This Father’s Day we celebrate our very own FHITdads: Eric, Carlos, Daury, and Farouk. From being role models to their families to supporting their children’s learning and growth, our FHITpro dads share their most cherished moments of fatherhood.
What do you love most about being a FHITdad?
Carlos: The biggest thing would be normalizing health and wellness for my boys. I don't try to force them into any sports or physical activities, but they know the significant impact fitness has had on my life not only as a career but as an extension of who I am as a person.
Farouk: I love that I get to see this little guy grow and develop before my very own eyes. He inspires me and I hope that in the same turn I'll inspire him someday.
Eric: I love being a FHITdad. Fatherhood, for me, has evolved. My kids thought I was their “Superman” when they were younger. My advice for dads out there is to hold on to those great memories when your kids are young. I love the way my role as a dad has changed. Our relationships grew deeper when my kids got older. Being a role model for my kids is the most important part.
Seeing my kids become their own people and develop into who they want to be, what role they want to play in life, it’s very touching. My daughter finally let me follow her on Instagram recently, so that’s a big deal.
Daury: One of the things that I love the most about being a FHITdad or at least being a young father is that I can keep up with my kids. My kids are full of energy as they are boys, but they definitely keep me on my toes all the time.
Anything you appreciate about this Father's Day compared to others? How is it different, how is it the same?
Carlos: This is definitely a Father's Day that I plan to hold and hug my kids more than normal. I had not physically seen them for about a month due to the pandemic. Luckily we are back on our normal schedule, but with all the things happening in the world and the fact that they are Black children, there is a lot more to sit with, process and appreciate on that day.
Farouk: This one is special because it's my first! Now I have a better understanding of what it means to be a parent and the sacrifices we make for our children. The unconditional love is so real. It makes me appreciate my father even more and everything he did and does to support me.
Eric: It’s tough, this year I lost my mom. We were very close, but this is also the year I became a grandfather. I got to see my son become a young dad like I was at his age. I always knew he would be great with kids. Talking to my son as a father is different than talking to him as my son. We are able to connect on a different level now. I just can’t wait to see him and his daughter in person. I see pictures of her and Zoom with her, I’m very blessed and happy to have a grandchild.
Daury: The things that I can appreciate the most about this year’s Father’s Day as opposed to others is that this pandemic has had me around my kids 24/7, which has given me a lot of perspective of what my wife goes through. Big ups to her, as it is a very hard job. And I really appreciate spending a lot of quality time with my boys. There are also a lot of ups and downs of course because not everything is sweet when you have kids. But it has definitely brought me closer to them and has made me appreciate them so much more. I definitely wouldn’t trade it for anything, as challenging as some parts may be, I love being a dad.
What motivates you to stay strong and FHIT?
Carlos: As my kids are getting older and "old man" jokes start ([my son] CJ is good for them), I want to make sure that I am still able to have an active lifestyle and engage in physical activities with the boys (and still be able to beat them--NO participation trophies).
Farouk: I want to be able to play hard with my son, chase him when he is running around and protect him when I need to. Most importantly, I want to live a long healthy life so that I can witness the many milestones along the way -- staying strong and FHIT is only going to help make that possible.
Eric: My family is my motivation. My father was always very healthy, fit, and active. It allowed me to share a lot of activities with him. Being able to enjoy what my kids enjoy, that motivates me. I want to be able to be a part of it, right beside them, whether it’s a vacation, family outing, or being active with them.
Daury: Staying fit and strong is not just a personal priority but definitely something that has helped me keep up with my kids... and hopefully my kids will love fitness as much as I do when they grow up.
Any closing thoughts?
Carlos: Please talk to your sons and daughters on Father's Day about what is happening in the world. I know it isn't the most fun or light convo to have, but as a father I feel it is my duty to educate and support the growth and development of my children. For me (going forward), Father's Day will be a time I share with my sons focusing on how we can become better men.
Farouk: I am so grateful for my fellow FHITdads and FHIT parents that have shared advice and encouraged me throughout my first year as a dad -- are there challenges that come with being a dad? Of course. Are they worth it? 110% absolutely.
Eric: One thing that dads all do is drop everything to be there for their kid. Being present with them is something they will never, ever forget. I know that my daughter might not remember a card I gave her, but she will remember me in the bleachers at her basketball games.
Daury: There’s no manual on how to be a dad. I wasn’t taught how to be a dad as I had a rough childhood on my father’s side. I impact my kids in the most loving, positive and encouraging way because the path that you lay down for your kids now will guide them in becoming adults. Give it everything you’ve got in the most uplifting way you can think of. I wish all of my fellow dads a Happy Father’s Day and even for my dad, who tried his best and failed at some things, I still forgive you and will always love you. Happy Father’s Day, hope you’re proud of me up in the sky. Rest in peace, Dad.
From everyone at team Fhitting Room, we wish all the dads out there a happy Father’s Day. Thank you for everything you do!