Dave Goes Barbarian: Where Lies End and Truth Begins

I’m feeling philosophical today, my barbrethren. I spent yesterday sorting and reorganizing the garage while Mrs. Dave helped some friends conquer a neighboring village move house temporarily. Consequently, I got a peek at the past. Which, as Mum says, is a different country, and besides, the wench is dead. I’m not really clear on that last part, but contextually, it seems to fit.

On the garage front, I’ve just about cleared enough space that I can start lifting in there, again. I’ve also been watching videos from Jeff Cavaliere of Athlean-X, and while the vibe gives me a dose of cognitive dissonance (there’s a sense of jocky bro-ishness that reminds me of the Platonic ideal of high school gym class) the man Knows His Stuff. I mean, he should: he’s done physical therapy work for the NY Mets. Regardless of presentation, that requires the goods. These days, he runs a gym and trains the likes of WWE personalities and guys like Sly Stallone. Like I said: legit.

With his mix of jock-ularity and know-how, Mr. Cavaliere presents a very different picture from Coach Rip of Starting Strength fame or Drs. Baraki and Feigenbaum of Barbell Medicine or even Coach Summer of Gymnastic Bodies. Different, but complementary, I think. Going forward, I’ll be using a mix of their work, as well as dance and gymnastic strength elements, and things I’ve learned watching the Bioneer. I’ll be using targeted movements from the Athlean-X videos to address specific weaknesses in my shoulders, back, and core. I’ve already begun the shoulder work, and it seems to be bearing fruit. I’ll keep you all apprised.

But that’s all in the Future, and I wanted to talk to you about the Past. And the Present. I’ve mentioned the Wee Horde. They’re doing well, and I have hopes for their futures. But in the present, I’m wondering about the lessons I’m teaching them, and thinking I need to think a bit harder about that. I suspect my friends will read this and roll their eyes (again), but I want more for my offspring than just “Daddy took good care of us.” One of the realities of modern parenting is there’s not enough time for it. Right now, with Wee Dave and Wee-er Dave all of five and three, respectively, I’m spending a solid two hours in drop-off-and-pick-up, and that’s just door to door. Admittedly, there’s a solid chunk of play time in there for them, but that’s play time I’m supervising because somebody has to push them on the swings.

And that time requirement is only going to grow as they age. It seems inevitable: there will be activities. Dance lessons, gymnastics, music, martial arts, sports, after-school activities (I’m already seeing those, to my intense displeasure and mild chagrin), and I wonder when there’ll be time for Dave to do, well, anything. Which is somewhat selfish, and it’s often hard to figure out where self-care stops and self-centeredness begins. I’ll let you know when I find it.

More importantly, I’m working hard to figure out what I can do for the Wee Horde to prepare them to succeed. At being real, three-dimensional human beings, rather than flattened, cut-and-paste caricatures, as seems to happen to so many. I don’t think I’ve mentioned Pretend Story in this venue. For the last several months, I’ve been telling the Wee Horde a bedtime story. It began when the children of a feudal baron overheard a conversation they weren’t meant to hear, and really got going when the Court Wizard was poisoned, resulting in a tear in space that sent the children – and the king’s adopted brother, a young knight – hurtling hundreds of leagues from home. From there, the children and their wayward prince got captured by pirates, defeated sea monsters, discovered abilities, and got caught up in the political machinations of the kingdom, as well as acting in the role of accidental diplomats. We’re coming up to the climax, with the prince charged with treason and then abducted, the wizard rescued from magical catastrophe, and the kingdom in hidden danger. And the Wee Horde still likes it, which is pretty cool.

And I wonder, what kind of lessons are they going to learn from this story (which I’ll be writing up into a more formal package for purchase and consumption)? And do I need to take an even more active role in informing their budding worldviews? More active than a primary caregiver, Dave? Well, kinda. You see, the world doesn’t stop being magical just because you know how it works. But, and it’s a big one (of which I cannot lie), you need to learn how to keep seeing the magic. And I plan to do my utmost to teach them how.

I’m still working out the details…

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

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