UnitedHealthcare Health insurance that includes all Western PA hospitals
Wednesday March 29 2017
Leave this field empty.

Bad Dad

PSR Logo
My 4-year-old son, Walker, has become just that -- a walker -- whether he or his preschool teachers always like it or not. Regardless of the weather, Walker and I usually return home by foot from his preschool.

When it’s cold or rainy, I often seem to get that “bad dad” look from his teachers as we trek off to brave the elements as the other kids are being loaded into cars.


What his preschool teachers don’t seem to realize is that no American has won the Boston Marathon in nearly 30 years -- or that we really do only live a few blocks from the school.


No, Walker is not being trained to run the 2033 Boston Marathon or anything like that, at least not officially. But if the stories are true about so many of the great marathon champions from East Africa, who as children had to run several miles to and from school every day, then my kid can handle walking a few blocks.


My wife, Dani, and I are both longtime distance runners, and we have indeed run the prestigious Boston Marathon several times.


Friends sometimes joke that our kids (we also have a 6-year-old son in kindergarten) were born to be endurance athletes. While I do admit to liking the sound of that, I honestly just want my boys to be physically fit. We try to incorporate at least a little playful exercise into their daily routine, as well as fruits and veggies.


But as you know, healthy living doesn't come easily or, in this country, even naturally. One candy-filled holiday rolls right into the next one, Happy Meals do in fact make my kids happy and no one entertains them quite the way SpongeBob does.


A few weekends ago, Walker threw a royal fit as I dragged him out of the house to join me and his brother for a late-afternoon trip to the local park. Walker wanted to stay home with his mom, but the weather was gorgeous and he'd been inside all day. So I forced him to go out and play, even though I felt like a bad dad as I carried away a screaming, crying and kicking boy.


But Walker ended up having a great time with his brother and the other kids who were at the park, racing up and down the sliding boards and playing tag for more than an hour.


I guess sometimes you have to be a bad dad to be a good dad.


If it's cold and rainy at the 2033 Boston Marathon,  maybe Walker will thank me for having him prepared.


Andy Mason is the assistant sports editor at The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, Md.

Share
For a lot of young student-athletes, sports are essentially a hobby. They represent an activity to boost a college résumé or a tool to stay active. But for many young athletes, sports mean much more.
Feature OneHigh SchoolSports Bites
When the Penguins hired Jim Rutherford as their general manager in 2014, it seemed like a temporary move. The former Carolina Hurricanes GM would spend his two years in Pittsburgh, and then hand the keys to Jason Botterill; the man whom several people thought deserved the job in the first place.
Blue LineFeature Two
Aaron Gray is a familiar name for most Pittsburgh basketball fans. The 7’0”, 270-pound center led the '07 Panthers to an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance and was one of the most prolific big men to play for coach Jamie Dixon.
Feature ThreePitt BasketballSports Bites
This past offseason, rumors abounded about the possibility of the Pirates trading All-Star and MVP center fielder, Andrew McCutchen.
Feature FourNorth Shore Notes
PSR VIDEO
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Steelers TV Channel
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3Steelers TV Channel
A man once called a "runaway beer truck" has a rather predictable career.
Custom 1WVU
On Thursday night, Sidney Crosby cemented another brick in his mansion of greatness when he became just the 86th player in NHL history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.
Blue LineCustom 2
The Pittsburgh Pirates finished the 2016 season with a 78-83 record, landing them in third place in the National League Central.
Custom 3North Shore NotesPress Room
The Pittsburgh Steelers rode an 11-5 regular season record to the AFC North title and an eventual appearance in the AFC Championship game, where they lost to the New England Patriots by a score of 36-17.
Custom 4Pure Steel