Guys Night, Ruck Hike and Tiny Dinosaurs

Guys night. The rare and beautiful opportunity when my wife is out of the house and it is just me and the boys. Granted, it looks a bit different in my forties than it did in my twenties. The guys have been replaced by my sons, eight and three years old, and a night in the city is replaced by “bear hunting” in my backyard, but the foundations remain: pizza, fart jokes, junk food, jumping on the furniture, watching movies you’re not allowed to watch, and whenever possible, burping a response to a question.

It is total freedom.

I almost let the last one slip through my fingers. My wife sells environmentally friendly cleaning products called Norwex, as  a side gig, and as she left the house I felt I had everything under control. One son was watching Star Wars, the other glued to an iPad. It allowed me the time I needed to prepare for my foray in the weight loss battle: ruck hiking.

It is a simple concept. You buy yourself a quality backpack or rucksack, fill it with weight and go for a hike. It’s easier on the joints than running, and you burn more calories than walking, perfect. I channeled my inner sherpa and set to work filling my old hiking backpack with dumbells and whatever else I could find. In the end, I struggled to slip into a pack weighing over fifty pounds. I set it by the door so it  would be ready for me when I start my new exercise regime…tomorrow.

I wiped the sweat from my brow and checked on the boys. Everyone watching a screen and relatively quiet? Great.

I was dangling a piece of pizza over my mouth like a sword swallower when my mid-life crisis set in. It wasn’t your typical “I need a motorcycle, tattoo and abs” type of panic, it was more real, more intense. I heard two screens playing simultaneously from different rooms and I tried desperately to remember how long they had been watching a monitor. I had no idea. I flashed forward ten years. How many guys nights did I have left? What will they remember from this one?

The backpack eyed me disapprovingly.

Inspiration.

“Who wants to go for a hike in the yard?”

The three of us, all wearing backpacks now (they really do want to be just like dad!) set out on an adventure. My oldest had a light-saber, the youngest a juice box, water gun and a handful of popcorn to feed any bears we would find on our journey. We took pictures of mushrooms, battled the hated Empire, and pet the tiny bears and dinosaurs my son found as he held them on the tip of his tiny finger. “Pet him dad. Don’t worry, he doesn’t have teeth, and he’s happy.”

It was a glorious hour together. The weight of the pack dug into my shoulders, and bathed me in sweat, but I’ve never felt lighter.

Do something. Together.

-Mike Sposito

Owner Spowerks LLC

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