T Nation

What It Takes to Be a Man

In honor of Father’s Day, I wrote this story to my Dad to say thanks for all of the things that he did to help me get to where I am today. It is a story but it foreshadows where I want my life to be someday in the future and it certainly represents how I feel about him and what he’s done for me.

I thought that I would share it with you all, and a Happy Father’s Day to all father’s out there who do so much for their sons.

To my father:

It was a cool, sunny fall day and my Dad and I had just finished cleaning the yard and we were sitting on the front steps resting. I was only 13 at the time and I knew that I was changing, but I didnt know what to expect in the future. So, while we sat on the steps, I turned to my father and asked: ?Dad, what does it mean to be a man??

He smiled at me, put his arm around my shoulder and said:

Son, to be a man means many things. You have to strong yet compassionate, firm yet forgiving, wise yet humble, but most of all; you always have to be true to yourself. You have to be a good father, a good husband and a good friend. You need to be a warrior, a teacher and a coach. You also have to realize that sometimes the hardest thing to do is nothing, that nothing gets done unless you do it for yourself, and that the greatest moment in your life is when you hold your newborn son in your arms.

You?ll have to learn that strength comes in many forms, and most often having a strong body isn?t as important as having a strong mind. You need to be a thinker, a provider, a protector and a leader. You will come to understand that truth, honor, justice and reason are ideals that every man should strive for. It may seem impossible to be all these things, but it?s hard to be a man. It would be easy to be lazy, passive and weak, but men do not shy away from hard work or challenge, they thrive in it, in fact, they need it.

There may be times when you may think that you are alone on your journey, but there are men out there who can help you to be great; you just have to seek them out. Remember son, never settle for average and always be the greatest you can be at everything that you do. Once you understand that all you want is an opportunity, all you need is happiness and love, and that you alone have control over the outcome of your life, then you?ll become a greater man than I am.

When he finished speaking, he turned to me and kissed me on the forehead and as I watched him get up, I noticed that he wiped a tear from his eye. I sat there thinking about what he said, and when my Mom walked by she asked me what we were talking about. I told her, and when I was finished, I asked her - Why did Dad cry?

She told me that when Dad held me for the first time, he looked at me, smiled and said:

Right now, holding you my son; it is both the happiest and most frightening moment of my life. I?m so proud to have a son, but I don?t know what to expect in the future or if I will be a good father. I hope that one day you?ll grow up to be a great man, and that I will be the one who gets to teach you. I love you son.

Many years have passed since that cool, fall day. I think about what my father said to me that day, especially today as I look down at my newborn son in my arms. I have tried to learn everything that my Dad taught me, and is still teaching me, about being a good man. I can honestly say that he was right about everything, except that I dont know how any one could be a greater man than him. When my Mom told me that Dad was scared, I did not understand, as my Dad wasn?t scared of anything. However, as I hold my son, I realize that I?m more terrified now that I ever have been in my life. I have this nagging fear: "Will I be a good father, and will my son grow up to be a great man??

My 13-year-old son has just finished helping me clean the yard, and we sit down on the front steps and rest. I glance over at him and I see that he has this confused look on his face. He pauses for a moment and then he turns to me as says: ?Dad, what does it mean to be a man?? At this moment, my wife walks by and my son turns to her and asks: ?Mom, why is Dad crying??

I love you Dad, Happy Father?s Day and thank you very much for helping me become the man that I am today.

Kent Lorenz

Thank You!!!

My pleasure. I hoped that you like it and it reflects something positive.

Kent

[quote]Irish Muscle wrote:
Bull. your not a man unless you can deadlift 2.5 times your bodyweight for 5 reps.[/quote]

That’s dumb

Great article, Kent. Makes me think about the different eras my father and i grew up in. Men today seem to have lost the value of work ethic, steadfastness, and the understanding that true strength is the most gentle thing of all. Real men have a strong arm, yet a soft hand. Cheers to all the fathers out there

[quote]kroby wrote:
Irish Muscle wrote:
Bull. your not a man unless you can deadlift 2.5 times your bodyweight for 5 reps.

That’s dumb[/quote]

Yeah, it’s too light of a challenge.

Good post Kent. This is a subject that has been on my mind a lot recently.

My son (my first child) is due in a couple of months.

This isn’t being a “real man.” This is being a responsible adult. Sorry, there’s nothing characteristically masculine about what you just said.

[quote]Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
This isn’t being a “real man.” This is being a responsible adult. Sorry, there’s nothing characteristically masculine about what you just said.[/quote]

I agree that many traits or behaviors that are admirable in men would also be admirable in women. They can definitely apply to both.

I’m curious,

What would you consider to be “characteristically masculine”?

I’m ever amazed at the capacity of the human race to trample the roses and debase themselves for a fleeting moment of attention. Such as some of the replies.

God bless, Kent. Even more than he obviously already has.

My own son turns 11 soon, and that same feeling of exhilirating fear is still my constant companion.

It is an eternal soul that my clumsly hands now hold. But by the grace of Christ, I shall do my best to set his feet aright on the path to being a man in this crass and shallow generation. On a path to knowing the One in whose image he is made.

thanks Kent,
DH

[quote]new2training wrote:
Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
This isn’t being a “real man.” This is being a responsible adult. Sorry, there’s nothing characteristically masculine about what you just said.

I agree that many traits or behaviors that are admirable in men would also be admirable in women. They can definitely apply to both.

I’m curious,

What would you consider to be “characteristically masculine”?

[/quote]

This site is littered with guys who think they’ve discovered the secret behind being a true “T-Man” (LOL.) Nothing against the appreciation of one’s father, but these “secrets” are a tired photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy, etc. I’d rather not dirty my hands with the issue in this particular forum, just given the cliched, boring discussion it would inevitably provoke. Or is it too late?

Understood it’s no longer fathers day but i believe the post was written in honor of fathers day. Who cares if what the guy does doesn’t seem outstanding? Let the guy acknowledge his father for being whatever helped him be the man that he is happy being.

[quote]Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
new2training wrote:
Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
This isn’t being a “real man.” This is being a responsible adult. Sorry, there’s nothing characteristically masculine about what you just said.

I agree that many traits or behaviors that are admirable in men would also be admirable in women. They can definitely apply to both.

I’m curious,

What would you consider to be “characteristically masculine”?

This site is littered with guys who think they’ve discovered the secret behind being a true “T-Man” (LOL.) Nothing against the appreciation of one’s father, but these “secrets” are a tired photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy, etc. I’d rather not dirty my hands with the issue in this particular forum, just given the cliched, boring discussion it would inevitably provoke. Or is it too late?[/quote]

lol. Damn, you’re one cynical SOB. Hopefully, not about everything though.

At the risk of provoking a cliched, boring discussion I’ll say that I don’t think the OP presented it as a huge “secret.”

I agree with you in a sense though. It is a “photocopy, of a photocopy, of a photocopy.” Most truths or wisdom are ancient.

They still hold true in modern times though.

I think the discussion of what makes a man a good or admirable man will always be relevent.

Nothing is new under the sun.

[quote]Irish Muscle wrote:
Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
new2training wrote:
Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
This isn’t being a “real man.” This is being a responsible adult. Sorry, there’s nothing characteristically masculine about what you just said.

I agree that many traits or behaviors that are admirable in men would also be admirable in women. They can definitely apply to both.

I’m curious,

What would you consider to be “characteristically masculine”?

This site is littered with guys who think they’ve discovered the secret behind being a true “T-Man” (LOL.) Nothing against the appreciation of one’s father, but these “secrets” are a tired photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy, etc. I’d rather not dirty my hands with the issue in this particular forum, just given the cliched, boring discussion it would inevitably provoke. Or is it too late?

turns out we think the same way on this one mr clean and jerkwad.

the only difference is you have a clever way of voicing your opinion without making a butthead of yourself. thats why i love you.

pity i cant think up well structured sentences and impressive big words, im too much of an anus.
[/quote]

If you promise you’ll always keep your “Front Double Bi” thread alive, I promise I’ll proof-read your posts.

Again, though, propers to the O.P for reminding us to appreciate our fathers. Some people need that and I hope they know to appreciate this. I initially didn’t offer my compliments with the criticism because the former had already been offered and the critique remained to be said.

[quote]Irish Muscle wrote:
Bull. your not a man unless you can deadlift 2.5 times your bodyweight for 5 reps.[/quote]

ahahah. I just spit on my screens.

But seriosly I wish people would realize that noone can tell you what a man is. You’re either a man and you dont have to defend it to anyone, or your not.

OP. Nice.

[quote]tveddy wrote:
I wish people would realize that noone can tell you what a man is. You’re either a man and you dont have to defend it to anyone, or your not. [/quote]

True.

But no offense to the OP, but that story was not for me. Way too soppy.

I couldn’t get through most of that post. But what I did read made my balls shrink up a little bit. Don’t know if it was the overall horseshit, girl-man tone of the thing or the bad grammar and writing style. Keep that kind of shit to yourself next time, huh?

No offense taken from any criticism, you are free to feel what you will and voice your opinions. To tell you the truth, I didn’t write it for you, I wrote it for my Dad. I figured that I’d share just in case someone else had similar thoughts and feelings.

For those of you who liked it: thank you and I am glad. For those who didn’t: thank you for taking the time to read it and comment on it and your opinions are your own and will not affect how I live my life and raise any sons that I have in the future.

Good luck to us all, and I guess the real trick is finding our own definition of what it means to be a man and living according to that ideal.

[quote]Irish Muscle wrote:
kroby wrote:
Irish Muscle wrote:
Bull. your not a man unless you can deadlift 2.5 times your bodyweight for 5 reps.

That’s dumb

the truth is always dumb. thats why every one calls me dumb all the time. because i speak the truth. it has nothing to do with the fact that i failed college 4 times[/quote]

Yes it does. You failed college 'cause you’re dumb.

[quote]tveddy wrote:
You’re either a man and you dont have to defend it to anyone, or your not.[/quote]

I agree with ya; most of ‘em talking about bein’ a man are still boys. Well, thinkin’ about it…

…all of ‘em are. OP, bit too “soft” for my tastes, but I give ya a thumbs up for showin’ your appreciation to the Pops all over the world.