Finding Your Inner Hero: Celebrate Your FatherJun 27, 2021
Your father is probably the best role model you can ever have. Celebrate Father’s Day with your host, Ryan Weeden on how to find your inner hero so that you can be there for your children and your father. Join in the conversation to understand just how much fathers will do to bring happiness to their children.
Listen to the podcast here:
Finding Your Inner Hero: Celebrate Your Father
It’s about three days away from Father’s Day. Being a new father is pretty exciting because this is one of those opportunities when you have small kids to ask for something that is meaningful, which is sleep. The first thing I want to do on Father’s Day is sleep as long as I can. Sleeping to me, now what that means is I get to sleep in until like maybe 8:00 if I’m lucky. Normally, my body wakes up way before that. I love my kids so I do like to see my kids, especially on my days off. Though I’m going to do my best to sleep a little bit longer than normal I’m sure I’ll still wake up pretty early compared to most people when they think about sleeping in but I’m going to sleep in and Jeni, my wife, has already promised to make me some pancakes. She makes delicious pancakes with lemon zest. I’m excited for that and maybe 1 or 2 margaritas throughout the day.
I’m excited to hang out with my family, enjoy Father’s Day and celebrate it with my kids. That’s pretty much what being a father is all about. It’s also a time of reflection. If you’ve been reading about the show leading up until this one, we’ve got a big event called HERO. It’s about tapping into our inner hero when we need it. A lot of us are always dealing with challenges and struggles in our lives and what I’ve called my darkness and my demons. At times, we need to call upon this hero deep inside of us to save ourselves and to show up when we don’t want to show up to tap into that courage when we need it most.
I look at toward Father’s Day as a reflection of looking back at my father. I have a stepfather now and he’s fantastic but my biological father passed away when I was thirteen. He was a hero to me. He was born with diabetes, had it his entire life, did the best he could to hide it from us, so we didn’t see the pain and struggle that he faced for many years. He did that for us and showed up as his best self to show us that anything is possible. He had obvious struggles that I could see but he was battling a lot of demons as well. One of those biggest demons was diabetes. If you know anything about diabetes, you have to get regular insulin shots. They don’t have the systems that they have now, which makes it a lot easier to maintain the right levels in your system so that you don’t have diabetic attacks, which are freaky enough as it is when you lose yourself in these moments of these diabetic attacks.
Never give up no matter how many times life knocks you down. Pick yourself up and say, I'm not done.
I’ve seen him have these sugar explosions or not enough sugar in his system and you don’t even recognize the person that you know and love until they get back on track with the right amount of insulin. He would pull up his shorts or pants every night before dinner. He would give himself a shot in the thigh and prick his finger to do the test. That was hard enough to watch growing up and it was part of what I saw every single day. He was doing this religiously because he had to but it never stopped him from doing what he wanted to do in life and being there for us.
He was always a coach in my soccer teams and was out there playing tennis. We grew up as a very athletic family and he was very athletic. He became blind in one eye because of diabetes but that didn’t stop him. He continued to play soccer with only one eye. If you close your eye with your hand, you can start to think about how difficult that might be with depth perception and making that contact. That hand-eye coordination is a lot harder with tennis and soccer. I could see he was very frustrated. He knew he was capable of so much more or at least he was at an earlier point in his life. To watch him struggle with that was tough but it didn’t stop him.
He would get out there on the court every single weekend, show up on the soccer field every single week or whenever the practice was, whether he was coaching us or competing himself as he and my mother did in these adult leagues. He was a hero to me forever and up until the day that he dropped down on the soccer court. I didn’t know this show was going to go deep like this. I was this nervous kid. I was at the eighth-grade dance and he was playing soccer like he did every Friday night. Later that evening, I got a call down to the office, which usually is not open but somebody came, grabbed me and brought me to the office. There I was met with my parents’ best friend and they were supposed to be playing in the soccer game with them that night.
I walked down the hall. I was like, “What’s going on?” She said, “Ryan, you need to come with me.” I’m like, “Something’s off and weird,” because first of all, her son Harry didn’t even go to my school and the soccer game wasn’t near my school. Instantly, I knew something was wrong. To make a long story short without making this too long and depressing, she brought me to the hospital with my brother, who she and her husband had picked up earlier when they were both playing with my parents in the soccer game. She said, “Your mom’s inside. I’ll walk you in there.”
I saw my mom in this room sobbing. I went up to my mom and I instantly started sobbing. My brother started sobbing and we didn’t know what was going on but we had an idea what was happening. She looked at me, my mom crying and said, “Your father is dead.” I started sobbing uncontrollably. I had never experienced a loss in my life before. I’d seen it on TV. This was the first time and I was in eighth grade, thirteen. That day changed the rest of my life. From that moment on, I didn’t have a father anymore. He was somebody that I always relied on and I expect he would always be there for me. Now it’s Father’s Day again and I think about him a lot.
I found a memento in his belongings shortly after he passed and I kept it for myself. I made a necklace out of it and I’m wearing it. I use it for strength and to remember him. I tap into that love and use it when I need it the most. He taught me to never give up, always have hope and that we have the power to decide how we’re going to show up for life. Although sometimes life might get us down and throw some serious curveballs, you’ve got to keep going and fighting no matter what for the people that you love and you’ve got to show up for yourself. Don’t stop doing something if you love it. I remember that always. He taught me to never give up, never stop fighting for what I believe and that’s what I remember most about him. It’s definitely a very strong lesson I want to pass on to you and my kids as a father and as a role model. Never stop fighting and never give up no matter how many times life knocks you down and it does a lot. It will try to whip you on your butt.
You got to pick yourself back up and you got to say, “I’m not done. You’re not going to knock me over. No matter how many times you kick me on the ground, I’m going to get back up and keep walking forward. No matter how many times you blow me back, I’m going to put my head down and charge forward. I’m going to tap into my courage and inner hero. I’m going to show up for the ones that need me the most and that needed the most.” Sometimes that person is yourself. That person is me. I need to show up for myself. I ask you all, no matter what you’re going through right now, know that I understand that it might take you having to tap into something deeper inside of yourself to get past where you’re at. We’re all facing invisible enemies, but we can overcome them. Stay strong, focused and optimistic. Never give up. I love you all. Thank you so much for reading.