Father’s Day Special: What My Dad Taught Me About Wellness

DadKayak

In the lead up to father’s day, I thought I would share with you all what my Dad taught me about wellness. Whilst I could go on and on, I decided to sit down with my sisters and brainstorm this piece for some clear direction. In a matter of minutes, we all agreed that Dad’s most powerful messages, revolve around healthy and functional movement. It was then I realised just how powerful both our parents had been in influencing the way we now live all live our lives, with a health and wellness focus.

Today, I share with you, what my Dad taught me about wellness.

MOVE REGULARLY

I have two younger sisters and we all love to exercise. It’s not uncommon for all 3 of us to head out for a run at different stages of the morning, on the rare occurrence that we are all under the same roof. Looking back, whenever any of us would get stressed, Dad’s simple answer was (and still is) “go for a run”. I remember studying for my final year 12 exams and Dad (providing I used the facilities regularly), shouted a gym membership until my exams were done. He always said that we couldn’t be our best unless we moved regularly. Exercise was (and still is) such an important part of all of our lives and it wasn’t until I sat down to write this piece, that I realised that we have Dad to thank for that.

INVEST IN GOOD FOOTWEAR

As a 13-year-old female, the last thing you want is ‘sensible’ footwear. Whilst Dad could never win the battle on the social footwear front (let’s face it, who wants to take on teenage girls and their shoe choices), he always made sure that we invested in sensible training gear. To this day, Dad has such a huge influence over the shoes we purchase for running/hiking etc. and as much as Mum wishes Dad would stop buying training shoes, it’s nice to have someone in the family that has road tested almost every style/brand out there. To this day, not a single one of us will compromise on good training shoes, something our feet and alignment thank us for.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Dad was (and still is) one of those people who love the great outdoors and I can safely say, his love and passion for the getting outside and getting moving is something that he has passed onto all of us.  We all love to hike, we love to soak up Vitamin D, take in the fresh air and explore new places and if given the choice, each and every one of us would choose a sweat session outside rather than in the gym. We all understand that the benefits of spending time in nature far outweigh any time spent indoors and even though we may have complained as teenagers, on reflection we all agree, this is something that we loved about our childhood. 

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THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR MOVEMENT

I can’t remember a Christmas Day (or Mother’s, Father’s or Easter Sunday) that we spent indoors. Each and every family gathering would always include some sort of activity.  Whether it was kayaking down the river (Dad’s favorite pastime) water fights with our super soakers, a morning at the beach, flying a kite, game of cricket etc. the biggest kid of all (AKA Dad) was always the instigator and we loved it. Looking back, Christmas Day is one of those days I love because we always had so much fun running and playing some sort of game or activity with Dad and the rest of the family. 

TEAM SPORT

I can’t thank dad enough for the time he spent standing in the cold and the rain watching my netball matches every Saturday growing up. Although he would get a little passionate about the wrong code (I had to remind him that there were no ‘forwards’ in Netball – still makes me laugh), he taught me the importance of team sport and the value of being a team player.

IT’S OK TO BE DIFFERENT

This is probably one of those lessons that helped build the foundations of ‘An Apple a Day’ and everything I have done right up until this point in my life. Dad always demonstrated to us that there was some kind of peace in following the path we loved, even though it may have been completely against the norm. Doing what you loved, even though others would scoff or call you crazy, was the most important thing. 

ON REFLECTION… 

Without all of this, who knows where I would be. I have no doubt that my love for sport, my love for exercise and my passion for living an active life has all stemmed from my childhood. For that (and so many other reasons), I am forever grateful. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there, including mine, we are the 3 luckiest girls around. 

Whilst my Dad loves the outdoors, he doesn’t share the same kind of love for the camera! These are the best pictures of us I could find (without him hiding behind someone, a cup of coffee or pulling a silly face). I assure you, I am making an effort to get more photos with him going forward!