By: Leroy Silva | Pueblo of Laguna

Before I became a dad, in high school I was already making plans on what type of dad I wanted to be. In my 10th grade English class we had to write a letter to our unborn children. I don’t remember the entire letter, but I do recall one sentence,“I am going to be cool and not lazy!” Both remain true today, and I am proud to say that I have been blessed with four healthy children and a wonderful wife.

As a dad and husband, being active revolves around two factors: time and energy. Sometimes it seems like I don’t have enough of either, but this is where teamwork (with my wife) and time management come into play. For example, my wife and I try to keep a monthly financial budget that tracks our money and expenses. I use this same concept to track my activity levels, work schedule and behavior (e.g. bedtime, wake up, etc), to understand our lifestyle and to help make adjustments where needed. The most important part of this approach is communicating with my wife, because “We are a team” (one of her favorite quotes). I am very grateful to have a supportive partner who is on the same page when it comes to maintaining the health and wellbeing of our family. 

Being an “active dad” means that I incorporate my kids into my activity plans, I am mindful of their abilities, and I have the proper snacks to keep us happy. I am a big believer in the saying “our kids will do what they see, and will say what they hear,” and by them seeing mom and dad having fun exploring, running, walking, biking, laughing with others, and treating each other well… they will do the same.

As a dad and husband, I see it as my responsibility to protect, provide and love my family to the best of my ability. I cannot be the best at anything if I do not take care of my personal wellness. As a parent I have the opportunity to break unhealthy and toxic cycles that have plagued families and communities for generations. I am fortunate to share my knowledge and experience with relatives across the country to inspire them to make wellness a priority in their lives.