Category Archives: Character


When I thought about how I was going to share this story, I ran into a sort of dilemma. I wanted to make sure I used the most appropriate word to describe what my son had experienced, what he had accomplished, and how he was feeling. I have always had issues with writing, and have had to put constant effort in being able to express what I was thinking in my head. I know now, that it will take several words to capture this great moment in my son’s life. Really, it was a great moment for all of us. We thank you for stopping bye, and hope you enjoy! Continue reading

Establishing your family’s identity

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Without establishing your family’s identity, you deny yourself a platform for which to base your life decisions. This especially applies to your children.

How can you hold them accountable for things you haven’t taught them about?

Is it realistic to think that you can teach them everything?

How do we influence what they do when we’re not around?

Teaching your children about identity, and what it means to be them, gives them a path to follow – a left and right limit.

Check out Episode 2 of The Warrior Family Podcast to hear more on the topic.


We hope you enjoy!

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No Excuses for Fitness

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Hey everyone, things have been going really well here at The Warrior Family. We have had a lot of new followers join us recently, and have  recently added a newsletter sign up to the website. Make sure you click on the tab above and sign up to receive updates on posts, offers like merchandise giveaways, and exclusive content for our subscribers.

What’s your excuse?

For the past month, we have been extremely busy here. We just made a trip to Texas to baptize one of my nephews, we are in the middle of relocating to the Washington, DC area, and have taken three new additions to The Warrior Family. Colin, Kenneth, and Isabel Parker have been in our lives for over seven years now. They made the trip down to Georgia to spend time with us before the move, and boy, have we been busy!

Everyday it’s something new, and this is exactly how I wanted it. You see, the Parker kids are from a small town called Murphy, NC. Since it’s summer time, and soccer season is over, they haven’t been as active as they were during the school year. Thankfully, their mom was willing to let us have them for these two weeks, and we have already had so much fun. That being said, we have not stopped keeping our fitness in check. We have made sure they are eating healthy, playing sports EVERY DAY, and have even taken them to an awesome obstacle course we have here in Fort Benning known as the Downing Mile.

The kids just loved running around in the woods, jumping over the obstacles, and climbing across the horizontal ladder. So, we recorded it so that we can share it with you.

The moral of the story is this: no matter how much fun you’re having, you should never make excuses for your health. We have had the best time here, yet we make it a point to do physically taxing activities daily. The Parkers are getting indoctrinated into our values- getting strong, getting smart, so that we can help people – all while making memories which will last for a lifetime.

So, what’s your excuse? Trust me, it’s not good enough. No matter what, get out there, make your families fitness a priority, and get some!

Here’s the video. We hope you enjoy!

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Life’s Mountains : Capitalizing on Achievements to Instill Life Habits

As parents all we want is for our kids to be successful, yet we often don’t spend enough time teaching them how  exactly to achieve this success. With our busy work schedules, dirty houses, crying babies, dirty laundry, and piles of bills to pay, it’s easy for us to miss out on several key opportunities to teach our kids some very important life lessons on how they can become successful.

Since time for parents is often limited, special emphasis should be placed on the quality of the time spent with our kids. Not only what we are physically doing during that time, but the lessons that we teach them during that time as well. One thing that I learned early on in life is that when the time is right, you strike without warning – trust your gut! This is the mentality that led me to marrying my wife of over 10 years! So, I’d like to share with you all an opportunity I capitalized on to teach my son about how to achieve continued success. Continue reading

Quit Stalling! : Re-define success and regain your momentum

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

When we were growing up, we were always asked “What do you wanna be when you’re an adult?” A fireman, an astronaut, the President, an Army guy…we would come up with the most amazing dreams. We could easily visualize ourselves achieving these great feats when we were children. So, let me ask you, what are you now?

If your answer is different from what you remember dreaming about as a kid, this could be due to several reasons:

  1. Your interests have changed
  2. You don’t believe you can do it
  3. You let others talk you out of it
  4. You are no longer your priority
  5. You gave up

Yeah, I know that sounds rough, but it’s ok. I wanted to share these thoughts because, for a while, I felt the same way too. However, from spending so much time helping others grow, I realized that I needed to take a step back and give myself a hard look. I had to ask myself again, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” When I realized that I was no longer moving toward any of my previous goals, or toward any goal for that matter, I had to ask myself, why? After some hard self assessment, these are some of the answers I came up with, and at first glance, it seems I have failed to reach any level of success – but I was wrong.

Friends, for quite some time I have spent hours studying, analyzing, and discussing with others, what exactly qualifies as success? How do we get there? Here are some things that I have learned that have fired me up, and have put me back on the right path.

First, no great person achieved anything by merely thinking about it. Nor, is there such a thing as an overnight success. As with everything great in life, hard work is the answer. I remember telling my son that we should never be hungry for immediate gratification for what we do. The greatest achievements in life are earned through years of dedication, and devotion to ones passion. I used the example given by Thomas A. Edison when discussing the amount of time it took him to invent the light bulb. He stated,

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Would we say that he was unsuccessful?

Author, and former power lifter Chris Moore uses music to further explain this. In one of his podcast’s (check out the Barbell Buddha Podcast), he mentions that we often spend too much time focusing on the ending, the point of gratification. This would be the same as attending a concert, or listening to a song, just to hear the ending – it makes no sense! It is the sweet melodies, the notes, the rises and falls that make music beautiful, and exciting. Why would we not look at life this way? My interpretation of success made it easy for me so feel as if I had failed, when in fact, I had only scratched the surface. When I would see this failure, the desire to quit entirely would often become overwhelming, and I know this is the case for many others.

So, why do we fail to reach success?

One of the main reasons we fail to reach success is because, as I stated before, we treat it as an ending, instead of a process. Just because I’m not the President of my company today, doesn’t mean I won’t be there eventually. As long as I live each individual day to the fullest, keep the end in mind, but work and live in the present, I have succeeded that day! This, my friends, is progress.

Like I mentioned in our last post, you climb a mountain one step at a time. If you try to look up at the tippy-top the entire time, you can grow dizzy, and faint; but if you focus, and take one hard step at a time, you will eventually get to the top. Times will get hard, and you may lose ground from time to time, this is OK. Remember,

“Yesterday ended last night” – John C. Maxwell

When you get a chance at a new day, tackle it with more intensity, and focus – that will make it a successful day. In the future, those days will be viewed by others as your lifetime, so treat each one as if it were special.

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Mental Coaching: 3 tips to help your child work through those tough training days

A common theme amongst American families is the years of peewee football, wrestling, soccer, and baseball that we expose our children to. A parent wants nothing more than for their children to find exactly what makes them happy, so that they can have hobbies to break the monotony of school, chores, and homework. However, often times the young athletes get very passionate about their sport, and tend to feel pressured to perform well for themselves, or their parents. Continue reading

Bystanders vs. Up-standers

Knuckle Up!

You will most likely never forget the first time your kid punches someone in the face. The huge rush of emotion that they experience usually leads to a long spell of crying, and anger – this is normal. About two weeks ago, my youngest son, Mateo, got into his first fist fight. When he plays outside, we leave the kitchen window open so that we can hear what is going on. When I heard the screaming, I knew it was coming from Mateo. When I got outside, I noticed it was my son, and his two friends standing next to an adult who saw what happened, I paid her no mind.  I’m really big on getting the story from the boys first, before I listen to a complete stranger, and he said, “I accidently punched him in the face!” At that point, I knew I had to dig in to find out what really went on.

First, I checked the other boy to see if he was ok, and then my son and I walked him home (Mateo was bawling the whole way). When we met up with his mom, I apologized to her, and told her my son punched her boy while they were on the back of the truck. Our families are pretty close so she didn’t mind much, but I did demand that my son apologize to her boy immediately – this made his crying worse. After some stern motivating, my son finally apologized. The two boys shook each other’s hands, and went on with their days (at least the other boy did).

When we got home, I demanded an explanation from my son. Though we teach the two boys how to fight, we don’t support unnecessary violence. What he told me next, made me take a good long step back, and gave me a new respect for my six year old son.

“Daddy, he was cursing at my friend, and I told him to stop! He didn’t stop, so I punched him in the face”

The entire time he was explaining this to me, he was crying his little eyes out – all I could do was smile.

Family Values

One of the things that I am big about is teaching my kids the family code, a set of values if you will. When you ask our boys “What do the Rodas’ do?” ­­they respond, “Get strong, and smart, so that they can help people”. I remember teaching this to my oldest son back in Germany when he was about five years old. Now, since my youngest son has been hearing it his whole life, he actually put the family code into effect! So, when my son told me why he did what he did, I told him that I was proud of him. Initially he was confused, and gave me this crazy look as if he wasn’t hearing what he thought he just heard, but I repeated myself, “I’m proud of you, Mateo”. It was amazing to me how something that I thought I was having them repeat in vein, actually wired them to act bravely in a situation where most would just keep to themselves. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to someone who is doing wrong by others. The fact that my six year old son has it in him to not let these bad deeds go unpunished, shows me that he will one day grow up to be a great man.

Building the Up-stander

My wife and I are firm believers of keeping the knife sharp. The both of us constantly pursue higher levels of fitness, we keep our children active in various sports, and we have even had the boys training in MMA/Jiu-Jitsu for a little over a year. Before the boys are allowed to play video games, they owe me 3-5 minutes of some form of physical activity. This used to consist of push-ups, sit-ups, and squat jumps; however, recently we began sparring with the focus mitts (this develops punching/kicking speed, power, and develops hand/eye coordination).
 (Some pics of the boys getting sharp)
The physical portion, however, is a small part in developing an up-stander. What has worked in our favor is the example my wife and I have set for the boys. There have been countless times where I have had to pull my vehicle over, and make on-the-spot corrections to Soldiers doing the wrong thing while in or out of uniform. When my boys would ask why I yelled at them, I tell them that they were doing the wrong thing, AND THAT IS NOT OK!

There was even one evening when we were leaving the mall, I couldn’t help but notice a car that had its rear window fogged up. When I looked inside, I saw a large male leaning over this young girl, pointing his finger at her, and yelling at the top of his lungs. Almost immediately my wife noticed my posture change, and she knew I was about to act. I gave my wife the keys, and told her to start the truck. As I approached the vehicle, I could tell that the girl had been crying, and that the man yelling at her was either drunk or high. I banged on the trunk of the car to get the man’s attention, he seemed shocked. I motioned for him to step out of the vehicle so that I could talk to him – he simply nodded, uh-uh. Frustrated, I called him out of the vehicle loud enough so he could hear me – once again, uh-uh. I went up to the girls window, and asked if she was ok, she put on this fake smile and said “yes”. This was as far as I was going to invest myself since I had clearly destroyed that mans power base, and any sense of pride he may have had beforehand. So, I notified security of the situation, and let them handle the rest. The conversation that followed was one that came to mind when Mateo told me what he did.

The boys seemed confused as to why I wanted that man to step out of his car. So, I told them, “If that man wants to hit and yell at that girl in the back of that car, he’d have to get hit and yelled at by me first”. Noticing that I had confused them a little bit, I reminded them “Boys, what do the Rodas’ do?” and we went over the code again, “Get strong, and smart, so we can help people”. I had to explain to them that I wouldn’t be teaching them these things if I was not ready to put it into practice myself – whether that girl deserved what she was getting or not, I wasn’t about to let my boys witness me not doing anything about it, or at least notify the proper authorities. They need to know that there are ways to help!

What is an Up-stander?

I actually learned this term from my oldest son recently. An Up-stander is someone who stands up for someone when they get bullied. They are the ones who give power back to individuals who may feel like they have none, and give a sense of hope to those have lost all of it. I’m proud to say that my boys are up-standers, and will continue to set that example for them.

So, what are you? Are you a bystander, or are you an up-stander? I’m not saying you have to go banging on peoples trunks, but if I were to just have pulled up behind them and honked my horn a couple of times, maybe that would be enough to tell that man hey, we’re watching you, stop being a PUNK! Mateo could have also walked away from the situation, but since his friend was getting messed with, his passion got the best of him, and he stood up – which is exactly what he was taught to do.

Make the effort, do your part, fight to make your family better.
This is what we’re all about. 

Fight on friends! – The Warrior Family

Note: all three boys involved are fine, and are still friends today

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