Happy Mother’s Day

Mothers are the unsung heroes of this world, enduring pain to give birth and raising us all from that day until they grow old. Don’t kid yourself, mothers are always raising us, even if we are out of the house, grown-ass adults; our mothers hold a huge place in our lives.

Let me tell you a little about my mom.

She lives 9 hours from me right now, retired and enjoying the rest of her life with her partner, who is one hell of a good man.

My mom was raised in the PA coal regions, which is a harsh area to be raised in. Eastern European immigrants, Italian, Irish, etc. They all had a common bond as blue collar workers, many in the mines.

When she was 18 she moved out, in 1972 she married my father and in 1974 she gave birth to me.

She contributed to the household by being a mom, working part-time in retail while my dad was a machinist.

She worked hard to raise me with culture, taking me to plays, operas, exposing me to other sides of life when my natural instincts were to gravitate towards sports and being a terror on my bike.

She encouraged me to pursue playing piano, she pushed me hard to excel in school.

We lived in a city, Reading, PA to be exact, and it was basically on the verge of becoming a very unsafe place to live, she never sheltered me from the world around me, but she always made sure I was safe.

When I was 14, the unthinkable happened, my father’s cancer reared its ugly head and in November of 1989 he passed away.

Our lives were turned upside down and my mom did the only thing she knew how to do; fight on and be the alpha female she was.

I don’t use that word loosely, many a mother is strong, but I can say this without a damn doubt, if my dad lived and my mom didn’t, this blog would not be written today, she is about as strong as a person as I ever knew in my entire life and if I had 1/10th the strength she does, I would be lucky.

She reinvented herself in the last years of my dad’s life. She knew he wouldn’t live long, so she entered the career world, selling insurance and rose to the top in her company rather quickly. Eventually that grew into her owning her own branch, selling it and retiring. She is the American Dream personified, rising from nothing into making it her own way, never kissing ass, never playing a role, and being herself. She thrived in a male-dominated industry without a college degree when the rest of her office had those degrees hanging on the wall. She earned every single bit of her success by hard-ass work.

I wasn’t the best son to her at times, I drove her nuts, drove her to tears, made her crazy on many an occasion and rebelled hard against what she knew was right from her experience. I eventually learned and grew into what I am today, and while I look back on the lessons she taught me; I cannot deny that my mom always had my back even on the times when she wanted to choke me.

Mom’s aren’t perfect, they are human just like us kids, but at the end of the day they all want their children to be more successful than they are (well at least most do).

My mom was the most influential person in my life to get me started on this fitness journey, she has encouraged me to be educated, she has been there when I was at my worst points in my life, and she loved me enough to teach me harsh lessons and forced me to grow into a man from a crazy boy.

So, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you, I respect you and I am infinitely thankful you never gave up on me when I wanted to give up on myself when I was a teenager.

Thank you for being there, thank you for backing me up, thank you for being a mom to me even as I was a horrible son at times and thank you for saving me from myself so many times in the past and allowing me to find my path in life.


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