A lot of dads ask me, “How do you find the time to work out?” I often hear, “I would love to work out but don’t want to sacrifice time with my kids.” “I was planning on working out after I put the kids to bed but I was too tired.” Or my favorite, “My kids tired me out!”
So how do I do it? What’s my secret? I wanted to be fit. I wanted to be the dad that my daughter looked up to. I wanted to be her superhero. I found the time. I usually put my daughter to bed around 9ish. So 9:15 was workout time. I retreated to the basement lair and it was my time to shine. I would throw on a little Krewella or some Watsky and get lost in the iron. My wife can sing the lyrics to my favorite Watsky songs just from hearing them blast from the basement. Usually I can get a good hour in so that I can have my much needed chill time before I pass out for the night.
This past thursday, we took a family trip to High Rock in MD before cruising over to Cunningham Falls State Park. While at High Rock, my daughter was amazed at the view from the top of the graffiti laced rock. So I decided that we should go down the trail to a different viewpoint. My daughter says, “we like hiking daddy, cuz we are spartans!” AROO right? So we get to a different set of rocks and it was a fairly steep climb. I kept Jocelyn (my daughter) in front of me as she climbed the rocks like it was a Spartan cargo net. As I stepped forward, I noticed a long brown creature with diamonds on its back slide down the rock beside us. Without any time to react, I grabbed Jo and jetted up the rock while yelling to my wife, “Copperhead! Stay down there!” Do you have any idea how hard it is to climb a 45 degree incline with a 4 year old in one arm? I got Jo down while the slithering serpent escaped into the brush away from us. I used this opportunity to teach her what a copperhead looks like. Now I know that if she comes running up to me at home and tells me that she saw a copperhead, I KNOW that there is a copperhead, and I need to grab the closest, sharpest shovel. The cool part of this whole story is the walk back. Jo was walking back to the car with me and said, “Daddy, you saved me from the copperhead, you’re like a superhero.”
Every dad wants to be their child’s superhero. There isn’t much greater that a dad can hear. Looking at my daughters eyes, I imagined how she looked at me. Was it like how I used to look at Superman on my TV when I was younger? Am I worth looking up to? Am I being the best dad I can be? Am I being the best man I can be? Then she looks at me, puts her little arm up in the air with her best flex and says, “look at these pythons.” In that moment, I knew I was doing something right.