Like many other dads, Mark A. Meadors, DO, plans to spend Father’s Day with his family. But quality “dad time” is nothing new for the Saint Francis Medical Center medical oncologist, who makes regular trips to Saint Francis’ Fitness Plus gym with his entire family.
The Meadors clan is “quite a crowd,” says Meadors, when they walk into Fitness Plus: There is Meadors, 44; his wife Bethany; children Jacob, 17; Jordan, 15; Gabriel, 12; Nathan, 7; and nephew David Pfeiffer, 17. Bethany usually heads for the fitness equipment while the kids and their dad often hit the basketball court. “They are getting more competitive,” Meadors says of his kids. “My 7-year-old thinks he can play with us, but he will get knocked down sometimes, so we have to be careful.”
Meadors also likes to go on runs outdoors with his oldest son Jacob. Jacob, a senior at Notre Dame High School, runs cross-country and track. “We will run anywhere from two to 10 miles,” says Meadors. “Jacob runs 5Ks and is used to doing more intense, faster workouts, so he prefers shorter runs. He is in a lot better shape than I am, but he is a good sport about running with me.”
For both Meadors and Jacob, the father/son runs are a bonding experience. “When you are running with somebody, you develop a connection,” says Jacob. “We get to talk about daily things, and it helps pass the time.”
And the exercise is a bonus. Not long ago, Meadors had to scale back his running because he experienced an overuse injury. Now, with his son’s encouragement, he is slowly working his way back to a regular routine. He participated in an 80-mile relay race in Southern Illinois with friends recently, and plans to run in a few more races this season. Training for the races means he can spend even more time running with his son.
“We have had some of our best talks when we are running,” says Meadors. “When you are running with your son, you can jump from one topic to another. There are no awkward silences; you are not really trying to force conversation.” For more information about Fitness Plus, visit www.sfmc.net or call 573-331-3355.