As most sane people were watching football New Years Day from the comfort of their warm homes, my son and I headed north for a very cold adventure. Our destination laid 2 hours and 30 minutes away in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The NHL Winter Classic in the Big House was the goal. Thanks to a very loving wife we were able to get tickets to the game as a Christmas gift.
The night before Kody and I discussed the weather and what we should wear. The forecast called for 18 degrees and 60 percent chance of snow. Kody actually dressed and stood outside for a half an hour to make sure he would be warm. Me being the “know it all” believed I knew what I should wear. Then after he came inside my thought process changed. The former Boy Scout in me kicked in, to the tune of “Be Prepared,” the Scout motto. So I laid out two different outfits not sure which would be the best as far as warmth and comfort. Not that comfort should ever take precedence over warmth. All I could think of was Randy from “A Christmas Story,” unable to walk because of all the clothes his mother put on him. I did not want to be squeezed in so tight that I could not move.
New Years Day and we were up early and out the door to beat the crowds and traffic. Well that was good for about an hour then it started to snow. The roads started to pile up with lots of the white stuff. Traffic slowed but was still moving. The travel time was a great time to talk. I asked lots of questions about how college was going and his next steps towards graduation. Kody and I don’t always see eye to eye and our relationship has been tough at times. My wife says it’s because we are exactly alike. Ouch, that hurts. This time together was much needed for me. I have not always been involved like I should. Then I try to get to close and end up driving him crazy. So finding a balance has been tough and still is.
We arrived in A2 as they call it and parked about a half-mile from the stadium. We both dressed in the truck into our deep freeze gear. The game time temperature was announced as 13 degrees, wind-chill negative 4. As we got to our seats, they were covered in 4 inches of snow an hour before the game. Seat cushions were strapped to bench, which made it much more tolerable than sitting on a frozen metal bench. The snow came down the entire game. It was truly a winter wonderland. The stadium was a sea of red, white and blue. The red of Detroit Red Wings, the blue of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the white of the falling snow made the canyon walls of the Big House come alive.
A New World Record was set that day as 105,491 people watched the game in the Big House. Never thought I would be apart of a world record before, but now I can add that to my resume. But there was another record set that day. When Kody and I arrived home we shared with Lynette how much fun we had and how bitterly cold it was. But we also shared that we set a record. We joked with Lynette that we were together for 12 hours and did not have one single argument. That’s a record worth breaking again. How about it dad’s want to break some records with your kids?
Ted Goodwin is a speaker and author of the book “Lessons from a Headache.” In June of 2009 Ted was diagnosed with a “chronic daily migraine” headache. Despite constant pain since the headache began, Ted has not allowed it to stop him from living life to the full. He lives a life that is active, rewarding and full of joy. He diligently trained for and completed his first marathon in September 2010, despite the migraine.