A father of three young girls, Ose Akhile is no stranger to trying to balance it all. Being a present father and husband are his top priorities but so is taking care of himself–and helping other fathers do the same. Ose is the founder of Dad Strong, a community created for fathers to find and create their strongest and healthiest selves in order to show up as the best men they can be; to achieve “high-performance fatherhood” and to lead by example for their children. What motivated Ose to create this fitness community and to bring fathers together? We hear from Ose himself.
High Performance Fatherhood with Ose Akhile
There is not one man that has ever lived that could have anticipated or prepared for what it would be like to become a father. It truly is a life changing experience. Being a father can be one of the best things ever. We are known for being the “fun” parent, the protector, the one with the magic kiss that can make any “boo boo” heal instantly, and our presence (or absence) is always felt. An unfortunate statistic but kids without fathers typically have a significant increase in probability of getting into trouble. And fatherhood is equally impactful on both sons and daughters. In addition, new fathers are living in a generation where their abilities to be fathers is even more invited. Gone are the days where we were only providers. As women have increasingly become both nurturers and financial participants, men have seen an increase in opportunity to be greater participants in the raising of their kids. Fatherhood is truly evolving with the times, as current fathers of young children are typically reporting that they are playing a more active role than their own fathers.
Yet, the real question is how are fathers individually viewed? As kids, we grew up admiring superheroes and action movie stars, but no father is ever depicted as a potential 007 candidate. The first character that comes to mind is Homer Simpson. Homer is the (negative) stereotypical dad from an outside perspective, lazy, doesn’t know much, not the best decision maker, out of shape, not very influential in the development of his kids, and always hanging out with his friends drinking. If you asked any young man if he wanted to grow up to be Homer Simpson, I’m sure you can already guess the answer! Nonetheless, there are more dads who have more in common with Homer than they do with James Bond. Now imagine if James Bond was a father! How would he approach his life, how would he approach his family, his body, his job, and his mindset?
Too many fathers fall into the idea that giving everything to their families and partners also means losing themselves and understandably so. Compared to being on your own, you lose time, sleep, energy, money, and the list goes on. There are a million excuses for a dad to fall apart. Statistics show that in modern society men are the most impacted when it comes to mental health struggles. Many men struggle to find a life of purpose and meaning. If you have ever watched Groundhog Day, you can paint the picture. Yet, I find it interesting that all fathers agree they want the very best for their kids. So why would you accept the average for yourself? It is my belief that dads should actually be the greatest example of how men should live their lives. It is one of the greatest forms of sacrifice and leadership. Leadership is best coming from a place of example and servitude! Don’t just tell your kids how to live, show them. And the more you become, the more you have to give.
One of the best things a dad can do is to take care of his mental and physical health. You may not be driven to look like the cover of a muscle magazine anymore, but you do owe it to your family to be the best version of yourself. When we look good, we feel good and do good. It's uncomfortable to be unable to run around with your kids, or to no longer be able to fit into your favorite shirt. There’s also something to be said about taking care of yourself for the long haul. Many men are already dealing with stress and mental health battles and when you top that with poor food choices, alcohol and other vices (that only create a temporary solution to the problem), you’re creating an even larger problem for the future. I strongly believe that your quality of life directly impacts the quality of life of your children.
So, what is Dad Strong? Dad Strong is a culture of men that are dedicated to living a High Performance lifestyle. We understand that you don’t have the perfect conditions as you maybe once had. But let’s be honest, when in life do we ever have the perfect conditions? It is far more important to figure out how to be our best in every aspect of our lives in the midst of all the obstacles. Dad Strong is committed to creating those resources! Every day we are helping fathers create sustainable active lifestyles through training, nutrition, and community. Our goal is to impact as many dads as we can, knowing that better men equals better fathers!
Never forget that you are the greatest gift to your families and to the world! Therefore, it is your duty to be all that you can become in order to give all that you are! We may have grown up looking up to superheroes, but we are now the superheroes that someone is looking up to. We are Dad Strong!
Ose Akhile is a father, founder and MENtor. As the creator of Dad Strong, he's on a mission to create a community of fathers all in the pursuit of creating their strongest and healthiest selves in order to show up as the best men they can be; to achieve “high-performance fatherhood” and to lead by example for their children.