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Mr. Incredible

A Whole Family of Supers

Posted on 2010.03.01 at 07:00
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: Giacchino - The Incredibles
Tags: , ,

For reasons known only to a 10-year-old boy (and those of you with 10-year-old boys know they're unable to articulate reason) my son wanted to take karate. My money is on Naruto, Teen Titans and other anime ninja characters made for 10-year-old boys. So my wife collected his birthday money and made an appointment with the local Taekwondo Master (Reid's Martial Arts Academy), and as my daughter was in attendance, he let her join in the free tryout as well. She took to it like a fish to water.

Eschewing her mother's suggestions of "dance" class next door, she chose to pursue taekwondo with her brother, which completely changed the pricing structure...making the (for lack of a better term) "Family Pack" the most reasonable purchase. "Do you want to take taekwondo?" my wife asks me. "Why the hell not." I say, having NO IDEA what I'm getting myself into, and now, between the kids' schedule and ours, we're there a full five days a week and my previously calm, sedate life has been turned completely upside down.

Lots of things have changed drastically since the beginning of the year, actually.

Our first class was about six weeks after I started losing weight, all of which was in my ass apparently, because my wife quipped I was beginning to look like Mr. Incredible - as my jeans were becoming more and more baggy (though I wasn't quite losing any gut at that point). While on the surface that *sounds* complimentary, she meant the post-wife & kids Mr. Incredible when he was in his old uniform, just prior to him banging Mirage on the side and working out.

So yeah, not exactly flattering:
All this losing weight and working out business (and the associated increase in (marital) sexual activity) has certainly taken its toll on a number of previously extra-curricular activities, like watching television, or...you know, blogging. Which I really haven't done much of lately. And this would upset me if I weren't so freaking busy. Its been an interesting/tumultuous time at work this past month for a variety of unprecedented reasons, and I've been doing my part by playing the good-natured hero with the unflappable attitude. Getting things done and helping people. The hours are long but fruitful, and with this overall increase in both physical and mental health, I sleep great every night. But that could just be the exhaustion. Either way...

Its keeping me honest.

But its not just about the time, and my wife has quantified the expense in other, less obvious ways. Normally when the kids get home, they drag-ass getting homework done, sometimes stretching it out for hours - which takes its toll on her. Then the neighborhood kids invade. Sometimes five days a week we get an influx of children running through the house. In and out, in and out, in and out. Pure bedlam. Arguments, complaints, and yes, even boredom in the midst of all this activity. All this usually translates into bedtime being a nightmare.

But since we've started doing this as a family, the kids do their part when they get off the bus by finishing homework quickly and getting ready. Sometimes I make it home first, sometimes I meet them there. Regardless, only a glass wall separates us whether we're working out, or the kids are, and our discussions usually surround encouraging each other in the day's lesson. Its a cooperative business which makes this happen, and without the distraction of television, or friends, the children seem more focused, and its just around bedtime when we make it home which makes for not only a very calm day, but what with being there 5-days a week, calm weeks as well. We're becoming more cohesive as a family unit with a common goal, and that's worth the price of admission.

I'm suddenly a very active person. My after-hours schedule is just as rigorous as my daytime schedule, but I've lost a full thirty-pounds since the beginning of the year and cattttiude and I were awarded our "white belts" this past Thursday. That was one hard-fought accomplishment - and as an aside, the "four-finger pushups" are KILLING me. I cut off my ponytail again; taekwondo seemed to be as good a reason as any and I'm hoping it will keep me cooler during my lessons. Speaking of, having a Master Instructor is a lot like hiring a personal trainer...in a benevolent dictator sort of way. If I were going to go to a gym three days a week I would just stare at the equipment and chew cud. NOTHING I would do on my own would be as exhausting as my lessons, or as motivating. In that regard, once again, I refer you to Basic Training. You never, never, never tell your Drill Instructor, "I can't."

He reminds us each day that his lessons are for learning, and home is for practicing. Problem is, we're never home. But between gaming with my kids on the weekends, and martial arts during the week, I'm about as happy and content as I could ever hope to be. Go me. AND the family I rode in on.


nicetwins at 2010-03-01 14:11 (UTC) (Link)


That is so cool you guys are doing this as a family. I know it fills your week up, but I bet you are all more likely to stick with it if you do it as a team! Great job!
ehowton at 2010-03-01 17:14 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Awesome!

Team Howton. Oh hell yeah.
fionnabard at 2010-03-01 16:02 (UTC) (Link)
Awesome. Trey and I noticed many of the things you mentioned when we started. Except we both changed shape in other body parts, kung fu isn't as leg intensive so I don't get an ass of steel +1.
I feel for you, I've lost 2 days a week. Completely lost them. It's crazy. Thankfully I don't have the wife and kids (Trey is low maintenance) so I don't have it as bad, but yeesh...
I know you don't have time, but Trey and I found that if we show up to class a early we get to practice a bit. I live in an apartment though so space to do that darn spinning double crescent kick is kinda limited. I have scuff marks on my living room ceiling from my staff, so I learned to do the smaller non-weapon kata's indoors.
ehowton at 2010-03-01 17:24 (UTC) (Link)
Pre-adulterous Mr. Incredible aside, I'm anticipating a more generalized change long-term. So far we've committed through July.

The facility is 90% converted as a training facility with only a "galley kitchen" type sitting area filled with outdoor-style resin chairs and lessons between the groups are back-to-back with no practice time in between. Your setup sounds *ideal* for that sort of thing (not to mention the "double" class you took last week - awesome!)

I don't know when weapons training starts, but I think we have awhile to go. While its true my house has 10' ceilings, I think I'll take your advice and make the children practice OUTDOORS :P
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-03-01 16:29 (UTC) (Link)
I'm happy for you and yours.
ehowton at 2010-03-01 17:38 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. There's nothing quite like it.
wardlejew at 2010-03-01 19:43 (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure you have heard this before.
"Family. It is about time!"

Good to see you doing stuff with the family. My boys are getting into Monopoly, and I just don't have the time to play that three times a day. However, we just discovered Monopoly Deal, and we love playing that game. Keep up the fun work.
ehowton at 2010-03-01 20:26 (UTC) (Link)
I have not heard that before, and it rings true. It is about time. About time these kids got fun and started interacting with me on a different level. For as many times as I heard "kids are great" I was thinking I was the only one NOT on crack!
dreamkatch at 2010-03-01 21:00 (UTC) (Link)
Awww! This is awesome! Doing stuff together as a family is great, and I gotta say, the kids I knew through highschool that were into martial arts were very focused kids. They stayed out of trouble, and always seemed a level above everyone else - like all the normal highschool drama just didn't apply to them. So props to you guys for getting them into it!
ehowton at 2010-03-03 06:39 (UTC) (Link)
How encouraging - thanks!
dawaioser at 2010-03-02 00:25 (UTC) (Link)
I am so freaking happy for you and the gang -- seriously smiling over here!
ehowton at 2010-03-03 06:39 (UTC) (Link)
Under tremendous public pressure and the crippling financial burden of mounting lawsuits, the goverment quietly initiated the Superhero Relocation Program. Superheroes were granted amnesty from past actions under the promise to never again resume hero work. Where are they now? They are living among us. Average people, average citizens quietly and anonymously making the world a better place.
This Is Me, Ten Sticks
lehah at 2010-03-02 03:51 (UTC) (Link)
Remember: praying mantis stance is the cheapest way of winning a fight.
ehowton at 2010-03-03 06:25 (UTC) (Link)
Wax on.
irulan_amy at 2010-03-02 05:40 (UTC) (Link)
Well done to all of you.

I admire anyone who gets things together enough to do something after work on one evening, much less every evening. It's really just awesome that you are all 1) working out, 2) enjoying it, and 3) spending time together and having more peaceful evenings.

You guys seriously rock.
ehowton at 2010-03-03 06:15 (UTC) (Link)
Today was the first day we got to practice when we got home - all four us, in the living room, going through our forms.

It was fun.

And I'm unusually sore now :/
kat_rowe at 2010-03-02 22:28 (UTC) (Link)
that is so cool. it's good for all four of you psychologically/emotionally as well as physically :)

*hugs you* you're a good dad. wish i'd had one like you myself, man :)
ehowton at 2010-03-03 06:11 (UTC) (Link)
Flattering to be sure - these posts don't often paint the frustration of having young, often moody (and teetering on the edge of spoiled) children underfoot. In short, I leave out all the yelling that sometimes takes place, which is probably all my kids will remember - not the fun stuff, rather, "Dad sure yelled a lot."

kat_rowe at 2010-03-03 06:35 (UTC) (Link)
trust me, man, if your daughter never heard "if only you'd been a boy" and if you never grabbed one of your children by the throat in frustration, you're a better dad than MANY

i read your posts and never get anything but love and, believe you me, kids remember that more than the yelling *hugs you*
ehowton at 2010-03-03 06:42 (UTC) (Link)
And if I ever did [grab them by the throat] they'll know how to disarm me with hapkido ;)
kat_rowe at 2010-03-03 07:06 (UTC) (Link)
there you go! :) they can mop the floor with you

all parents get annoyed and yell and vent and smack the walls. but, that crap aside, to spend that kind of time with your children every week is a very tangible proof that you care for them (and not one most kids get these days at all)

a Board Game Night alone would make you superior (and put your kids at a greater future advantage) to most. at the risk of turning into an eric!fangirl, you do the job better than most I've seen/known/studied

rock on with your bad self :)
ehowton at 2010-03-03 07:16 (UTC) (Link)


Now you're just embarrassing me. My own father taught my brother and I to play Spades and Hearts, which we did together as a family for many years, even after we moved out of the house. So with that under my belt and my wife's love of board games, we did attempt several Board Game Nights with updated, pop-culture versions of classic games, which all ended in much cursing and gnashing of teeth.

In all fairness, I think we started them too young, and now their attention span is not on static objects.

Maybe when they're older.

Ever play Pente? That's one of our favorites for playing with another couple, but its hard to find *that* couple.
kat_rowe at 2010-03-03 18:39 (UTC) (Link)


we played cards when i was growing up but i find card games a turn-off now (that happens when you catch your father bottom-dealing in a penny poker game, i think ;p) ... but there are literally hundreds of great card and board games out there beyond the regular mainstream American ones like Monopoly and Scrabble and, literally, something for every taste. Maybe, when you're ready to try them on games again, you should look into groups of gamers in your area? (the groups around here, for instance, are composed almost equally of singles/childless couples and families who also bring their children to the game days) Meetup.org is a great resource for finding groups with similar interests *climbs down off soapbox*

no, i've never played Pente but it looks just fascinating :)
thesweetestnote at 2010-03-03 05:45 (UTC) (Link)
ehowton at 2010-03-03 06:08 (UTC) (Link)
Ain't it just?
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2010-03-04 04:26 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so happy y'all are having a good time and proud of you for your investment of time in your family!!!

Edited at 2010-03-05 06:13 am (UTC)
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