Fatherhood changes everything. It’s exciting, difficult and fun. In honor of the month when we celebrate fathers and father figures everywhere, we sat down with representatives from each service at the Center for Health & Wellbeing (CHWB) to learn more about their experiences with fatherhood and what it means to them. These fathers also share their health tips on how you, too, can focus on your wellbeing.
Sam Stark is the chairman of the Winter Park Health Foundation Board of Trustees and the vice president of Communications & External Relations at Rollins College. He shares his experiences on health in fatherhood.
I have two children — Ben, who is 16 years old, and Sylvia, who is 14. There are so many things I love about being a father but perhaps the most special thing is actually knowing what it’s like to love so deeply. That feeling is special and, at least in my life, only comes from family. Loving a child is different than almost any other love and I cherish that feeling every day.
I am fortunate to have the most loving and caring wife, Heather, who helps me realize and recognize things that I would never do on my own. We do a great job of balancing each other out when we have different ideas and when we are faced with challenges of any kind. On a personal level, I find and make time to exercise. The Peloton has been my “go-to” exercise, but I still play a good bit of tennis. And as we enter life after COVID-19, you’ll find me at the Center for Health & Wellbeing and playing basketball at Rollins.
Being a parent is hard. And I say that as the father of two kind, hard-working and intelligent kids who have great friends and a very loving family. So, I wish I knew that it’s okay to be confused and unsure of the “right” thing to do. Each child is different. It’s okay to treat them differently as long as you love them just the same.
Matthew Noe is the director of the Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center, CHWB’s state-of-the-art fitness facility, and shares his lessons on fitness in fatherhood.
I have two young daughters who are 2 and 4 years old. My favorite part of being a father is seeing the pure joy and excitement in their eyes when they experience something new — things we can take for granted as adults bring about such awe and wonder to a child’s eyes.
I can tend to be a very detailed and structured person. I wish someone would have told me that with two toddlers, every day your house will look like a tornado came through!
I’ve learned to live with peace and joy amongst the chaos. I try to incorporate my kids into my workouts. My wife and I really enjoy going on long bike rides with the girls in the bike carrier, which is a super workout. We try to stay very active as a family and enjoy running around in our backyard playing games and acting silly.
I manage my overall health and wellbeing by having a consistent morning practice and quiet time to start the day. I try my best every day to eat clean, nutrient-dense foods and drink plenty of water. I also incorporate some sort of exercise, yoga or meditation into each day.
Since the pandemic, I’ve gotten back into running, swimming and biking more seriously. I’m looking to get more involved in the triathlon community here in the area.
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