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.

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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

STRONG MAN: BARBELLS AND BOTTLES

This dude Colby. He could be the strongest person I know, literally. The dude was a MMA fighter, and now competitive power lifter. Among these great things, he’s also a dad. I met Colby at a gym, where he became my personal trainer and then became a solid friend. He was one first people I told when I was about to become a dad. Between lifting heavy metal and arguing about pizza, he’s a solid dude and great dad. So I had a few questions to ask him
1.  How do you balance work, being a dad, and also a competitive power lifter?

Raising a child takes more than one person. I’m lucky enough to have such an amazing girlfriend who understands that in order to compete I need to go to the gym and eat all the time. As for work, I love what I do and it keeps food on my family’s table.

2. Did MMA help shape you as father? How so?

MMA is a beautiful sport I don’t care what the haters say.  I walked away with a lot of knowledge but I don’t think it shaped me as a father. Once my daughter is old enough I would love to see her join some martial arts.

3. What’s next big step? I hear your writing an E-book as well.

Next big step, hmmm. Currently going up a weight class, I plan on making my name well known in powerlifting. As for the E book, it’s a work in progress.

4. Here’s a simple question, did you find out the sex of child before she was born?
Yes! It’s so much easier to prepare when you know the sex.
5. What’s been the hardest thing to deal with as a father?

Honestly, watching kids these days, disrespectful, no manors, having sex and getting pregnant at like 13, 14. It’s disgusting. My daughter is growing up so fast and I know I won’t be able to protect her from all that life throws at her and it scares me. All I can do is lead her down the right path.

6. You as a dad, who do you, look for inspiration?

My father, he’s an amazing grandpa and an amazing dad. My mother walked out on us as I was truly beginning my life so everything I learnt came from him. I can’t thank my old man enough for all the support and love he has given me.

7. Do stress and the pressure of being an athlete and parent ever affect you?

I wouldn’t really consider myself an athlete ha-ha. There’s no stress or pressure to compete. I have a great coach and awesome sponsors standing behind me no matter what. Training and being a parent is all about balance. For myself I take weekends off and that’s my daddy daughter time.

 

Thanks for letting me be apart of this. There’s lots of blogs and vlogs for moms but dads are missing out

 

Check out his instagram  @ColossalColby

 

My Coach and Mentor

Happy Fathers to all you dads. This entry isn’t about me but about my hero. Now this hero isn’t some great athlete, comic book dude or anything like that. This hero is my dad. My dad is a great man; he taught me a lot of things. The most important lesson was not to give up; it was the hardest lesson to learn.

My favorite memory of my dad is when we went fishing at Wolf Lake. We were in this canoe that we borrowed from friends. At the time I was 6 or 7, chasing fish around this lake with my dad. I can’t remember the time of day, I’m pretty sure it was near of the end of day though.  So I casted out my line, and waited, then waited some more. Fishing can be pretty fucking boring. Then all you hear is the line just take off. I started reeling it in, and it wasn’t working for me. I was all of 45 or 50 pounds. I really felt like I was Quinn from Jaws; “The shark went under the boat.” So I switched spots with my dad, and he started reeling and I became the paddler.  This moment went on for hours it felt like. Finally after fighting with this fish forever, it appeared next to the boat. A big Jack fish (pike) rose to the surface. Just as is came close enough to touch it. Snap! The line broke. This little fish trip has been stuck with me, and I also think about catching that ugly fish.

Not only is my dad my hero, but a true mentor. As pushing me to be best me. There’s been many times when he gives me shit about not putting enough effort in things and just barely getting by. His lessons always came when I had basketball. I was in tournament and I should have shut down my guy defensively. I for sure did not. After the game my dad said “You gave him way too much respect.” I made every excuse in the book for why I didn’t play that well. I felt like I let him down in way. So next game, I walked up to the dude. I whispered to him “You’re not getting to the fucking basket tonight and I’m going to outscore you.” After that game I hoped to show my dad that I proved myself that night. That feeling of seeing your father with a smile on his face because you accomplished something like that is amazing.

Being a dad is tough, especially when your dad is sometimes on the other side of the world. He is the baddest man on the planet in my opinion. “I would put my money on my dad if he and Jason Bourne fought”. Whether it’s changing oil, not cheering for the same sports team, or just going to look at cars, those memories I’ve made with my dad are impossible to recreate. I loved every single one.  Just remember, “Heroes are always remembered and legends are never forgotten”- The Sandlot.

Happy Father’s Day, hug your dad.

Keep on Keeping on.

3rd Down and 9 Months To Go

It felt like I was coming out of time out and didn’t understand what the coach had said. The doctor said “Yup, you guys are pregnant”. In my mind I was like “Doc, where can I get a drink of whiskey.” With feeling of being pregnant, I was like okay with it at the moment. Let’s move forward.

The time was 8 pm, or something like that. Just the sound of gagging, followed by a splash. This lady came out of my washroom looking like a witch with a mean green face. Not going to lie, I was like “Did you just die?” My poor lady almost cried.  I couldn’t resist. After a few days of puke and me always being reminded that my house isn’t the land of OZ. “Just tap your heels three times and a cold one will appear.” This never happened for this poor fella.

Now that we are out the first trimester, shit started to pick up. My wife’s belly started to grow. My monster was growing and of course we were picking out baby names. Not just a few, more like 42. The roster of names started to grow, and same with the meaningless arguments of which names should stay and go. Finally I was like “I’m getting a dog and naming him whatever the fuck I like”. The wife was said clear as day “You better not get a dog.” So I did it, an American Bully, basically a Pitbull. “Honey, the kid will love this dog” I told her. Guys remember if you don’t have to buy it, don’t buy it.

As one season end, a new one comes in. The third and final level (the third trimester). This is where I felt I was the 3rd string quarter back being put into 3rd and a long situation. My wife’s body was changing and going through so much. I was basically just a cheerleader, but worse at the whole supporting your partner thing. Let’s face it, I was still all about team Troy. Not only was I captain, but the superstar of our two person team. Then the roles switched, I was more like the Ben Wallace of the team. Just there with cool hair and playing defence.  Between the weird food combinations and belly kicks. The whole pregnancy was beautiful but I was more lost than loose change. Ladies and gentlemen enjoy it.

Keep on, keeping on

Spring Training- Rookie Mistakes

When I first found out I was going to be a dad. I was lost. Just scrambling to find the combination to life right then and there. My wife said “Troy, I think I am pregnant.” My response wasn’t the greatest. It was the ole “Oh congrats”. At the time was just off in my own world.

My life just kicked into high gear and the engine was screaming. I was like Jesus grab the wheel. Okay, its time to get organized and relax. Which I feel like it never happens for me. My mindset was to approach fatherhood like a sport. Its Spring training camp in my mind. I looked at other dads just killing fatherhood, and I was the new kid on the team. Just a rookie trying to make to the league.

My coach was my lovely wife, whom trying to setup me up for success. Instead of doing layups, and I wanted to dunk. So what happened, I rushed it. The first thing I rushed into was getting a bigger place, for more money. My advice, stay put until really have to move. My second was spending money on useless shit. If you don’t need it, you don’t need it. Dudes, your kids need more diapers. Just poop and pee. Like way too much.

Then of course, No dad bod here. Fuck, no fellas. I started to amp up my workouts, Just lifting heavy. I honestly was scared of being a fat dad, who couldn’t keep up with their kids. So off the gym I go. Bumping Mike Stud, and sipping on pre-workout. Thinking about how I’m going raise this little monster. One day I was dead-lifting, then a thought pop’d in my head. Like will my kid like me, play sports, what college will they want to go to, and what sex is my child? Just things I didn’t want to think about at the time.

The last thing was money issues. I felt like I was signing to a Major Team with no money. I want big league money. Overall everyone wants money. But money is hard to come by. But least have I job right!

So dudes and Ladies. Keep on keeping on.