“A 2-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have the top for it.”
— Jerry Seinfeld
For those of you who have been reading WAG magazine for the last several years, this is about the time where I give my yearly review of fatherhood as I combat the dubious “Dad Bod.”
My daughter Juliet turned 2 this past Memorial Day. Just like newfound parenthood in year one turns your world upside down, going from year one to two provided its own learning curve. And that’s the thing with parenting: There is no instruction manual, although you sure do get a lot of opinions on how to raise a child.
In last year’s column, I mentioned that Juliet was just about ready to start walking and within days of that article getting published, she was off and running. It is really fascinating to see the milestones of rolling, crawling, standing, stepping and walking coming from someone like myself who has studied a lot of developmental kinesiology (which is basically a study of early human development).
A lot of the exercise techniques that I have learned over the years follow these same types of patterns of rolling, crawling, standing, stepping and walking. For example, a workout for a client may begin something like this:
• doing an exercise on the back,
• followed by an exercise on all fours,
• followed by a exercise in a half-kneeling position,
• followed by an exercise standing,
• followed by an exercise moving.
The more your child can do (like walking), the easier it can be to put your own health, wellness and fitness on the backburner. Your child becomes the priority, so a parent takes care of the child first before taking care of himself. With this being said, I can see how the “Dad Bod” creeps up on fathers.
I’ve mentioned this in the past and it’s become more and more evident: Time management is key. I’ve discovered, experimented and realized that at least for myself, getting in a workout early in the morning is the safest and best bet. Planning on squeezing a workout in the afternoon or waiting until evening will inevitably be met with obstacles that come up unexpectedly throughout the day (or the day just gets away from you).
Better to get it done early. Research shows that morning workouts have a lot of positive effects on the body in regards to energy, mood and focus for the remainder of the day.
Here’s another thing that I have learned unequivocally: Being a parent has changed the way I view and understand my own parents and all parents in general. Now this is not to say I haven’t appreciated them, but becoming a parent myself, and being in their shoes, gives everything a much deeper perspective. I know for a fact that my mother and father read my articles every month (I am still their baby boy after all), so here’s a public message to Vince and Louise Roselli:
Thank you for taking care of me the way you did. Thank you for raising me the way you did. Thank you for always taking care of me and giving me everything I needed to become the man I am today. Thank you for providing the example of what a strong marriage is and showing me the importance of family. I have been very fortunate, lucky and blessed to have you as my mother and father.
I understand why you worry. I understand why you stayed up to wait for me to get home, why you wanted me to call when I got off a plane. I get it all. I know sometimes I was a pain in the butt (hey, what kid’s not?), but I hope that you enjoyed raising me. I have done and accomplished a lot of great things that I am proud of, but my proudest moments are always when someone tells me, “You’re a good guy, your parents raised you right.” I can only hope that people say the same thing to your granddaughter.
I love you both very much. You are both wonderful parents. Your parents did a great job with the both of you. I look forward to keeping this tradition going.
Now I know I’m only two years into this journey, and this is only the beginning. There will be plenty of memories, laughs, tears and struggles ahead. And I look forward to embracing them all. I’m also going to be optimistic that the “terrible twos” won’t be so terrible at all. I’ll let you all know next year, which I’m sure will be here before I know it.
I’d say literally at least once a day, a parent will tell me how quickly time goes and to enjoy every second. Two years have indeed flown by, and I look forward to another “Dad Bod’-less year ahead of me.
Throughout my life I’ve been a professional wrestler, actor, fitness coach and now master instructor. I’ve performed in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden; created fitness programs that have reached global participants all around the world; been featured in major motion pictures and television shows alongside some of the most famous actors of all time. And none of it compares to hearing the word “Daddy.” This is truly the greatest title I could have ever received.
Reach Giovanni on Twitter @GiovanniRoselli and at his website, GiovanniRoselli.com.