Fatherhood Rocks Manifesto

Growing up was kind of confusing because all I heard was “be yourself” however, being myself was not acceptable, in many ways. Did not matter which way you looked at it, society, family, or the religious way. Being myself was not “approved” and I needed to fit in in the status quo. So, I started to follow the same old story, go to school, get a job, and be unhappy behind a desk. This battle leads me to a dark place of depression, shame, and fear where I started to numb myself with drugs. The 3 worst drugs in the planet. I started to smoke cigarettes, excessively use of alcohol and food. One day I realized I was killing myself and I needed to do something, but I did not know what, since I was still confused.

This is one of my favorite spots in the world. The arpoador Bowl in Rio de Janeiro Brasil, where I learned a lot about skateboarding. Can you see me? Hint: Orange helmet, and I was 10 years old.

I started to run to lose weight and I started to enjoy the physical pain of running hard and the mental battle that goes on during long distance running. I was enjoying the physical pain the mental battle, so I set the goal of doing an ironman. All the training with music (my biggest passion in life), the physical pain was making me feel good. I felt so good that I decided to make that my profession, why not?  Little by little I started to lean about myself more and started to uncover all that numbness. It was not easy, but felt good, and I started to see things differently. Until I started to realize that this path was not for me, but it was leading me in the right direction.

In the end of 2015, we got pregnant and that is when things started to make sense to me, for other seems like I am in a midlife crisis. Well, in fact I am in a middle life crisis. I am almost 40 years old (midlife), and life is a crisis. Well, the way I see it, life will be always challenging you, and those challenges generate crisis. For me crisis is just an opportunity to optimize yourself and grow.

I always believed in leading by example, and I believe that leading by example can change the world, just like one of my favorite quotes from Ghandi “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Well, while our pregnancy I questioned myself a lot in what kind of world, I want to leave for my son, and the answer is simple: A clean, peaceful world where people can be themselves free of  judgments. Because I truly believe we all got our light to shine, just like I explain in my kids book The Sun.PicsArt_09-06-10.54.31

My son shows me every day the true meaning of life, which made me a Dad on a mission. The mission is to show my son that he can be himself and in order to do that I need to set the example, so Fatherhood Rocks is just me expressing myself, being that change I wish to see in the world.  Because I believe we can stay true to ourselves, and that is the only way we can make the world a better place.

Embrace it, Face it, Rock it!

Richard Wygand

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