.

anyways, i just read the whole book, from page 1 to 273, in about five hours. it's a great book, centering not only on his career, but on all the small pieces of advice he learned from his dad, who was never around much due to his work. he became a wayward son, and his father never realized it because he just wasn't around that much. but he was learning these lessons, and how he really didn't realize what he was learning until he had to apply it. his father was a great man that he learned from. he just wasn't much of a dad.

but my dad has always been a great dad who always found time for me, and to this day, i'm still applying everything i learned from him. he attended all my games. we always ate dinner together. he made sure i became the man i am today, which is about half the man my dad is.

i guess what i'm saying is that i've never trained a heavyweight champion, i don't have a gig as an espn commentator, i don't have strange people walking up to me shaking my hand in a bar, but i'm about as lucky as anyone can be.

thanks, dad.

No comments: