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It’s easy to let Father’s Day come and go in a blur of barbeque kits, power tools, and the latest gadgets. This year, we’re celebrating a different side of the day by recognizing how dads can still find time for their wellness amidst the crazy ride of having kids.
Nothing can quite prepare you for the massive life change that’s thrown at you when you become a father. The things you once prided yourself on having—the fastest beer chug, a high score in a video game, multiple hours in a day to workout—are quickly cast aside for this new, all-consuming responsibility. But the unique opportunity to foster and help develop a new person in this world is pretty freakin’ badass. (Just like the beer chug you may still have.)
Society doesn’t often group “parenting” and “me-time” in the same sentence… which is kind of crazy when you think about it. How can anyone who dedicates all their time to another human have any gas left in the tank if they don’t stop and refill themselves every now and then? Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s one of the most important things you can do for your kids. Whether it’s big or small, finding some time to reset and recharge is crucial to keeping your spirit—and your sanity—intact.
Feeling like you have zero time for yourself? You’re not alone. We caught up with some of the dads of MINDBODY to see how their self-care has changed since they became a father, and asked what they do now to take care of themselves (even if it’s only for a few minutes).
“Becoming a dad means you’re no longer the most important person in your life. It has challenged me to be a better person. In fact, being a dad has challenged me to be the best version of myself every day. It has also changed my outlook on the future, as I have committed to investing in a future that exists far beyond myself.”
Me-time method: “Reading a good book or watching a good show or movie. I love stories that give insights to this amazing, complex, messy, wonderful human experience.”
“I no longer buy whatever I want whenever I want, and I take better care of myself than I ever did before. Time for myself is laced with a thread of responsibility to the family. Whether taking care of the budget, the house, or my own health, it’s mostly done with them in mind. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Me-time method: “Yard work… you won’t be disturbed because no one else wants to do it!”
“Being a father has added stresses. Finding healthy ways to cope with those stresses is even more important so I can remember to be kind and compassionate to those around me.”
Me-time method: “I work out my mind with an hour of meditation. Afterward, I often feel relaxed, fulfilled, and calmer than when I started.”
“I found that the reduction in free-time wasn't felt until I stopped to think that I had little time to do for myself. Weekend mornings before the rest of the house is awake has been a good time for me.”
Me-time method: “Whittling down my extremely tall stack of books on my bedside table, listening to podcasts/audiobooks while I exercise, going on dates with my wife, and watching sports with my son.”
“It's been a shift in perspective. Before kids, ‘time for yourself’ is for you. After kids, it’s all about investing in yourself so that you can have more energy and mindfulness to invest in your kids.”
Me-time method: “I get up early to get a workout in while my wife and kids are asleep. This gives me energy and the time to spend with my family throughout the day.”
“It’s important now to find ways to feel more grounded, and to be a part of a tribe of people who share your values and interests.”
Me-time method: “Taking the time to hang out with the guys on a day off. Just as girls need girl time, guys need guy time.”
As hectic as life gets, dads (and parents) always need a little self-care, too. We make it easy to treat yourself or the father in your life to the gift of wellness. Whether it’s a massage, HIIT workout, or yoga class, book the best for him on the MINDBODY app or search on MINDBODY.io.
For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.
This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal.
You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.
As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
If your location isn't listed above, browse Mindbody to see if they are available in your city.