Welcome to Day 2 of the 2016 #Dad2Summit. Opening our second day we’ve already had a great breakfast sponsored by the good people at Hello, and we’ve been treated to a moving blogger spotlight. But now we are preparing to hear Mike Pesca (host of the Gist podcast with Slate) and NFL great Michael Strahan.
(The laughs start early)
Pesca – (Jokingly) It’s awesome to see so many dads committed to being such good parents that they all agreed to leave their kids behind and hang out with each other.
Michael – Meta #Heart2Heart started because of a scary incident where my father passed out during a coughing spell. I had a heart to heart talk with my father about his health.
Michael – My father was a career military man, and was even All-Army boxing. Because of this my father was always active. But over time he has become far less active, and that has taken a toll on his health.
(Michael present’s a great video of the #Heart2Heart talk he had with his father about his health)
Pesca – Did your Dad know what you were trying to do when you were strategically placing cans of Meta around the house?
Michael – (Jokingly) Had to explain to my dad that a sweet tooth is not hereditary.
Michael – It was easy to just stop working out after leaving football. But I realized my health was more important, and wanting to be around my children and in good health was what I really wanted.
Michael – Even though I knew I had a another career waiting for me after leaving the NFL, changing my identity was tough.
Pesca – You see athletes with bad nutrition who flash, but you never see a great athlete with bad nutrition sustain a long career.
Michael – I feel in many ways I’m stronger now than I was in all my years in the NFL. They way I take care of myself now is much better than I did early in my career.
Michael – You can always find an hour to workout. You have to be mentally present.
Pesca – Sleep is always an important tool to good health. (Joking) Look at NBA players, they have at least 3 naps built into their day.
Michael – No matter what your kids learn, whether it’s health, nutrition, how they treat people, they’re going to learn from you. My son and daughter both workout like crazy; not because I’ve told them they need to, but because they’ve seen me taking care of myself.
Michael – I’m fine that my son has chosen not to continue to play football. It’s really hard as a parent to see all these concussions and wonder what could happen to their kid. Football isn’t going anywhere.
Pesca – Do you think too many players try to play the roll of the badass instead of embracing the likability trait?
Michael – You have to be who you are. You have to be comfortable in your own skin. Obviously I’m comfortable; you don’t walk around with a gap like this in your teeth without being comfortable.
Michael – Success is only good if you can share it with others.
Pesca – It’s hard to communicate your message to your kids if you’re not walking the walk.
Michael – I just want to be known and remembered as someone who walked the walk.
Michael – I try to go into every situation with the right attitude, and no matter whether it’s good or bad, I learn something.
Michael – Always be open to learn in any situation. I never looked at the younger player next to me and thought they couldn’t teach me anything. I try and learn from everyone. I’ve learned from my kids how to stay young.
Michael tell the room how proud he is to be part of the #Dad2Summit, and only wished something like this existed when he had his children years ago.