While rubbishing though old photos — you know the printed ones we taped in scrap books — I came across a shot with one of my very close friends Alvin Williams and our daughters on a cool but beautiful day at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, New Jersey. While glancing at the picture it was hard for me to not use the sometimes corny and often over used cliché “how time flies.” However, as I reminisced and reflected on that day of two relatively new Fit Fathers (both still with respectable hairlines) holding our greatest, God given gifts, I couldn’t find a more fitting phrase.
Fast forward eight years and see that the tight hug has been replaced with a quick kiss on the cheek as she exits the car and scurries off to ensure she can catch her “besties” so they can stroll into middle school in unison. But not before taking the obligatory morning selfie to post to her favorite social media sites. One morning in particular I pulled off and decided to listen to a song that I downloaded a week earlier from of one of my favorite rap duos of the early 90s, Capone-N-Noreaga. The title “Moments” from Nore’s latest mixtape resonated with me so I downloaded without initially listening to it. When I pulled off from Voorhees Middle School and decided to give it a spin I was immediately grabbed by the content and message of the song. It focused on the moments in Nore’s life both musically and personally and both good and bad, but all had shaped who he would become as a man. It dawned on me that “moments” are one of the greatest essentials of fatherhood!
Whether it is arguing with my daughter over new school vs. old school music, and the fact that she considers Lil Wayne an old school artists is a moment. Or, I would urge her as a timid 5-year-old to be more aggressive on the soccer field but only for her to tell me while playing to be quiet since I was an embarrassment. Those were moments. Watching her make only one basket all year in front of her Uncle Al, a former NBA player for the Toronto Raptors, at the precise instant he walked into the gym was a great moment. Now cheering and watching her excel at track on the same field where I ran rather slowly in the school’s first ever Fun Run are all unforgettable moments that are such a beautiful measure of fatherhood.
As time flies and my child ages so do we as parents both mentally and physically. The hairline becomes increasingly unforgiving as does the waistline if you don’t live the right lifestyle. Losing my father in 2012 to his second battle with cancer makes me confront my own mortality and the steps I can make to live a cleaner, healthier life so I can continue to enjoy the moments of my daughter’s life. For this vey reason I appreciate my brother Kimatni Rawlins aka K-Raw and his Fit Fathers movement. K-Raw doesn’t talk about it, he lives it. When my father passed away he drove up to South Jersey from Maryland to not only offer to take me away on a spiritual and healthy retreat anywhere on the globe, but he was also passionate about educating me about the importance of what healthy lifestyle changes can do for a person in order to live a more productive life full of energy and vigor. So I’m working on that.
While my eating and exercise changes have been subtle, they have been significant to the way I have been feeling and the overall energy that I now store. I look at it this way; spending a little extra on organic fruits and vegetables is a small price to pay if it plays an integral role that allows me to continue to appreciate and enjoy the moments of the past and all the great moments of Fit Fatherhood patiently awaiting!
Robert Murray Jr., Boxing Promoter