Tag Archives: Improvement

Love Language – Part Dad

It is funny that in the world love is portrayed by little red hearts, flowers, and romantic images. Love is nothing like that for me. I try to express love on a daily basis. But to each person it is expressed differently and really hearts and roses are rarely involved in most expressions of love. That is probably because most of the love in our life is not the romantic type. Most of the love that I have to give is sucked up by family and friends. And though that is expressed differently with each person, it all comes down to one simple principle of why we love. It would take to many pages to give examples of all the different relationships in our lives, so today I am focusing on dads.

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Earlier this week was an example of how my dad and I have interacted for the past 30 years. Becky, Emmett and I were driving home from a weekend in California. A little beach time to start the summer off right. About 2 hours from home our car decided it had enough and we found ourselves stranded on I-15 in central Utah.  Almost out of habit, the first person I called was my dad. Knowing that he was in Idaho and would not be able to do much from there, I knew that he would give me direction and let me  carry out what needs to be done. After listening to me babble about what happened for a few minutes he calmly gave me some suggestions and said good luck. That was all I needed and after a few more calls and some time hanging out it Fillmore Utah, we were on our way home. The next day he made his way to central Utah with me to retrieve the car. never once acting put off or unwilling to do anything to help.

My dad has always given me opportunities to grow and learn for myself, but he has always pointed me in the right direction to make sure my chances for success increased dramatically. Whether it was car problems, house projects, or career advice, he always strikes that perfect balance between telling me what to do and letting me figure it out on my own. This has led to amazing conversations that can last a long time as well as long periods of silence while sitting next to each other. There are not a lot of hugs exchanged or flowery messages or gifts. But laughter, insight and basic knowledge about life is always abundant.  Our language of love is based on the mutual respect we have for each other and knowledge that we are a good team and should take every opportunity to work and play together. Which we do.

I hope to be as good of a father to my son as my dad is for me. But right now our language of love is so much different.  If I want Emmett to know how much I love him I do it through grilled cheese, water guns and rescue stuff. Also by sharing my passions with him and teaching him the importance of adventure. Oh yeah there is also rough housing. Nothing says I love you like a body slam to the bed and getting beat with a pillow. Every night when Emmett goes to bed I say ” I love you buddy. You’re my best friend.”  He always repeats it right back to me. I don’t think he knows what it means. He just knows it as part of the bedtime routine.  He knows I love him because we have deep discussions about fire trucks and potato bugs. We have our secrets from mom and sneak each other candy from grandmas candy stash. But most important,  as with my father, our language of love is based on the mutual respect we have for each other and knowledge that we are a good team and should take every opportunity to work and play together. Which we do. At least the play part.

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If you were to illustrate expressions of dad love in my life there would probably be a picture of an extra gooey grilled cheese sandwich, late nights driving someplace, early mornings in the mountains and home improvement projects. Try to paint that picture and pass it off as a classic love scene. Most people would think it was complete randomness. But if I saw something like that, it would bring a tear to my eye. It would be speaking my language.

Next week, Love Language Part Dudes.

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What is your contribution?

My latest pleasure of the work day is getting to and from work. I know this sounds absurd. Who likes to commute? I do and I will tell you

My Dance Floor

My Dance Floor

why. I work about 30 miles from my house. And most of the time I use a combination of transportation methods. Driving my truck is the easiest but least favorite. Carpooling is not far behind that. Riding my bike is the clear winner. 3 days a week my commute looks like this.

6:35 am – Peddle my brightly colored single speed bike 4 miles from my house to the Frontrunner train stop downtown.

7:00 am – Load my bike on the train and ride it north for 30 minutes

7:35 am – Ride 2 miles from the Clearfield station to my office.

And then I do it in reverse order starting at 4:45pm to get home just before 6pm.

Although time consuming and requires me to arise early and be a little sweaty for my first meeting of the day, it is totally worth it if you realize my contribution to other commuters out there. In the morning I am still in a bit of a daze but in the afternoon I know I am making someone’s day after a long day of “living the dream” in the corporate world.

How do I know this? I have witnessed it. Don’t judge me but when I ride my bike the music I listen to in my headphones is typically music that I do not want others to know I am listening to. For example, some of the names of the Pandora stations I listen to while I bike commute are: Kurtis Blow Radio, Dance Pop Radio, Dubstep Radio, plus other stations full of guilty pleasures. And what I have discovered is music with a crisp beat, combined with the fact that you just got done with a full day of work and being on a bike makes a perfect recipe to let it all hang out. And by all hang out I mean shake what yo mama gave ya.  At least as much as you can while straddling a bike. Click here for a link to one of the songs that got me going today on my commute.

The first few minutes of my ride home after I get off the train is through a busy section of downtown SLC.  I find myself waiting at stop lights standing next to cars being driven by suit clad working stiffs making their way home, a great song blaring in my headphones, the excitement of not having to answer another email the rest of the day and a bike between my legs. At a minimum I am bouncing my head making sure those around know I am happy to be where I am. I see a smile come over the face of the driver next to me and I know that I just gave him something to distract him from his same old commute.  And maybe if I pull some of my good moves, I gave him something to tell his family about over the dinner table that night.

For those of you wondering what I am talking about I will share with you my go-to moves for bike commuting. Obviously you are limited in what you can do while standing over a bike. But let me tell you some of those lights take forever and if I have the patience to wait for the light to turn green, I can get a pretty good combo of moves in before I have to start peddling again. My go-to move that makes an appearance almost every afternoon is the chest drum. Open handed tapping on my chest with variations like throwing out a point to a pedestrian or hitting the end of my handle bar like a cymbal. Or how about the slight lean to one side and “rollin’ with the homies” with my hands. My personal favorite is the shoulder shrug combined with head bob.  I can do it while I stand still or while I peddle.

Really the way I see it, your dance skills are not important because your coolness factor is multiplied by the fact that you are on a bike. We all know that bike commuting is better for the environment, for your health and more sustainable than any vehicle ever will be but those things do not matter to most. What is important is that you have the opportunity to make someone smile and possibly inspire someone through your dance moves. Now that is how you make a difference in this world.  I guess I could be embarrassed that people are laughing at me but really I don’t have time for that and it would probably take away from the fun of commuting. Besides, one day I may find myself on youtube and I would rather be known as the dancing bike commuter than the talk radio car commuter.