Mike Wardian: Being Fit Helps Make Me A Fit Father

June 16, 2021

Running Enhances More than Your Personal Best

I think running is one of the greatest activities you can do to ensure you have the fitness to be a good father.  What I mean by that is that running gives you the stamina, endurance and patience that I believe are required to be the best father.

There is no free ride in running -- you either do the work or you don't -- and that reflects in your running performance.  You can't fake being in shape and you definitely can’t fake being a good dad.  Both take time, dedication, and energy….but both are so very rewarding.

I always thinking about how running requires work, as I grab my hydration vest so I can load it up with keys, money, a phone (for either emergencies or to take pictures of the kids), poop bags for the dogs, water, and snacks.  Nathan’s vests have pockets for just about everything I need to be on “dad duty.”  When the kids were younger, I had diapers, wipes, lovies, etc. in there, now it might be their phones.  How times have changed! And Nathan has been there as our boys have grown. Now it’s cool to see them rocking their very own Nathan hydration vests when we hike, run, or go an adventure.

Running gives you the stamina, endurance and patience to be the best father.

As with many kids, our boys have explored a lot of sports over the years: soccer, flag football, baseball, lacrosse, swimming, music, paintball, climbing, lifting, and running. There’s just no substitute for running, as it has always allowed me to jump right into any activity and participate. I am always fit and ready to be a part of whatever it is they’re doing.  Currently our boys are into pickleball and volleyball, and it’s been so cool to learn new sports along with them -- which wouldn't have been possible had I not been a runner.  Otherwise, I would first have had to build my fitness to be able to play and keep up with them. 

 When we fill our water bottles and head to the courts for our next pickleball game, I always marvel at just how lucky I am to have put ourselves (and myself!) in a good position to enjoy each other's company.

I also think that about some of the people that inspired me in my journey to be a good father. I have to say my dad, Dick Wardian, was someone whom I chose to model some of my behavior. He would always support us in whatever sport we chose.  And as I became a runner, my dad was always offering advice -- much of which was ignored -- but he was there and that is what mattered most.  I wanted to emulate that and be there for our boys, regardless of what I knew about the sport.

I think being a good dad is not so much about knowing everything but showing up and being willing to be there for your kids no matter what.  Through good, better and surely some “not so good,” I want to be their rock and confidant, and someone they can trust to always be on their side.

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  • Michael Wardian

    July 12, 2021 at 02:47 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this. So appreciate it. Love you Dad

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