I was an excited 13 year old. It was my first practice on the “Big Field” at the park. As my dad was dropping me off, a bunch of the other kids on the team were hanging out by the dugout. Just like he normally did, my sweet dad went to give me a kiss good bye. As my face turned red I walked away avoiding the kiss. I’ll never forget what happened next. My coach, Ralph S looked me dead in the eye and said, “Billy, do you know how many kids would do anything for a dad that wants to kiss them. Now you go back over there and kiss your dad.” I did. And it was a lesson I’ll never forget.
My Uber Driver (and Mentor)
On a recent trip back from Louisville, I was fortunate enough to have a very wise guide as my Uber driver. A pleasant conversation began as Pervez started telling me about his wonderful family. Pervez is originally from India but has lived here for 46 years, being married for 45 of them. His kids, now adults have all become successful. He spoke about them with pride. His daughter owns 3 fitness studios! As I told him about my young family he commented on how fast it goes. At 72 years old, Pervez has 3 grandchildren, the youngest being 11.
I could sense from Pervez that this was a man who valued family and has done life well. His family was all very close. Not wanting to waste the few minutes I’ve been given with him, I asked for some advice as a young father.
Pervez gave me 3 tips that I will be sure to follow.
- The first thing that Pervez suggested was this. When the kids are young, don’t let them go to other kid’s houses for play dates. He said until you really know the family it would be wise to have the other kids come to our place instead.
- Be there, especially on weekends. Pervez said that if I don’t heed this advice my life will be filled with regret. He emphasized the importance of having fun. He said if I did this now, then when the kids got older they would enjoy being around us. Pervez, now retired, was a successful engineer. He told me if he had to work on a Saturday he would get up at 4AM in order to be finished before the kids woke up. It’s easy for me to get consumed with my business so this is a great reminder. Right now, Alyssa is 6 and Olivia is 2. We don’t get those years back. I need to make it count and not miss it.
- Always kiss my kids when leaving. This one made me think about my dad. He was always kissing me hello and good bye. Now that he is gone, I cherish those kisses and am thankful for every one.
It might sound cheesey but I’m truly glad to have met Pervez. He inspired me to be better so I wanted to pass along his advice. It doesn’t really have to do with fitness but what good is being fit without having people to enjoy life with! These principles apply whether you have little kids are not. What other lessons would you share?
Billy Hofacker – Owner & Transformation Coach at Total Body Boot Camp – BS, CSCS