So right now, my son Asa is in a hardcore “Dadda” phase: whether I’m on my computer, relaxing on the couch, or trying to escape for just a moment, he has zero sense of personal space. At times, it’s cute, but if you know me well enough, you probably know that I don’t really love physical contact. Don’t you dare psychoanalyze me! Regardless, I’m going to try my best to embrace this phase because I know all too well, it won’t last forever.
This said I’m working hard to be the best role model I can be for my guy. From a trainer standpoint, more recently, some of my most fulfilling coaching moments have been training younger athletes. They listen so well, their optimism is contagious, and they’re willing to put in the work. There’s not a better feeling as a coach.
Now that Asa is becoming a young boy, I started making a list of all I want to tell him as he’s finding his way in life. Whether it’s just reminding him to try his best or challenging his work ethic and character so that he holds a standard when no one is watching him. Through positive reinforcement methods like hugs, high fives, verbal affirmations, or just spending one-on-one time with him, I hope it will all pay off down the road.
But as I stare at my list, I can’t help but think that even adults we can use a little motivation and encouragement now and then. We’re so quick to call people out for their lack of commitment or discipline when they might just need a little pep talk. Maybe it’s a quick phone call or text as a caring reminder that they deserve that one hour of their day so they can look and feel their best with just a little consistency. When it comes to us, maybe we’re too easy on ourselves and need a little “tough love” and accountability.
But, if you have children, know they’re watching everything we do and take to heart every word that leaves our mouths. So, choose your actions and words wisely and strive to be a role model. If you don’t have children, you too can become someone’s lifeline or accountability partner. But whether it’s your children, m.i.a. workout partners, or a struggling spouse, try leading with compassion and encouragement instead of just giving up on them. Because, at the end of the day, we can’t do it alone; I know I didn’t.