Practice and Routine

Has anyone felt like they just can’t it together? Well that’s me, and the struggle is real. Now my struggle is just balance. Life can be so busy, between work, family and play. Lately I’ve trying to give my lifestyle a shock. I have a few plans I want to knock out before summer time ends. I feel like my life is just cramped, but I’m loving how busy I am. So let’s start the day off.

At 4:30 am I wake up. Barely waking up, get ready for work. Mostly I’m trying chug my pre-work before hopping into my car. Just sitting there vibing to rap music and buzzing off the juice. I arrive to the gym. The only goal is to get buff, thinking about my heroes; Arnold, the Rock, and Tom Hardy. The one thing that they have common is the body, and it’s built of Greek god. Me well, I’m built like a twig with eyes. So fuck it, we lifting heavy and everything. After a heavy lift, and feeling like biggest dude in the gym. It’s time for work.

By work, I mean it’s time to slay tree. Cutting trees, roping trees, and climbing trees, I’m tree guy. Before I get to do all that, my crew most likely has to hike into site. Hiking a few hundred meters or a simple one or two kilometer, my legs are tired. I thought I did cardio at the gym. Cutting trees can be tiring, so I honestly look forward to going to home. After the tiring day, it’s time to go home. See my kid and wife is the things I crave the most these days.

My drive is pretty calming, listen to podcasts or music. I’ve learned to enjoy the ride home, because it’s one of the few times I get alone. Skip ahead, I walk to the door. I hear screaming, it’s my daughter laughing at the TV. She is watching Moana for the thirtieth time. I am learning the songs, and hopefully going to put a cover album soon. I’m slowing learn “who I am”. Just like Moana. In the evening my little one gets tired, and I get the chance to hold her in my arms. I realized that kids don’t stay little for long. It kind of breaks my heart. Time is so precious.

As I put her to bed, I think about what the next day will bring.  I am only trying to pause time and live in the moment a little bit longer. These are the lessons I’m learning and the struggle is real. So tie up your boots and get grinding. Get the most out of your day, even if you’re tired. Trust me you’ll be happy you did.

Keep on Keeping on

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Locker Room Talk: David Kadey

David, is someone whom I grew up with. We played basketball in my front yard, and roamed the neighborhood together. Growing up with him, was pretty sweet. Himself, his brother and all of our friends just chased summer together. Now his wife and him are expecting their first child. He’s a great guy. From this interview, he’s going to be a great dad.

1. You excited to be a father or more nervous?

I guess it’s kind of both, I’m super excited to become a father, but I’m terrified. I haven’t been around to many babies and I want to be a great dad. I’m worried about everything we need to get prepared for and I want to make everything perfect. I’m excited for my wife to become a mom, she’s been ready for a long time and I can’t wait to see that.

2. Did you decide to find out what the sex was for your baby?

We are not finding out the sex of the baby. I want to know so badly, but my wife doesn’t. I even googled how to read an ultrasound to try and sneak a peek. But it didn’t work because I don’t have a clue what the sex is.

3. You playing sports, are you thinking about your kid competing in sports already?

Playing Sports were the biggest thing of my childhood. Going to games Saturday morning, playing all the time, just being active. I want my kids to play every sport they possibly can. Me personally I want my kid to play baseball. My wife wants hockey. Soccer when they are young to get rid of the all the energy. Luckily for us the seasons are apart.

4. Who had more influenced in being a parent?

My biggest influence was my mom. She worked pretty hard to put food on the table and be there for me and my brother. Single mom trying to do everything for everyone, and not even taking a minute to appreciate how good of a job she did on raising us. If I’m half the parent my mom was to us, my kid will have hit the jackpot.

5. What was your first reaction when found out your wife was pregnant?

I actually just wrote my final exam for my second year steamfitter. I found the marks out and she sat me down and told me. I was very excited. We had been trying since we got married in July. She told me I couldn’t tell anyone until the first trimester was over. This feels like an eternity.

6. Any advice for any upcoming parents?

The advice I would give to future dads is when your wife has a craving for something, go get it fast. Whenever you’re out and about call before on your way home and see what she wants. When my wife told me she was first pregnant I though 40 weeks is going to take forever. Now we’re 25 weeks and these last few months have flown by. I would tell people who are expecting whenever there is a sale on diapers, buy them! Well that’s what I did anyways.

 

 

Pro Tip From An Okay Dad

1: Shitty pants When changing a diaper the most important thing is to make sure they are done pooping. Otherwise your day could get a lot shittier. Make sure you wipe their little tush really good and apply diaper cream. Diaper rash cream a pain in the ass. You don’t like your bum itchy pretty sure they don’t either. 
2: Quick draw

When your getting them dresses or undressed. Make sure you got our finger on the trigger when doing so. Triple check that they don’t roll over the edge when putting on pants. For fuck sakes, give them something to keep them occupied. Their is no point getting frustrated when they want to be naked and your trying to dress them. 
3: Suckers are for kids

Always have a soother. Know where they are at all times, because there is nothing worse than a screaming kid who only wants its soother. Common mistake is misplacing them. Remember the brand they like, they are picky little shits. Have more than just four in your house. They will be everywhere that you can’t find when you really need it. 
4: Put that shit on repeat 

When your kid finds something that they love and want all the time. Make sure you know it and have it always. Speaking from experience I know every single song from Moana. Some days that is the ONLY thing that will make her happy. Once you find what they like make their favourite thing your new favourite thing. 
5: Sneaky time

Want sexy time? You got to keep that shit quiet. That includes playing with the chicken or rubbing wood gentlemen. There is nothing more disappointing than having a boner and now having to explain yourself. Practice safe sex. Don’t want anymore running around right away. 

Double Check The Playbook

When you are packing your gym bag, you grab shoes, shorts and extra shit that you need. See I thought it was the same thing when packing the diaper bag. That’s a huge negative. I felt like I was getting ready for a four day hiking trip. Between bottles, diapers, blankets, and soothers I thought I had it all. Trust me, you need extra of everything.

The first time I went out with my daughter by myself, I felt like it was going to the weirdest thing to do. Why, you might ask, because I’ve never done anything like this. So the first place we go to is to look at dirt bikes.  We packed up the diaper bag, hopped in my truck and off we went. I decided we should stop at Yamaha and KTM. Well the Yamaha stop went off without a hitch.  As we started the drive to KTM, I smelt something nasty. Good thing KTM, wasn’t that far away. The smell got stronger as we got closer. We parked, I unbuckled the car seat, and the poop fumes crawled up into my nose. I am trying to be calm and cool as I walked through store. A salesman approached us; I felt this nervous feeling go through me. He said “Anything I can help you with?” In my mind I thought to myself “this is a shitty diaper and I don’t want to really talk to you.” I quickly walked by him without saying anything. The poor dude, I felt bad. But I had business to attend too.

Well this weird, the fucking men’s bathroom wasn’t equipped with a change station. This situation just got a bit shitter. But that’s how we roll, prepared for anything. I make a station on the counter, and started changing the diaper. Then I ran I out baby wipes. “Fuck me, I didn’t check” I whispered under my breath. Okay, okay, back up plan. Let me just grab some toilet paper, and soak it in warm water. All the sudden the door came open. It was a fellow dad. I asked him “Hey man, could I grab some baby wipes” Like a low key drug deal, he slid me some wipes. Lesson learned, pack extra shit. Also pack stuff for yourself too.

After that mess, we started to look at dirt bikes and sleds. Between the car seat, and diaper bag I slowly became tired. It almost felt a sled pull drill. Don’t drop the baby and hold the twenty pound diaper bag for an hour. But it’s about the gains bro. You got weights right there. Curl for the girls. Just don’t drop the baby.

Keep on Keeping on

 

 

Locker Room Talk: Jack Taylor- Mr. 138

A guy I know could simply be the best scorer on the basketball court. He has the NCAA for the most points in a game. We share something in common, shooting hoops, went to the same camp and also he’s a dad. Jack Taylor is a friend of mine. We went to a basketball camp together, and roomed together. I’d say he’s best basketball player I personal know. Maybe the second best dad next to me. A good friend, good husband, an honest dude, and overall great dad.How did basketball influence as a father?

Now that I am a father, I am making a conscience effort to apply what I’ve learned on the basketball court to my role as a father. Because quite honestly, being a father and a husband is more difficult than being a basketball player. But it’s more rewarding, too. Everything I have learned through the game of basketball (hard work, leadership, selflessness, etc.) I am using to raise my daughter.

Did you find out the sex of your daughter?

Christina and I didn’t have any sort of gender reveal party. We decided to make it a surprise. It was worth the wait!

With holding the NCAA scoring record, do you hope children break it?

I feel pretty confident that I am going to the grave with that record. Maybe in 25 years I will have a son or a daughter that goes to Grinnell College and breaks Dad’s record.

How do you balance work, being a dad and your faith?

Balancing my priorities in life is difficult. When things get hectic, I always remind myself of my priorities in life. For me, this is how they rank: Christian, Husband, Father, Work.

What’s next for you? Kids, basketball, career?

The future for me definitely includes more kids, God willing. I am done playing basketball, as my ACL-reconstructed knee can’t handle much impact anymore. I may coach my kids someday, but for now I am not going to coach. I became a Christian in college, which has become very rewarding and important in my life, and I would like to start a church in my hometown of Black River Falls, WI in a few years. A church that reaches men, a church that makes faith real instead of dry tradition and church appearances.

Would you say that your more of the hands on parent or is your wife?

My wife, Christina, stays at home with Abigail. We are convicted that we are ultimately responsible for Abigail’s upbringing, not a daycare or a school. We are blessed to be in a position financially for Christina to stay home while Abigail is young.

Any advice for upcoming dads?

 My advice to young men and future dad is to embrace fatherhood. Like boys, so many of us are scared of responsibility and commitment. Fatherless homes are one of the biggest problems in this country. When us young men decide to give our lives to and serve our wife and children, it’s not only rewarding but it’s what we are called to do as men.

Five simple rules! To Dating.

Follow the following or find your way out. 

1. Be polite! When you show up at my house. Approach my door, and a simple knock will do. Don’t fucking touch door bell. Im most likely going to take my sweet ass time getting to your nonsense of dating my daughter. No fucking honking the horn and waiting in your car. Don’t be surprised when you answer the door, and it becomes a scene from bad boys 2. “Mouth fucker, you look thirty” 

2. Hand shakes. You will shake my hand. Has be to firm, if it’s a limp fish, leave my house and lose my daughters number. If it’s too firm, and trying to out-alpha me in my own bear den, you’re going to have a bad time. Remember in the simple words of South Parks ” He should have pizza’d instead of French Frying.

3. What’s your plan. I’ll need a detailed plan of your night. Know where, and when. You’re not Michael Jordan, you’re not going to score on your debut night. Be aware, whatever you do to my daughter, I will do to you. 

4. Dress nice. If your wearing sunglasses that cost more than your watch we’ve got a problem. Please do not take the French shower, I don’t need my house smelling like Axe fragrance. Lastly wear a belt, I don’t need to know what brand of boxers you wear. 

5. Don’t. Probably for the best if you just cut your losses and just moved on to the next girl as you’ll never be good enough for my angel. It’ll be better if you just showed up to the house and noticed that I couldn’t care less about you. 

4th Line Duster

The first few days were the hardest. As a dad I felt sort of fell out of the picture, well because my daughter needed her mom.  Adjusting to her was, definitely on the fly. At night was the worst for me. I wanted to do it all but my daughter needed was the boobies. I was so excited for my first night shift. I even made a little station for myself. The station included Netflix, a coffee and some chocolate. When she first woke up, I jumped out of bed like the house was being broken into. “Okay, okay I’m up” barely came out of my mouth. Grabbed baby and went straight to the baby daddy station. I threw on Transformers 4 on the IPad. What a shitty movie. Like honestly I should have put on Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze and it would have been way better. I could see the sunrise through our windows. “Fuck me, its way to early” I mumbled as I crawled back to bed.

That morning I felt like I was useless. My wife was so busy with that mom and daughter time. Being a “4th line duster” was a good thing for me. It was a reality check. My daughter just became the whole entire world. She was the star and I was now the 6th man.  Just contributing to her, that’s the new game plan. We had breakfast together, she ate formula and I had leftover pizza. We watched some D1 basketball that morning. That’s the moment I thought “Ball Is Life.” It’s a weird feeling, when you look into your kids and they totally trust you. You’re their provider and parent. It makes me want to cry sometimes, but I am a dad. It can’t happen.

The next day as I was driving to go get groceries. In the grocery store I discovered that I wanted more kids.  I literally just had a baby, and now I’m thinking about having more. Let’s be honest for a few seconds, I can barely take of myself let alone another kid. So my wonderful wife gave a list for the groceries. A simple list to say the least, I was almost done. As I’m standing in line, at one of busiest groceries store and of course its rush hour, I forget formula. I don’t remember which kind, or which brand to get. I couldn’t call my wife; it’s my 4th day of being a dad. So I walked to infant aisle, and just aimless stared at the all of the formulas, I couldn’t decide. There was a lady there, so I cowboy the fuck up and asked “I have no idea what kind I need but I don’t want to call my wife”. This lady was amazing and literally walking me through everything, then called me “handsome.” As we parted way, I could think of how the fuck I was going to figure out my life and get it together.

I got home and felt like I was the king of castle. Really I was just Kryie Irving to Lebron James. Greatness was ready to happen. But my MVP was my wife. Breast feeding, cleaning, walking the dog and cooking, she killing game. I on the other was still struggle going through the parenthood thing. Just trust the process.

 

Keep On Keeping On

Locker Room Talk- Axcess

When I was in locker room or just driving to the gym, I was mostly likely listening to hip hop.  Some days you need to discover something new, and then I did. This dude goes by the name of Axcess. He’s a teacher, coach, hip hop artist and a father. He is just an overall great person. I’m honestly a fan, so I thought I should ask him a few questions.

Growing up did you play sports? And do you see yourself pushing your kid into sports?

I grew up with a ball in my hand! Everything we did as kids involved sports, and I’m thankful for it. I met some of my best friends through sports, and learned some great life lessons through sports. As far as my son goes, I’ll introduce him to art, music, sports, and whatever he wants to do I’ll try and provide for him. Pushing something on my son is something I don’t really believe in. I would much rather have him find his love and passion for something… then I can push him to be great at whatever he loves.

How do you balance work, being a dad and artist?

Being a teacher, high school football coach, hip hop artist and a dad is very time consuming. Planning is key and taking full advantage of free time is crucial. Any time I have extra to spend time with my family and son, I have to take advantage of. I believe developing that father-son bond is most crucial during his first couple years, so I try to be with him as much as I can.

Does the stress of touring affect you as parent?

Touring and doing shows is tough not only on my family, but me as well. I absolutely hate being away from my son and wife. After my son was born, I’ve slowed down quite a bit in doing out of town shows, I would hope to eventually be able to use a tour as a vacation as my family and bring my family with me when I go.

What was the most difficult thing as parent right now?

The most difficult thing about being a parent for me is keeping strong relationships with my close friends. Because I am so busy with coaching, music, and family it’s hard to keep up with all of my friends and spend quality time with them all.

Who is your biggest influence?

My biggest influence is my dad. He provided my brother and I with an open mind, and tons of opportunities. I am very thankful for both my parents, and owe my success to them.

What’s change since you became dad and a hip hop artist?

One thing that has really changed since I’ve became a dad is my time is very limited. Not only time has been an issue, but sometimes it is mentally exhausting. I really have to push myself sometimes to get stuff done because sometimes I really just want to unwind and relax. I can’t just go to the studio when I want anymore; I have to make sure my wife will be home, or someone to watch my son. I’m just blessed my wife is very understanding and supports my dreams.

Axcess Website: https://www.axcesspeace.com/

Instagram: @realaxcess

twitter: @realaxcess

When the game plan changes

The first few moments of being a parent is amazing; I’d say “It’s the best in the world.” I honestly thought we were going home after a quick 24 hours. That wasn’t the case. Instead we had a little hiccup. My daughter developed a case of ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenia). Don’t ask me if I know what it means. I felt helpless at that very minute.  I couldn’t help my newborn, overwhelmed with madness and sense of being a useless dad.  That’s when I learned that being a parent was going to the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

After a day of thinking next to my wife’s hospital bed, I honestly was just getting mad, because I couldn’t do anything about it. It was up to my daughter and the doctors. The doctors decided to start treatment on her. They moved her at midnight to the NICU. We walked with her down the hall. That hall seemed to stretch longer the further we got away from our original room. We arrived at the check in at the NICU front desk. To the right of the desk there were two large doors. With a deep breath, I walked through them.

Looking left and right, there were neon blue glows seemed to be at every turn. It turned out that those glowing lights were incubators. I started to get nervous for whatever the outcome may be. As we got settled with the nurses, I took a peek into an incubator next to my daughters. There was a little boy, no bigger than my hand. My heart instantly broke. My daughter would beat ITP, but some of these babies wouldn’t be able to leave the hospital at all. We sat there watching the parents return after a day of work, or just visiting for the day. Those nurses and doctors were amazing. I told my wife “They grow super heroes behind those doors.”

After a long 7 days I was ready to leave. My daughter kicked the shit out of ITP. The wife was tired. We need to sleep in our own bed. Tired and exhausted and happy that everyone was home.  But my mind was still on the families that were still NICU. I knew they were surrounded by some of the best healthcare workers. In closing thank you to the people that helped my family and so many others.

Keep on keeping on

What time is it “Game Time!”

How could I forget to bring the bags or did I bring enough stuff to last a few hours in the hospital.  But first let’s start earlier that evening. In my mind there isn’t anything that can prepare for child birth. Honestly, I barely had anything ready. So I started packing up a few things up quickly. The two things I thought I needed, my iPad and my book. I really thought this experience would be beautiful and just like you would see on TV. She yelled from the top of the stairs on all fours “We need to go now.” I’m running and chucking shit into our car. I’m thinking in my head “Is this really happening?”  My wife barely waddled to car.

The closer we got to the hospital, my wife was trying to find calming routine while having contractions. So I thought the bright idea of turning on some Mike Stud, and of course I am singing along. Wrong idea, the ole pregnant lady wasn’t having any of it. As we pulled into the parking lot everything started to become a reality. I’m going to be dad. I wasn’t prepared.

We walked to check-in station. The nurse took my wife in, and left in waiting room. There I was alone. After 30 minutes I walked up to the desk and asked simply “Can I see my wife?” The nurse replied “Oh we forgot all about you.” Well that was weird. I barely got into see my wife before shit started to get intense. I remembered I have to grab bags. I told the nurse about what I forgot. Running to the car I go. As I returned to the room, it became go time. We started on the way to the delivery room.

My wife legs in stirrups. I felt useless. I became the best cheerleader and water boy I could be.  Just trying to calm my wife down through the contractions. “Push, push and breath” The nurse said calmly and cool. I was like “oh yeah, this is what they play for.” Fighting, being a coach, and fetching anything my wife needs, the end was near. “I can’t do this, I just a little break” my wife said. All of the sudden my child’s head appeared. I was getting pumped and emotional. I became overloaded with happiness and was fighting back tears. Doctor said “Dad look, it’s a?” “It’s a girl!” I yelled. But that yell wasn’t heard by anyone. Well, because I thought it. Again I said “it’s a girl.” It came out so depressing. I was so pumped that I had just became a dad to a little girl. But let’s be honest, I really wanted a boy.

This little creature, with the softest blue eyes, gazed upon mom and dad “like whom the fuck are you, and why is it so cold.” It was the greatest moment in my life. No really it was. Then my mind wandered “how are you going to do this.” At the time we had no money, just barely getting by. The thing was though; a family’s love is one of the most powerful things. So, I’d say the struggle can suck, but all it takes is one beautiful miracle.

 

Keep on Keeping on