My First Father's Day

Father’s Day is today and it marks the first time I get to celebrate it as a father.

In that regard, it’s a chance to celebrate, not necessarily what I’ve done but what my 8-month-old son, Isaiah, has done to my life.

It’s a chance to reflect on every amazing thing – and in just eight short months, it’s already too numerous to count – that has happened since last September.

It’s a chance to look forward to the future and the immense possibilities that it will hold with every milestone and memorable moment.

Perhaps most importantly, though, it’s an opportunity to look in the mirror and reinforce the type of father I want to be.

What, exactly, does that have to do with lifting, with standing under a bar, with pushing myself through a workout?

I’m glad you asked.

The answer? A lot, to be honest.

Seeing him develop – and seemingly at a rapid rate – is a constant reminder of the dad I am and the dad I still need to become.

It’s something I see and think about every day, but it holds special meaning on Father’s Day.

What’s the point of celebrating and enjoying this day if you can’t look at every other day of the year and feel that you were the best father you could be?

I’m no expert and I’ve got plenty to learn, but I want to end each day being the best dad I could be.

Yeah, yeah, I’m getting to the part of what this has to do with training.

Lifting weights has been able to give me so many lessons to reach this goal. It may sound odd, but so many things Dave talks about in “Raising the Bar” and “Under the Bar” strikes a chord in fatherhood.

When Jim talks about eliminating excuses and overthinking, and just lifting the weight and improving, it strikes a chord.

I can read every “how to be a dad” book there is, but if I don’t actually do it, what’s the point. In lifting, it’s forget the excuses, forget the circumstances and just lift the weight and get stronger. In fatherhood, it’s forget the excuses and circumstances and just be a great dad.

Forget every athlete he will watch on television, every musician he will listen to and every movie star he will laugh at.

I want to be the ultimate role model for my son.

I won’t make millions of dollars shooting a basketball, I can’t play a musical instrument to save my life and I have a face for radio, which kills my movie career.

What I can do is provide motivation, teach him the value of hard work, teach him the importance of not giving up and teach him the value of persistence.

I might not be able to do that on a worldwide stage, but I can do it in a weight room and we can share those moments together.

In the coming years, I envision Isaiah joining me at the gym and creating that special bond and kinship of spending time in the weight room with dad.

I thoroughly enjoy watching Dave’s kids in the weight room because I just envision what those experiences will be like.

It makes me smile to read the “Someday I Will” stories because I envision Isaiah in each of those situations.

With lifting, I can create a bond with my son that can be held for life.

He may teach me a few lessons on the way as well.

I am nowhere near the strength-level of the athletes on this site, but all that has done is give me lofty goals to reach.

But nobody has inspired me as much as my son. He hasn’t learned to walk, he can’t talk, but everything he does gives me motivation.

It’s motivation to work hard, to advance in my career, to provide for him and, yes, to get stronger.

So many people have told me fatherhood will change me, and I totally agree.

Too often, though, it’s a reference to never being able to train again, to never having time and, generally, turning into a mass of lard.

So far, I’ve felt the opposite, harnessing that motivation from my son in the best way possible.

I’ve learned how to manage my time better, how to stack my priorities and follow those through each day.

I’ve also become more determined to take advantages of the gifts I’ve been given and use them for the betterment of his childhood.

It’s not the actual getting stronger part that he has influenced. It’s the dedication, the never-missing-a-workout, the intensity, the pushing forward and the bettering myself where he’s made a difference.

The result is getting stronger, which is what happens when you bear down and simply train without excuses.

I’ve harnessed the challenges of fatherhood and tried to turn them into positives. Everything I experience in this life, I want to share it with my son.

Massive size and massive numbers aside, training is a passion in my life.

What better way to enjoy that passion than with someone who admires every step you make?

It’s exciting and it’s fulfilling to think about that possibility, which is one more reason why this will be a Father’s Day to remember.