96 Is a Good Number
Wednesday’s Workout (NO CAP)
5 Triple-unders / 15 Double-unders
10 Ring Push-ups
15 AbMat Sit-ups
…and coming Thursday (CAP)
3 Rounds, for time
100m Farmers Carry – left arm (55/40)
100m Farmers Carry – right arm
20 Renegade Rows (45/30)
10 Turkish Get-ups (45/30)
A week ago my grandfather passed away. He was 96. My grandmother is 92.
Anyone who has ever heard me speak of my grandparents knows how much admiration I have for them. They were always a representation of health and vibrancy. My grandfather lived with my grandmother, on their own, until just recently. I remember visiting them as a child and experiencing their discipline and love. They knew about the benefits of eating healthy nuts and seeds, so each night while watching TV there would be a snack time. My grandmother would measure out, with a little plastic measuring scoop, a small pile of sunflower seeds for each of us to eat. I remember asking for more and being gently chided about not overeating. My grandparents grew up in the Depression. Overeating was not just unhealthy, but it was disrespectful.
It was the same when it was time for dessert. We would each get a small scoop of vanilla ice cream served in a ramekin with a pile of fresh strawberries picked from their garden. I learned to eat it slowly to appreciate it. Breakfast was a bowl of fresh strawberries in milk. I would add sugar, which mystified my grandmother. “Try it without the sugar,” she would suggest. Thinking back, those strawberries didn’t need anything extra at all. They were sweet and simple and good.
At dinner we would eat ravioli. In the Italian tradition though, there was meat for a main dish and pasta was the side. My grandfather was Italian and the pasta was made from scratch. My grandmother always put mushrooms in the sauce. At home my parents would force me to eat a mushroom or two. When it was dinner time at my grandparent’s house, my grandfather would make sure I was seated next to him, and as I carefully sifted every mushroom bit from my sauce, he would reach over with his fork and eat them for me. “You never have to eat mushrooms here,” he would say with a smile. “You can always sit right next to me.”
It seems many of my memories of him are tied to food, but the food was good and whole, just like him, just like both my grandparents. My mom and I always picked out birthday presents for my grandmother that had something to do with strawberries. When, as a little one, I couldn’t pronounce my grandparent’s last name, we instead renamed them Grandma and Grandpa Raviolio.
The food was a manifestation of their love, diligence, patience, and discipline. Through those meals I learned from them. My grandfather, Emil J. Tiradani, passed away last week. He was 96. He was a good man who taught me good things.