In honor of my grandfather turning 90 tomorrow, I developed this simple Weinke.
Warm Up: 2 minute Mosey, Jimmy Dugans, Calf Stretch, 20 Merkins.
Map out a 5K (3.1 miles) in your hood. At mile marker 1, 2 and the finish line complete the following exercises. If completing with others (with proper social distancing), circle back for 6 and complete the pain station as a group. They are:
(25) Box Cutters
Upon Completion of 5K and Last Pain Station, complete 90 Rocky Balboa’s (AKA curb kick or Riverdance. Start near a curb or other raised element, and with a barely rhythmic motion, alternately tap the toe from each foot on the curb.)
Mary for 2 minutes.
I chose reps of 3,25,30 as my grandfather was born on March 25th, 1930. I chose exercises whose first letter matches his initials – Berto Benjamin Dominguez.
His a very important HIM in my life, a role model. We were supposed to be going on a family cruise next week to celebrate his 90th, so I’m doing my part virtually to honor the man I call ‘Papa’.
At age 31, he, my grandmother and then 7 year father fled the communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro in Cuba and by the grace of God landed in the USA (first my grandfather had to flee to Canada, weeks later my grandmother and father were able to get on a flight to Miami. It was very common then for families to split up just to get the hell out of the nightmare that was Cuba then…google “Pedro Pan flights” to learn more…imagine hearing firing squads in your local park, the military knocking at your door and taking the keys to your home and your business..this happened to my family and so many others. ) When they reunited in the US, he didn’t speak the language, didn’t have a college degree nor a marketable skill. The only assistance they ever received were from friends and the church. He like many other Cubans at the time relocated to North Jersey, as the job market was much better than South Florida. Much colder than South Florida, but your wallet was warmer.
What makes me fill with admiration and love for the man I call Papa isn’t so much this one act that happened 59 years ago, but what he did for 59 years since landing on these shores. He raised a family, had nieces and nephews live with them until their parents could arrive, he financially helped many family members in times of need, loved neighbors like brothers, built a lovely home, cared for my grandmother during her battle with lymphoma…countless trips to Johns Hopkins, a bone marrow transplant, the ups and downs during her struggle and how he handled her passing with grace yet with much sorrow. How he took me to visit colleges all over the US once he retired from AT&T after 27 years of service. He drove me out to South Bend, IN to visit ND and surprised me that afternoon after the campus tour that we were not spending the night in Indiana but were headed to Chicago to see a Cub’s game. It was early May in Chicago and the weather was 30 degrees at night! I’ll never forget that night (and the fact he might have bought me a few beers too!). The countless Philly games he took me to when my grandparents lived in PA, the countless Yankee games. I could go on but I’ll stop here.
My grandfather is not a saint, far from it and has sinned many times, sometimes big, just like the rest of us. However he never continues to not grow, not even at 90. He’s become a much more devout Christian, has read the bible cover to cover at least twice, has read more books than I and I have a masters degree, could do a NY Times crossword puzzle faster than anyone I know and English wasn’t his first language. He’s recently picked back up the saxophone after a 59 year hiatus.
The times we are going through right now are tough, not doubt. Many of us will lose jobs, be furloughed, lost bonuses, etc. However know many others have endured much more, example above. We live in the greatest country on earth and we will all bounce back and thrive. Let’s help each other out during this time.