I think I'm turning into Calvin's Dad.

I don't know how many of you have read Calvin and Hobbes. If you haven't then I really recommend doing so.

It was created by cartoonist Bill Watterson and ran in newspapers from 1985 to 1995(More here). It is hilarious, satirical and it makes so much sense to this day.

This is Calvin's Dad.

He is a mild mannered man, who works as a patent attorney and loves to ride his bike and run.
He also believes in fact that tough things build character.

And lately I have had reason to believe I am turning into Calvin's dad.

I've always been an idealist. I was brought up to believe in myself and stand up for what was right and I have never been ashamed to take a stand for things I believe are correct. In college, I once stood up against an elderly professor, who was blatantly harassing girls, by writing a 2 page complaint on a feedback form and got him removed. And when he refused to check my file on grounds that my file's binder didn't have a plastic stick inside the binder (whatever that had to do with the content of my file), I checked the file myself.

I might even appear like a bully because of my headstrong behavior, but the truth is I am one of those who stood against bullying. I mean, I didn't like to put up with bullies and I pretty much made myself clear. Violence was my choice of expression back then and now that I look at it, it makes me laugh.

But in my teens, I didn't quite get the importance of "these people" or "these circumstances". As I have grown older, I've begun to admire the gift of struggle and dealing with tough people.
Over the years, the urge to punch people in the face has gone down and rationality has taken over me.

I try to reason why that person behaved that way and I try to put myself in their position to understand their perspective. If I don't get it, I try to avoid them (more so because I might punch them in the face, the urge has gone down, not disappeared). And i'll be honest with you, my life really has given me so tough decisions. Murphy's law seems to be a tax paying citizen of my life. Things which might go wrong but not cause damage for other people, rip me apart like a nuclear explosion. And because I am somehow "gifted" with overly contemplative mind and I just cannot let go of things, I spend a lot of time reminiscing the embarrassing situations in my life.

I think living on my own has helped me understand what life really is about. Facing people, on my own and being in a situation where there is actually a lot to lose has made me, a little more "adult" (for lack of a better word). Also I am a blind fan of masochists like David Goggins and Lance Armstrong and here in Switzerland, I have seen incarnations of these men.

People doing their daily commutes, going out for runs and rides whether it's raining, it's sunny or snowing or hailng made me rethink what I need to do. The Indian scene was too soft for me, people were too slow and always complained about conditions (Guess how many people I offended! Boo yeah!). Here I am middle of the pack and I know what I have to do to get to the front.

Quitting on music while running brought me closer to the nature, it helped me embrace the elements and above all it made me realize how conditions don't really matter.
They are just like different days of the week. Cold is like Monday and a light breeze often feels like Friday Night!

And do you know what I do on a Friday night?

Yes! I carb load and sleep early so that I can run long on Saturday! I am a fun guy, you know? Same for Saturday night too!

And thanks to this unexpected early start to a cold winter, I often feel like this:

And this:


And this:

Haven't you seen my Facebook posts recently? How I am always imploring people to let go of their soft side and embrace the dark side cold. (Star Wars effect).

I'm that man, goes out for a run deliberately wishing for bad weather so that my run can be a little more rewarding, a little more "character building". Last Thursday, while the lake splashed really cold water on me I ran screaming at the lake "Bring it on, I am not scared of you!". For you, this might be weird. But my definition of normal is a little different.

It is my belief, that if people change the definition of "normal" and actually include things that build character as a part of their life, the world as a whole will be a lot more accountable and happy. And obviously, I will set up a good example for the generation after me:


So, like I always do I implore you. Go out, cold or hot, rain or snow, sunny or cloudy. Accept the conditions, accept life for what it is and rather than whining about your circumstances, fight with them! Hot showers feel much better, the hot chocolate tastes much better and that extra brownie doesn't add guilt.

And if not:

You guessed it, it builds character. :)

So just go out and do your thing. And if you can't and you haven't read Calvin & Hobbes, read that. 


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