Category Archives: Health

And we all fall down…

A reintroduction…

For those of you curious as to what has been going on, things have been crazy in this household. It has been a period of five months now, and the family continues to work through a very complex recovery process. So, here’s the beginning to how I was injured, what resulted from the injury, and how we are pushing forward… back towards greatness.

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26 July 2015:

Much progress has been made with my team during this week’s training exercise. Everyone recieved some good training; several of the young leaders received some much needed mentorship; and we got to shoot the hell out of some machine guns—we were on fire and overall pleased with the outcome. It’s time to head home for an early birthday celebration, our boys are turning 8 and 11 this week!

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Happy early birthday, brudders! All they’ve wanted since we’ve moved here was a trampoline. (It took way too long to assemble and couldn’t be enjoyed that evening.)

The following morning at home, I was feeling great. I remember planning out the day in my head: do some yard-work, get some good breakfast, work on some fitness, and take the family out somewhere nice. Mission accomplished! That is, until the fitness part. Continue reading

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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Outside Influence when raising a family: Why you should stand your ground

Hello Everyone! We have our first post suggestion from a friend at The Warrior Family. Remember, if you want us to cover something, just visit the homepage (thewarriorfamily.com), and click on the “What would you like to see” tab. This is a great topic so get your share buttons ready!

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Outside Influences

What I want to cover today is how we should deal with outside influences when it comes to raising your children, or just running your family. Yes, I say running your family for a very good reason, and I’ll cover that later.

The bottom line is this, no one starts off being a parent as an expert! You can read as many books as you want, attend as many classes, or workgroups, but the fact of the matter is, YOU JUST DON’T KNOW! Becoming a parent is easily one of the most exciting, yet fearful things that you will ever experience in your life. This fear, however, is a more healthy type of fear – the fear of failure.

So, the typical reaction for someone who is new, and about to start a family of their own is to go around asking others how exactly they should go about this new adventure (most times others insist on giving the advice any way). There is nothing wrong with this. Everyone should make some type of effort to prepare themselves for the unknowns of parenthood. However, it is important to understand that you, your family, and the way you go about raising them will never be perfect — and that isperfect! If you stress yourself out because your kid may be too loud at a restaurant, or you’re having trouble helping your kids understand fractions (…I hated fractions…), GOOD! This stress will, or shouldforce you to react and make a change.

The key component to all of this is that you need to buckle down, and decide what it is that you want your family to be – what will be your families identity. The reason this is so important is because it will provide you with a foundation for you to operate on. Let me give you all some tips on how we go about this: Continue reading

Training Ferocity : Sunday fun with kicks, kettle bells, and waterfalls

We didn’t choose a name like The Warrior Family for nothing. Part of what makes us unique is that we all have a deep passion for fitness, fighting, and working hard to accomplish our goals. At one point in time, the both of my boys were involved in Mixed Martial Arts, and they would have three to four training sessions a week! Now, it’s my oldest son who has continued sharpening his skill in jiu-jitsu, and stand-up fighting, while my youngest son gives his best shot at Baseball.

On my free time, I enjoy spending hours conducting research, listening to podcasts, and watching videos that make me more knowledgeable in the strength and conditioning realm. One thing that I have learned from following amazing coaches like Zack Evan-Esh, is that the difference in performance from your young athlete comes from what happens after the game, and after those long practices.

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that after each training session, my oldest son and I would discuss everything that happened on the mat. We would talk about what he did well, what he could have done better, and how his actions contributed to achieving his goals.

This was EXTREMELY helpful in developing my sons mental toughness, and made him more productive during his sparring sessions.

However, with both of my boys, there are two aspects that they are still lacking in their athletic ability – ferocity, and strength. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely normal, I mean…they’re kids, right? Maybe for normal kids, but not so much for mine.

Now that my boys are getting older, I am beginning to expose them to some of the harsh realities of life. One of those realities is that there are people in this world who will want to harm you, or the ones you love. Some will have material motives, some will be more complex; however, whatever the case may be, you should always be ready to take a stand, and protect what is yours. I owe them that type of honesty, they deserve it. It’s hard to explain to a kid why daddy got sent to war those three years, but if I can make them understand this, maybe they won’t hold it against me in the future.

 

I owe them that type of honesty, they deserve it

 

Our Sunday Fun-day

 

One of the reasons that I began following Strength and Conditioning Coach Zack Evan-Esh, is because he bases his training around a strong set of values – The Code. His belief is that in order to succeed, you have to work you a** off, and I completely agree. This past Sunday, my wife and I picked up a free-standing punching bag for our boys to get some additional training on. Now, I’m no Black Belt, but I know how to fight, and I know how to train. So, I decided to have some fun with the boys, test out our…I mean their new toy.

First and foremost, no shirts allowed…it was that kind of party. We each grabbed our gloves, kettle bells, laced up our shoes, and headed out back. Here’s the workout:

Using a timer app set to beep at every thirty seconds, the three of us would take turns either punching the bag, or conducting an exercise. We would do two complete rotations, adding up to three minutes of work (the typical length of a sparring match). In total, we did four sets, simulating four rounds of sparring, with a 60 second rest between each set. Here’s a breakdown of each round:

  1. Bag: Roundhouse Kick / Switch Kick (practicing both)
    Exercise: Standing Kettle Bell High Pull(10lbs/40lbs)
  2. Bag: Jab/Cross combination, side-step, repeat
    Exercise: Air Squat
  3. Bag: Push Kick (lead/trail leg alternating)
    Exercise: Jumping Jacks
  4. Bag: 2x Rapid Jab/Cross combination (1,2/1,2)
    Exercise: Burpees

When I offered them the opportunity to back down, the littlest one simply asked, “Which one is next, daddy”.

With the excitement of having the new bag, and the intensity from the workout, we all had a blast. Helping the boys push through mentally, and watching them REFUSE to quit made this experience amazing. When I offered them the opportunity to back down, the littlest one simply asked, “Which one is next, daddy”.

Since the boys worked so hard, and they wanted to do more, I decided to make things a little more fun. We took our kettle bells to a field just outside my house, and ran our water hose over the fence. I set a marker for the boys about 25 meters away from where we started, 100 meters for me, and turned the water on. The goal was to pick up the weight, run around the marker, come back through thewaterfall”, and cool off with the water hose until it’s your turn again. We didn’t keep count, but I know we did at least five sprints to the marker, and back. The last two were done without the weight so that we can feel like The Flash, as my youngest would call it. It was awesome seeing my boys have so much fun spraying each other down, encouraging each other, and really trying their best. At the end of our session, we cooled off with the water for a while, and had our post training talk.

 

“Do you want to feel powerless, like you can do nothing, or do you want to feel confident in knowing that, if you had to, you could do whats necessary protect mommy and brother?”

 

I went on to ask the boys if they knew why we train so hard in this family. My oldest said, “To get strong, and help other people”, which is consistent with our family values – kudos to you, Caleb. The youngest didn’t have an answer, so I explained it to him that we don’t do it for ourselves. We train for our family, their future children, and my future grandchildren. In the past, I used the example of an intruder breaking into our house to explain something to the boys. I asked them, “Do you want to feel powerless, like you can do nothing, or do you want to feel confident in knowing that, if you had to, you could do whats necessary protect mommy and brother?”

When I told my wife about that discussion, she seemed unhappy at first, but we can’t escape reality. I can spend my “fun” time with the boys playing video games, or watching movies, which we do on occasion; or, I can use that time to develop them into healthy, thoughtful young men by training with intensity, bringing out that ferocity that will help them succeed in life – and ending the session by engaging in deep conversation about life, family, and what it takes to be a good man.

Yeah, it was a good Sunday.

Here are some photos of our post workout fun!

 

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Big brother is always watching

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The best type of motivation

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Mateo getting a good throw

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“Little brothers never quit!” – Mateo

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

Break the Silence! : A simple way close the communication gap!

The cold shoulder

One of the hardest things to maintain, and usually one of the first things that falls apart in a relationship is communication. Whenever we get upset with someone, we are often quick to give the cold shoulder, and bed down next to each other without saying our routine “goodnight”, or the “I love you” – but why? Not speaking to the person we care about most is the exactopposite of what we should do when times are rough. However, if you’re like me, this can sometimes feel like one of the hardest things you could possibly do.

The TDY Backburner

In the military community, having to go on temporary duty status (TDY) usually causes several mixed emotions in the household. Much of this is because of how easy it is to lose focus when you are removed from what’s most important to you, and are required to perform exceptionally well for a school, job, or any other task that you can think of. Going on TDY usually involves you having to go out of town, staying for a period of a few days to a few weeks, and typically requires more than one person – so naturally, once the job is done, people are going to want to hang out, and talk about their experiences.
My most recent experience with going on TDY was attending the United States Army Drill Sergeant School, and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t on my best behavior. After class was over, I’d study, do some exercise, and then go out to have dinner with my friends. Initially this was ok, until the dinner bill started stacking up; the phone calls home were less frequent; and what should have been my main priority (my wife and kids) had been placed on the TDY back burner. This, my friends, was no Bueno!
The end result was a very cold atmosphere to say the least. Conversations were awkward, car rides were often too quiet, and I had a hard time enjoying my family, mainly because I felt like such a dirt-bag for treating them this way. This was especially true when I could see just how much my boys had missed me, THEY WERE ALL OVER ME! My wife, however, was not the happiest.

Why she is better than me

The awkwardness continued for a few more days, and we eventually hit somewhat of a breaking point. That is when my wife did something that probably saved our relationship, and showed me exactly how dedicated she was to me as a wife.

In the past, we have been blessed with the opportunity to attend many marriage seminars at the expense of the military. My wife and I would volunteer to go to these as often as we could – we both seemed to understand the importance of educating yourself of how to keep a marriage strong. One of the tools that we picked up at these seminars was shared to us by another couple. Whenever these two would have problems communicating, they would buy a card at the store, and write a message to their spouse stating why they loved them that day. When they were done, they would hide the card somewhere creative so that at some point throughout the day, the other person would find it, and be reminded of how the other felt about them. This would do several things:

• It opened lines of communication between the couple
• It would brighten up the persons day
• It shows that the person leaving the message is actually WILLING to put forth some effort toward strengthening the relationship

Often times, that little bit of extra effort is all that your relationship needs!

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”- unknown

We actually kept this card to use as a reminder of how bad things can get, and that with dedication, even the TOUGHESTof times can be worked through! (We’ll post an update with a photo for you in the future)
Try it!

So, if you’re in a similar situation, and want to open lines of communication again, give this a try! The initial message can state how the card is supposed to work, followed by your first entry – why you love your spouse that day. BE CREATIVE! Hide the card in their gym bag, their favorite book, underwear drawer, or sneak out and tape it to their steering wheel. Remember, in the end, it’s the effort the two of you put into fixing the communication issue that will make your relationship stronger than it was before. I know in my case, when we see things getting unnecessarily awkward, we are much quicker to talk things out than we were before. Plus, sometimes, it’s just something nice to do for the one that matters most to you.

Guidelines on Character, and tips to help teach Character

 

What is Character?

 

Character is the essence of a person, their inner truth, what they they actually are. A person’s character is based on their mental and moral qualities – who they are behind closed doors. A person can be successful in many areas in their life but without sound character, much like a home which has a cracked foundation, you will eventually crumble from the stresses of everyday life.

Character is not something that happens, it is something which is developed over a lifetime. To develop this in ourselves and our families, we have to take an honest look at what motivates us. Is it our values and beliefs or is it our desire to live up to a certain reputation? On that note, lets talk about the difference of character, and reputation. Abraham Lincoln gives a fitting example for this, “Character is like a tree, and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing”. We should make sure that what we truly value in life, our core beliefs, are what guide us in our decision making process and not reputation – reputation is merely a product of our character.

Reputation is what men say about you on your tombstone; character is what the angels say about you before the throne of God.” – William Hersey Davis

 

Here are some helpful guidelines on character that I have recently read about and had a brief discussion about with my sons. Now, I can confidently say that I am a man of moral character; however, it is important to me that I continue to approach life with an open mind and to continue to improve myself as well as my family.

 

Have integrity

Things like common decency are not as common as we’d like them to be. The lack of integrity in today’s world is a crutch that we must remove. But what is integrity? Integrity is being honest to others, being honest to and about yourself, both inside, and outside.

Teaching integrity to our kids is best done by setting the example. However, there will come a time where you must sit your kids down, and have a long discussion on the subject. Author John C. Maxwell provides us with good questions to help measure your integrity. Ask yourself (or your kids):

1. How well do I treat people from whom I can gain nothing?

2. Do I role-play based on the person(s) I am with?

3. Do I quickly admit wrongdoing without being pressed to do so?

4. When I have something to say about people, do I talk to them or about them?

Using these questions could help you guide your discussion with your child. Recently, I had an evaluation of my own integrity. These questions brought to light several things which I would like to work on, and which I would like to share with my children.

 

Be accountable for your actions (character)

It is important that we understand that your actions, your integrity, and your character should not be guided by your circumstances. No matter what walk of life we come from, we have the freedom to make the decision whether we want to do right by others, or do wrong by others.

 

“Your circumstances are responsible for your character as a mirror is for your looks”. -John C Maxwell

 

Pay your dues by helping others

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell said it best, “The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for room on this earth.” The bottom line is this: if we are not ready to render service to others, why should anyone (life itself) render service to us. The more positive effort we put forth in our life, the more likely we will experience positive outcomes.

Do what you should before you do what you want!

Part of being a person with sound character is having a good work ethic. Often times, we get caught up in the daily grind we call life. You’ll find that if you put first things first, you will achieve success in life. Zig Ziglar had a good outlook on this topic, “When you do the things you have to do when you have to do them, the day will come when you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.”

In our earlier posts, we discussed how to improve focus, and minimize distractions so we can improve our quality of life. Part of this is making sure that we prioritize our lives, and make sure we take care of the needs first, so that we can fully enjoy our wants!

We hope that this information has been insightful. If you would like more posts like this, leave us a comment! We’d be happy to share anything that we can with you!

 

Some material from this post can also be found in the book: Becoming a Person of Influence by John C. Maxwell & Jim Dornan. Maxwell Motivation Inc., California (1997). 

 

 

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

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