Dad Strength

I was walking with my family the other day, taking a casual stroll if you will. Suddenly, my 18-month-old daughter threw a fit in her stroller. Coming as no surprise to me, I took the responsibility of carrying her like any good dad would to comfort his child. Little did I know, our casual stroll turned into a two and a half mile walk, hills included. It was around the first mile marker that I finally understood the mythical “Dad Strength.”


As a kid growing up, I always thought, as many young boys do, that my dad was superman. No matter how hard I tried, I could never beat him. Dad just seemed to have incredible strength. As I grew up, I found that this wasn’t uncommon. As a matter of fact, the goal of being stronger than dad was huge among most of my peers. I guess it’s just a simple fact of life. Young boys want to grow up and be as strong as their dads, and dads will never admit losing ground to their sons.

Reaching about mile two in my walk, I thought about how dads got that strength. I’m not simply talking about squatting and deadlifting big numbers. I mean “real dad strength.” Then it hit me—I had been carrying my daughter for almost two miles and I wasn’t tired from it at all. Whether it was just from daily training or the fact that I knew my daughter felt safer in my hands than anywhere else in the world, something kept me going.

Real Strength

This is what life is for dads—being able to carry your kids, wife, or whole family through anything. It provides an unstoppable motivation. Now when I’m in the weight room, I say to myself, “If this were life and death and my strength were going to be used to carry my daughter out of trouble, would I quit or would I get one more rep, maybe one more pound, maybe one more second of strain to protect my child?”

Now I’m not saying that you need to think like that all the time. God knows stress is a killer, and life should be more than adrenaline and getting psyched up.

I have a challenge for you though if you’re willing to accept it. Take your kid(s) out, pick him or her up, and just start walking. See how far you can go. See if you can hold on longer than you thought possible or if you just refuse to let go.