The ultimate gym buddy isn’t some Hulk Hogan clone on steroids or a personal trainer who’s always ready with an encouraging word. I inherently distrust people who tell me I’m capable of anything. Trust me, my dude, I know my limitations way better than you do, and they are comprehensive to say the least. Instead, the best gym partner on planet earth is a twelve-year-old girl. Let me tell you why going to the gym with my oldest daughter is the best thing ever.
It’s always exciting when the kids become interested in one of my hobbies on their own. Usually, I have to force feed them several doses of something I like before it takes. We watched nearly every episode of every Star Trek series over several years at dinner. Through it all, the children felt nothing, although my now-seven-year-old, Waffle, could hum the theme song almost before she could talk. When the kids show a glimmer of interest on their own, on the other hand, I go overboard. The first time Betsy expressed the slightest curiosity about Star Wars, I immediately bought the first six movies on Blu-ray. That tactic worked a little too well. The kids watched those discs over and over again. Unfortunately, their favorite movie was Episode I: The Phantom Menace. I guess the old saying is true: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it hate Jar Jar Binks.
Even then, only half of the kids took to Star Wars. Today, Betsy and my eight-year-old, Lucy, are really into it. My ten-year-old, Mae, however, rejects it wholesale. She says it’s boring, but really I think she just likes being a contrarian. I’d rather she rebel that way than by getting a tattoo. Although if she got one of the Rebel Alliance symbol, even I would have to approve. As for Waffle, she doesn’t care much about Star Wars in general but is a huge fan of Grogu, better known as Baby Yoda. If you wouldn’t run into a burning building to save that little green Muppet, you don’t have a soul. It’s question number one on the test to figure out if you’re a psychopath.
I was a little surprised, then, when Betsy told me she wanted to go to the gym with me over this most recent Christmas break.