Rich - December 2018

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This final Featured Fit Dad of the Month for 2018 is Montreal-based personal trainer and business man, Rich Thaw.

Rich, a new father who previously joined me on an episode of the Fit Dad Fitness Podcast, is a super high-energy guy who truly wants to help people connect with a fitness lifestyle that suits them, and he avoids a lot of the fitness culture clichés along the way.

Rich’s answers to this month’s interview questions come from an Instagram live session I did with him last week.

Here is Rich’s story:

When did you first get into fitness?

My dad always made us do 10-10-10s. Ten pushups, 10 situps and 10 squats. We wouldn’t go to bed until those were finished. So it was kind of ingrained in me, but it also became a father-son bonding time.

And then I’ve always been into playing sports. The switch really flipped when I wanted to take hockey to the next level and I fell in love with why I was training instead of just the results. Yes, the results were getting better, but it just escalated from there. And then, when I turned 18, I got certified as a trainer, and never looked back.

What activities do you do to keep fit and active?

I move. I move, I train. I like to play hockey, or, I used to. I’m kind of scared to go back on the ice since my concussion. And I love mountain biking. That is my new obsession.

Train. Hockey. And mountain biking.

What is your favorite fitness memory or achievement?

This is kind of how I got obsessed with training. The summer when I busted my ass, after I taught people power skating all day from 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. and I was tired and my legs were sore from standing all day, I’d go to the gym. That was all summer long when I was 16 years old.

I was like, ‘Is this shit even paying off? I’m dead all the time and I’m kind of seeing the difference. I look good nake, but do I really know if I’m going to get better on the ice?’

Come tryouts, I was the rookie. I was three years younger than everybody else. We did suicides at the end. I finish, and I look back, and everyone else is two lines behind me. That was when I was like, ‘Holy shit, there’s something to this!’

That was the proudest moment for me. I put in all the work and the effort, and all the coaches were like, ‘All right Rich, keep this up and you’ll make the team.’

What is your favorite workout?

I’ve been playing with the kBox and pulley. Those are two tools that I got from Exxentric. Essentially, the harder you pull on it, the more resistance it pulls back on you. It’s a way to overload the eccentric portion of a lift.

I’ve been doing that and a lot of kettlebell complexes, just strictly to move. Sometimes, you’re just not in the mood to foam roll and stretch, and lift, so I’ve just been doing stuff with the kettlebells.

It’s never really one aspect. I don’t like to dwell on Olympic lifting and powerlifting and kettlebells and barbell complexes and dumbbells. I just take from each and combine them together and find something that works best.

In what ways do you hope to influence your children through fitness?

I want to make it his choice. I want to prepare him for the future and show him the ways to be strong but I don’t want to be like, ‘You have to work out.’ If he wants to work out, fine.

He’s going to play hockey. He’s not playing football. There’s too much head trauma there. But for everything that hockey has made me afraid of right now, it’s also given me so much. He’s going to play organized sports, and if that leads him to a career or a life of ‘health and fitness,’ that’s fantastic. Whatever he wants to do, that’s fine with me too.

I’ll just be active with him the way I want to be active with my son, and when he’s old enough to make his own choices, then i't’ll be his decision.

What words of encouragement would you have for other dads out there who want to be healthy and fit?

Find something and just do something.

Find someone who has been successful where you are and where you want to be, professionally and personally, and lean on them.

And move.