Train Hard, Play Hard

There is no denying that I am passionate about training. I’m equally passionate about training my athletes. I love my time in the gym. I love the lifestyle. I live for the physical and mental challenge. I look forward to it every single day. I rarely take days off because I truly enjoy the grind. My best days are always those that start with a hard session in the gym. I’d be lost without it.

There’s more to my motivation than passion and enjoyment however. As a father, I continue to train hard because doing so allows me to be more active and involved with my kids. In many ways I’m just a big kid, but I still take my duty as a father quite seriously. The best gift you could ever give a child is time. There’s nothing more rewarding than playing alongside my kids as they smile from ear to ear.

Staying physically active allows me to keep up with my kids and their endless supply of energy. I’m able to play harder and longer. Unfortunately, doing so seems to be unusual these days. I see so many parents my age who are already reduced to sitting on the sidelines and watching. A day at the park rarely passes without someone commenting on how they are “too old” to keep up with the kids. I laugh to myself when these comments come from parents who are younger than me.

To each his own, but I take pride in having my kids look up to me. My kids think I’m Superman. In their eyes, I can do anything and I’ll do everything to prove them right. Regardless of what we set out to do, I strive to lead by example. I want my kids to believe that anything is possible if you work for it.

A few weeks ago we set up an outdoor pool. It didn’t take long for my son to start doing cannon balls off the ladder. I was working in the yard as I watched. He then looked up and said, “Imagine if you could cannon ball me from outside the pool?” He didn’t think it was possible. In an instant, I kicked off my shoes and jumped. The laugh that he had when I splashed him was priceless. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

If busting my ass in the gym means I can make my kids smile, it’s worth more than words could ever describe. Training hard helps me play hard and that’s something I plan to do for as long as I’m alive.


“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

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  1. Love it Ross ! I’m a father at age 43 and I feel stronger than ever. I hope to keep active up into ‘actual’ old age for my son if nothing else.
    Thanks for the constant inspiration.

  2. Hi Ross! Yes, one of the most important things I do, fitness-wise and weight-wise, is be a role model for my 4 kids. The two oldest ones are young adults now, and often discuss what their current workouts are and what healthy food they are eating. The two teens are still in their rebellious years, but eating so much better than most teens. I’m beginning to realize that a mom stays role model forever, and it truly affects the health and happiness of my children’s entire lifetimes.

    Btw, I taught all 3 daughters and son how to bench press. 😀

  3. Hey Ross,
    excellent post! Lead by example – a trait which often is totally neglected in our so “sophisticated” society.

    How do you expect YOUR kids to be active, healthy & thriving if YOU are not?

  4. Awesome text and absolutely well said! I don’t have children yet but when I have I will give my best to show them the importance of such a lifestyle. I hope I can inspire them as much as you inspire me!
    Thanks for that.


  5. You’re a great man Ross. I still remember the picture of your daughter where you were holding her in your arms. Time flies by so fast.

    If i would have kids i would do the same with sports.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Well said. I also have a passion for training. I have twin four year boys and they watch me train in my garage gym. They like to try to what daddy is doing, and I love it. By the way you were a big inspiration for my home gym. Time with my boys is the best and I cherish every second. They grow fast and you need to build those memories. Last February I got the awfull news that I have cancer (multiple myeloma). I was sidelined for a couple months with a fractured and collapsed L2. I can’t flip my 500lb tire anymore or do squats and deadlift. But, I can walk and most recently trail run again. I can do pull ups, push ups and many other exercises. I don’t dwell on what I can’t do. I focus on what I can do, and I can a lot. I’ll show my boys that I can still be strong and beat this cancer out of my body. Ross your site has been my favorite site for years. Thanks for keeping it going.

  7. First of all, to Tim G. above me: Such an admirable attitude. Every good wish, sir.

    @ Ross: That (great) push-up picture is one you’ll always cherish. Guarantee it. There’s even a lot of symbolism in it, actually. Very good blog post. Fun vid too. No threat to Blake Griffin, but for an old white guy, not too shabby on the vertical!

  8. Hi Ross,
    Love this one and totally agree. I was called superman the other day and all I did was cycle my two kids (5 and 2) 5 miles to a party one hot sunny afternoon. Loved it and am really loving the Infinite Intensity workouts I am doing, great fun. Much appreciated.

  9. Tim G…you are an inspiration. Keep fighting!!

    Love this post. The best lesson you can give your children is the example you set for them. My kids have seen me train thru injuries that most will never face. I pray that one day they truly understand that mommy fought FOR them….keeps me going on those difficult days.

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