Train well and be prepared

trainingToday when I was working out with my son Samuel, I felt the presence of my father in the garage where we work out. I recall vividly how Papa would encourage us–his seven children to work out first with the fast bag and then the large Merchant Marine sea bag he converted in to a heavy boxing bag. He made us work out each and every morning when we were kids. It felt like torture. Jumping jacks, jumping rope, squats– you name it.

We would get it done and walk inside to a home filled with the aroma of a father’s love. A table stacked with homemade pancakes, biscuits waffles, sausage, bacon and scrambled eggs–always fresh fruit. A cup of coffee with canned milk–still drink it to this day. He believed in hard work.

Papa was a working class man. He had a ninth grade education but was one of the most prolific writers I have ever met. Papa worked hard all his life but he believed in eating a healthy breakfast to start the day right. There were days I could not stand working out especially when it was raining but now I understand my father’s heart. “life is not a game–you have to be prepared” he often coached.

Captain Stuart was teaching us discipline and fortitude. He was helping us prepare for the time when he would not be there to help us. We lost him when we were very young. Life has been anything but a game for me. It has been hard work, lots of challenges and sometimes I was not prepared.

When you are prepared, when you keep yourself healthy, sharp and ready-you can face just about anything. I miss my father. He was a tough man but he loved us the best way he knew. I could feel my father’s spirit today watching his daughter with pride “that’s my girl, no matter how many times life knocks her down she gets right back up.” He trained me well. My son Samuel is training me well in boxing and martial arts. It feels good to train.

Till the last breathe in my soul–I will always get back up–it’s in my DNA to rise.

Rising Sun

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