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Spencer hits a dinger in Huntsville

July 26, 2015

Months ago, as baseball season approached, I prophesied to my two sons—‘This year, you will each hit a couple out of the park’. This prediction had nothing to do with my own limited athletic prowess, that was for sure. Instead, it was a simple reflection on what 18 months of religious devotion to a bodyweight training program can do.

For a year and a half, since early February 2014, I have followed Paul Wade’s Convict Conditioning with sons Spencer (now 15) and Duncan (12). I have witnessed them grunting and groaning and gritting their teeth and—yes—occasionally cursing as they coax one more agonizing pull-up or pushup out of their fatigued upper body core.

Seeing that devotion, and the results, I explained the bat meeting the baseball as a matter of physics. ‘Boys,’ I said, ‘you may swing the bat like you did a year or two ago, and you may not feel any stronger, but when you effect a collision between your bat and the ball, just watch it soar.’

And, today, it soared. Pardon the ridiculously botched video. It shows a lot of things, some not so obvious. From my filming position beyond the fence in centre-left field, you see a batter—Spencer—wearing the blue of his Orillia Royals. You see a pitch and a first strike. Then, on the next pitch, you hear the impact of a bat hitting a ball. Moments later, one awed and frightened father loses his angle because he’s afraid the ball will drop out of the sky and crown him. You hear shrieks from Spencer’s teammates, you see his younger brother Duncan running yards and yards beyond the fence to retrieve the ball. Somewhere in there, you hear the elated “Woo-hoo” of a proud dad who, in the moment of witnessing his eldest son hit a “dinger”, has felt an elation words cannot describe.

“You hold onto that ball,” Spencer’s coach said to Duncan, who clutched the bruised hardball in his hand on the way to congratulate his brother in the dugout.

And indeed he did.

Days like today are what being a father is all about.

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