#33 - The four pillars for success in fatherhood with Rod Richard

October 3, 2023
Rod Richard

Episode Summary

On this week’s episode of The Aro Podcast, Joey is joined by Rod Richard - a father, coach, and entrepreneur. Rod, a life and mindset coach, is dedicated to helping men become the best versions of themselves. He and Joey discuss the four pillars for fit fatherhood: faith, family, finance, and fitness. Rod shares his personal journey of becoming a dad, opening up about the challenges he faced and the uncertainty he experienced in defining his role as a father. Through his own story, Rod offers valuable insights and guidance for dads who may be navigating similar challenges. This episode is a must-listen for all fathers looking to make a positive impact in their families and lead fulfilling lives.

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Episode Transcript

Rod Richard (00:00):

This is why I say the matrix moment where time slows down and the bullets Neo can see the bullets coming at him and he's grabbing 'em. And as the words are coming out of her mouth and she says, you're going to be a dad. I think everything, like I say in that moment slowed down. And I knew, I knew immediately that I was being introduced to my purpose.

Joey Odom (00:23):

Welcome back to The Aro Podcast. Hey, it's Joey Odom, co-founder of Aro, and you know what The Aro Podcast is all about. We're here to provide the inspiration and tools to live out an in intentional life. So today we're talking about in intentionality in the area of fatherhood. Rod Richard runs for Fit Fatherhood. He's a great dad, he's an inspirational guy, and by the way, he's also a dad who's learning along the way for his two girls. So ladies, I do want you to stick around though though because I think that this is going to be the most forwarded episode of The Aro Podcast. You're going to want your man to hear this message. So we talk a lot about the four pillars of fatherhood. We talk about Transformers, we talk about Rod's matrix moment. We also talk about leadership in your home as a dad and what that means, co-leading with your spouse and how important that is. So for now, just sit back, relax, and enjoy my great conversation with Rod Richard, when you think about Transformers, you might think back to childhood Cartoon and Optimist Prime, but I think about Rod Richard. Rod has been a transformer for years helping people to transform their body, mind, and spirit, and he now uses that transformer energy to help dads be the best versions of themselves through forfeit fatherhood. We're going to talk through four pillars today, faith, family, finance and Fitness with our guest Rod Richard. Rod, it's good to talk to a real life transformer

Rod Richard (01:49):

Man. I've never been Optimist Prime before. I like that, man.

Joey Odom (01:57):

I almost went Megatron. I didn't know if you would rather Megatron or Optimist

Rod Richard (02:00):

Prime. No, look, I'll take all of it. I'll be Bumblebee if you need me to like, yo, that was, man,

Joey Odom (02:07):

That's some good Transformers knowledge.

Rod Richard (02:09):

Yeah, yeah, no, I like that,

Joey Odom (02:13):

Man. I'm so pumped to have you on the show and talk to you, man. You're out. Inspiring dads to be the best versions of themselves, and I would love to hear a little bit of that journey. Like I said in the intro, you've been transforming through, and I'll let you go through the history, but all throughout the people's lives, I'd love to hear that story of how that happened at the beginning, focusing maybe more on the strength and conditioning side and then how that's now been focused in towards dads.

Rod Richard (02:43):

Okay. All right. So you mentioned it. I'm a strength and conditioning coach by trade. That's what I do. I would say for a living or have done for a living. It's not necessarily what I do for a living anymore, but it's a part of it. So I got my C S C S and then I started working at a high school and then I got into the private sector working at a gym. So I was doing both of those things. The part-time work at the gym kind of allowed me to start working with some professional athletes. I was working with some baseball players at the time, and that kind of word of mouth got me an opportunity with the New York Mets. So I was working with the Mets for two seasons in minor leagues, and then we got pregnant and this is where everything changes. So this is what I would call my matrix moment.

Joey Odom (03:40):

Well, I just love the transition of what that was the moment. And I do want to hear about the Matrix moment because that's everything changes and you probably now you see everything leading up to that built to that. So I do have a question about that. So when you'll go into the matrix moment, but it was like you were on this path and here I go, and then everything gets disrupted in a good way, but certainly in you're working up the ranks in professional baseball and strength conditioning and probably saw a future for yourself at that time of what it could become.

Rod Richard (04:18):


Joey Odom (04:18):

Take us to that moment.

Rod Richard (04:20):

So I would say I was fast tracking in that Mets organization partly because of my own merit and then also we had some turnover. So I came in the rookie ball, my rookie, that was my first season. I was strength conditioning coach of the year in my league. And then I got some other, because when you do something like that, the organization gives you some pats on the back and they give you some opportunities. So they wanted to send me to the Dominican for the fall league, and they wanted to do a couple of other things that they kind of promote you, fast track you. So I went from rookie and I was supposed to go into AA the following season and then AAA because our AAA guy actually ended up retiring. So that will put me one level below being in the big leagues and the season and a half. And what's crazy is the guy who replaced me, Dustin, Dustin Clark is actually still the big league strength guy. So he came in and replaced me when I decided to leave, and that's get to the matrix moment, but I decided to leave and he came in and picked up where I left off and then the following season they fired the big league guy and promoted him.

Joey Odom (05:32):

Does he send you Christmas cards every year and say, thank you for getting pregnant, thanks for getting out of there.

Rod Richard (05:38):

It's funny getting out of my way. I used to talk to him a lot when I first left, just normal business stuff, like, hey, certain guys have this thing going on, or different ways to kind of communicate to some of the guys and things like that. But I haven't talked to him, talked to him, talked to him in a few years, a few emails. We kind of pass back and forth, but I haven't talked to him in a while. But no, he did it on his own. He came in and did a great job and he would've made it whether it was because it's been almost 12 years now that he's been there, so he's obviously the guy getting the job done. So it had nothing to doing something right. Yeah, yeah. He was going to make it happen either way. I just stepped out of the way and made it a little easier.

Joey Odom (06:22):

So the news comes and it's the matrix moment. Tell us about what that matrix moment was like.

Rod Richard (06:27):

Yeah, so the season finishes, I get home, minor league season ends. So I come home and then me and my wife, we go to visit my family for Thanksgiving, and then they live in the Bay Area. So from the Bay Area, we go to Tahoe just to spend some time together. So we're in Lake Tahoe and she's not feeling well and she was sick. You've been sick before, whatever. She's like, yeah, my stomach's not feeling well. And so she's at this point, I think we have been together probably 10 years. So she's like, yeah, I don't think it's that. You know what, let's get a pregnancy test. And I'm like,


Okay, all right. I mean, whatever. We've been down this road before, there's no worries. This has happened, right? Oh yeah, sure, whatever. Let's go get one. And so we get back to the room and she goes to the bathroom and she's in there longer than normal, but then she comes out, she opens the door and she just stares at me. She doesn't say anything right away, but then this is why I say the matrix moment where time slows down and the bullets are kind, kneel can see the bullets coming at him and he's grabbing him and as the words are coming out of her mouth and she says, you're going to be a dad. I think everything, like I say in that moment slowed down. And I say I knew immediately that I was being introduced to my purpose because at that point, or up until that point, I had been pursuing a career.


My identity was wrapped up in my career. I was going to be a strength and conditioning coach. I was a major league in major league baseball, and this is what I was doing. And when people asked me who I was, that's why I answered. I was a strength and conditioning coach. I didn't really talk about anything personal because I had adopted that as who I am. And so I was kind of chasing a career. And then when I heard I was going to be a dad, that was it. I'm a father, I don't answer that question anymore without saying I'm a father. Who are you? I'm a father. It just immediately it's kind of stopped me in my tracks. So I took that news, we spent the rest of the time there. We get back home and I immediately call my coordinator. When we get back to our home in Southern California, I call my coordinator and I'm like, Hey, I'm not coming back.


Not even a discussion. It was the first thing I said to him, it's like, I'm not coming back this year. And he's obviously like, what do you mean what's going on? And I told him my wife was pregnant and I'm going to be staying home. I'm just not coming back. And so they offered me some incentives to come back. They don't want to lose you, especially at that time of the year, they don't want to lose a guy. But I just kind of let him know that this was more important for me and he was actually really understanding. And I like to say that he was one of my first fatherhood mentors because he had a few kids of his own. And eventually it got to a point where I turned down a couple of things and he was like, if I had the chance to do it again, I would've been there.


I would've been there for my kid's birth. He was a player in the major leagues and he missed out on, I think his first or second daughter. He didn't have the opportunity to be there. They were traveling. And I just couldn't imagine myself not being there, not being there for the doctor visits, not being there for birth. At that time it was like Skype. I couldn't imagine a Skype call to see my kid for the first time. So I let him know that I wasn't coming back. My wife was not too happy about that because you're like, well, hey, we're having a kid. You can't not have a job.

Joey Odom (09:58):

Okay, that's interesting. I was going to ask about that. I was going to ask if she had this moment of appreciation and demon, and she said, no, no, no. How are we going to make money? So she wasn't greatly appreciative of you being there. She

Rod Richard (10:11):

Right. Well, because prior to that season starting, we had just bought our first house and now we're talking about six months later, I'm saying I'm quitting my job and we got a baby on the way. So there was this kind of back and forth of maybe you should stay and we'll figure it out and maybe we move down to Florida or we'll move to wherever you're at this year. But I didn't see myself uprooting my entire life and having her give up her career, us give up our house to follow me around while I followed the team. When the core of my being at that point, like I said in my moment was being a father, I needed to be there, not the other way around. So eventually she came around and the Mets, because you're in a contract, they're really cool about it. They finished paying me out through the rest of the year, gave me some time to finish looking for what I was going to do next.


So that was nice. I don't recommend just quitting a job without any kind of a safety net, but honestly, I quit without knowing that that was going to happen. I didn't know that they were going to continue to honor the contract. I didn't know that they were going to pay me out. Whatever extra bonuses that I had from the previous season, they did all of this stuff just kind of out of the kindness of their heart I guess. But I was ready to just go all in on family regardless, and I knew that I was just going to figure out whatever needed to happen next.

Joey Odom (11:41):

Had you always looked towards being a dad someday? Or what was it that was such an immediate spark? Did you have great examples of fatherhood coming up or what was it? Or was it the other side where said, no, I really need to be an example that I didn't see from other people around me? What was it about being a father that was so important in that moment?

Rod Richard (12:02):

You know what, I don't know. It was one of those things that it was an epiphany moment, but I can't point to why it was so moving for me. My dad was out of my life for a few years when I was young. Him and my mom went through their thing and they separated and he had some personal issues that he had to deal with. So for a couple years he was gone. And then when he came back, they had split custody or joint custody or whatever. So I got to see him in the summer and every other weekend. And then as I started playing sports, my weekends turned into games and practices, which meant I couldn't necessarily go with him because I had to go to games that I had practices the next day and they lived in two different cities. And so it made that tough.


So he was there. He was a good dad. I wouldn't say that he wasn't a good dad. He was a great dad. He's a great dad now, but he wasn't there as often. And then my stepdad, my mom remarried a couple years after they divorced. My stepdad, I always say was there, but he wasn't present because my mom got injured on the job and was on permanent disability. And so he had to work to take care of everything. So he worked, I don't think there was a week in his life or on our lives together where he didn't work 60 plus hours. He worked overtime all the time. And so I saw him maybe every once in a while for dinner or I saw him kind of in passing. I'd be going to school and he'd be coming in from working the graveyard shift or he would be going out and I would be coming home.


And so it was really in passing. And so I never really had a great relationship with him. It wasn't negative in any way. There was no reason for it to be negative, but we just didn't have a relationship. He was the man of the house, but he wasn't in the house because he was out taking care of the bills. And so I don't look at fatherhood and say, well, I didn't have a dad or my dad wasn't there because I did have a dad. He just wasn't able to be in the house as much. And then I did have a physical dad in the house, but he wasn't there emotionally enough. And neither one of those things I think pushed me to be super dad or what I'm trying to be now. I think that I felt it was a tugging on my heart and it was just an emotional push to, oh, this is it. It was one of those aha moments, but I wasn't really searching for anything, which is really weird. It was just like it happened and I was ready for it.

Joey Odom (14:35):

Man, that's so interesting. As you describe your dad and your stepdad, it's almost like it feels to me like you've been able to take the pieces of them that were great, your stepdad, great provider when you were with your dad fully present, loved you, and then also fill in those gaps too of what, okay, here's some missing pieces of B, you're doing all of that, you're taking two different examples and then combining it into one and yourself who's, which, this falls in the transformer, things coming together, right? Everything coming together to become something greater, which is really neat. And you have two children, right?

Rod Richard (15:14):

Two daughters. Yeah,

Joey Odom (15:16):

Two daughters. And so what was those for those maybe those young dads listening right now, what was your real again, we're all learning. I actually watched a video you just put on your Instagram of that clip from the show where the guy's in the store and just like, what the heck do I do as a dad? I have no idea what to do basically. And none of us are really prepared at that point. So at those really, really young ages, maybe especially with your first daughter, what was your real goal in those moments? They can't communicate with you, but what was your kind of intention and maybe even advice to the young dads out there who don't have all the answers, don't really know what to do. What would be your advice to those young dads?

Rod Richard (15:58):

What in those early parts of your kids' life? None of us really have the answers and it's kind of like because a little bit different. There's some parallels. We all kind share some similar experiences. Nobody sleeps and baby cries and you don't know what to do and all those things. But I think you find your way, you find how you fit in. And I tell guys all the time, it's kind of like they started liking it to sports is like when that first kid comes out, you're like a backup. Mom's a superstar. You're a role player. That's right.


So right, you're a role player, you just need to be there to maybe wipe her brow, get her some water, you know what I mean? You know what I'm saying? You don't really have a star, you don't have a star role, but when you get a chance, when coach puts you in the game, you got to put up some quality minutes. You got to get in there and make sure you're swaddling, you got to get that bottle or whatever it is, whatever position you have to play, you got to get in there and be a great role player. And gradually, as your child grows and gets older, you have opportunities to be the star. You have opportunities to show up in big moments, but you just have to understand your role in the beginning it's very much about mom and baby and you just have to be really good about supporting that relationship because you being there and supporting her helps you be in a position to show up when something goes on.


You may need to get up in the middle of the night to go get the baby just to bring her in or him in so mom can breastfeed. And just that little bit of support goes a long way wanting your relationship with the kid because instead of mom coming to get them, every time they cry, dad shows up sometimes and like, okay, so if I need something, dad will come get me. Cool. So you're starting to build that bond and yet you're not necessarily the one feeding them, but they understand that you're a chain in the link, right? Sorry, a link in the chain. You have some importance. So I think for young dads especially or new dads, just get in where you fit in, find opportunities to be a great support, to be a great role player because that's how you learn and grow and build connection between your partner and your kid.

Joey Odom (18:13):

And I've never heard anybody put it that way and it does. It's actually a perfect parallel with your story of, Hey, I'm going to be great at special teams in these first couple years. And then when you've been good at special teams, all of a sudden you're a starter your junior year. It takes a little bit of time, but I think a lot of dads, they're probably so absent that they're off playing golf or something like that, they're not doing, they're not present, and so then you're not actually able to ever get in that point of trust or you try to overstep your role and take over where mom should be taken on, and that just leads to some pretty significant discord in the marriage and doesn't end well for them. I want to talk real quick a bit. Your daughters are how old now?

Rod Richard (18:55):

10 and eight.

Joey Odom (18:57):

So how are you managing as an athlete? How are you managing sports with them? That's a big question we get from a lot of people, is the best role as a parent who has an athletic background and who has kids in sports pushing hard enough, too hard or not trying to impose your own stuff on them?

Rod Richard (19:17):

Yeah, man, I walk a very fine line because both my daughters play softball. My youngest plays water polo as well. My oldest is just a softball player right now, but she's got some skill and some other things. She just only likes softball. Here's the catch though, is in my strength conditioning in the last 10 years, the company that I work for and the company I work for now, I have had the ability of training some of the best softball players in the world by far. I can run down a list of girls that have played in college, Olympic teams, gold medalists, all these things, some of the best players in the country still to this day. And so that puts me in a weird spot because I know what it takes in order to be really successful in that particular sport. Now, I don't play softball.


I've never played softball. I had one season where I coached some six U softball and we won a championship, but I'm not a coach. I don't coach softball. But because of that, when I'm with my daughters and they're just getting into it, I walk this fine line of pushing them to what I know they need to do because I've been in this world. And then also letting them learn to love the game. So as a coach, I know that they have to nurture and love the game in order for them to want to put in the work that I know they need to put in. But sometimes I get caught in putting the cart before the horse, look, we need to be outside fielding a hundred balls. You need to get a 200 swings. We need to go into the gym and we should be working out and we need to do some running and all these things that I know need to happen.


I think ultimately though, for guys who have kids in sports who also have sports backgrounds is you have to let them fall in love with the process of it, right? Because I think we all love the game, we love the wins and the losses, or maybe not the losses, but at least the playing the competitive part of it. But you have to allow them to fall in love with the process because that's where it's actually going to happen. I think a lot of times we force the process on 'em, and this is where I have to kind of bri on myself sometimes. Is it because I know what it takes? I'm like, all right, well, actually, it's funny, I just talked to my daughters this morning, their new seasons coming up, so they have assessments coming up this weekend. We've been traveling for the last three weeks, so we might've played catch twice and that's it.


No hitting. My oldest daughter's a pitcher. We haven't worked on any arm mechanics, no pitching, nothing. And so we have assessments on Saturday and I'm like, Hey girls, you know what? I'm going to tell your coaches that we're going to assess next week. You have two options you're going to assess this week or next week. And typically, I like to assess on the first one because if it doesn't go well, we can come back for the second one. But I'm like, look, I am not going to push you guys to go out there and kill yourselves on this Saturday. I know we haven't done what we need to do. I'm going to give you some time and we're going to work together to make sure that you're prepared. Now the coach in me is screaming at the dad in me like, bro, what are you doing?


Look, this is just what it takes. They're going to have have to get it done. They're going to have to figure it out. If they don't want it, they don't want it. I'm having this how they say in the cartels, you have the angel and the demon on your shoulder. They're screaming across my face at each other, and I'm trying to be compassionate and understanding. And on one side, as a coach, I'm like, well, they better figure it out, man. If they don't get it done, they don't really want it. They should have been practicing while we were traveling. That's on them. So there's found somewhere in Singapore to throw. Yeah, yeah. There's this ongoing struggle, but I'm learning to let them love it because I know with a lot of kids especially, they burn out when they don't enjoy the process of it when it's just mom and dad forcing them to do things. They don't make it past, don't, some of 'em don't make it too high school when mom and dad are forcing you to do it, especially in sports in Southern California, well really almost all of them now because it's pretty much year round. There's no real off season.


If you aren't wanting to do it on your own and somebody's forcing, you get no breaks, you get no time off, there's no rest, there's no recovery. You're going all season, you are going to burn out. If you don't enjoy it, you're going to burn out. And I don't want that for them. And so I'm trying to, I said, ride that fine line where it's like, I know you've got talent. I can see it, right? I see flashes of it, but I can't make you do it. You have to want to do it.

Joey Odom (23:58):

That whole, David Pollock was on our podcast and he said he was talking about that with kids in sports, and he said, everybody has so much grind until they grind out. You will just grind out. And what probably happens is you damage a relationship in the interim between yourself and your child, but it's really hard, especially in your position, knowing what it takes. You do have the answers there. You can tell them exactly. And you know, see that little flash and how to develop that, but that is challenging because you can possibly damage a relationship in the meantime. And so that's a hard one. It really is. It's such a balance of what to do. But I guess, and then sometimes I heard someone talking the other day about how he really gets onto his five-year-old and in soccer really coaching him. And in my mind I'm like, and I remember that by the way, when my kids were five and how I was getting on him and pushing 'em in sports, but hearing somebody else say like, bro, your kid's five, you're fine back off a little bit. Everything's okay. But then I superimpose that on my son's 15 and I'm going to look back in a few years and be like, he was just 15, he was fine. Scouts weren't at his tennis match at 15. Everything was okay. But that's hard. I mean, I bring that up just because I battle it myself and how to manage those things, being dad or coach, but I'm going to picture that angel and demon on your shoulders next time I'm having that internal dialogue.

Rod Richard (25:28):

Yeah. Yeah. That's what I tell my daughters. They want me to coach them. They want me to coach their team because like I said, I coach the team and I always tell them, I'll be an assistant coach, but I don't want to be the head coach. And the reason I don't want to be the head coach is not because I don't want to deal with other parents. It's because I don't want to deal with your parent. I don't want to deal with the struggle of being your coach and your dad because coach, coach dad is going to make you go sit down. Sometimes coach dad is going to pull you out the game. Coach dad is going to have to get on you and then dad, dad is going to have to ride home with you afterwards. You know what I mean? That's right. I got to live with you the next couple of days after that practice where I made you guys do extra running because something happened and I don't want that relationship.


I think they're at a point now that one season when I coached them, they didn't separate very well. They thought dad was mad at us and not coach was coaching us. You know what I mean? And I could tell when we got home, there was this weird tension between, not between me, but it was almost like they didn't know how to disconnect. I'm very good at separating the message from the messenger. They aren't there yet. And so even now when I'm helping them or coaching them, when they come to my gym, I don't like to coach the class they're in. I don't want to coach the classroom. Now, I'll say certain things to 'em and I'll do maybe some one-on-one instruction stuff with 'em. But if they're in a group setting, I always ask one of the coaches, please take this group. Just tell me what happened afterwards.


I don't even want to look, you know what I mean? Because I don't want them to feel like dad is judging them when I'm coaching them. You know what I mean? Because not that they're fragile, because kids are really resilient, but I don't want all the energy that I'm putting into building this father-daughter relationship to be damaged because coach dad, because I know who I am as a coach, I'm not going to pat myself on the back. I'm a good coach, but I can be intense and because like I said, I know what it takes to get where you eventually want to go, and it's not going to be as compassionate sometimes. It's not going to be caring about your feelings at times. I'm not going, listen, look, I don't ever say throw like a girl, run like a girl, right? Because I work with a lot of girls.


I'm like, you're an athlete when you come in this room, when you come into this building, you're an athlete. I don't care if you're a 300 pound N F L lineman or 125 pound softball player or 110 pound TaeKwonDo athlete, you're an athlete, period. I'm going to talk to you like an athlete outside of it. When we're not in our training sessions, we have a good time. We talk, we communicate, we have a good relationship. But when the session starts, you're all equal. And I'm going to require of you because there's a standard that you have to uphold, whether you're my kid or not, there's a standard that you have to uphold. And sometimes that is tough for them to manage, right? It's like, why is he treating us like this, right? Why is he talking to us this? I'm like, bro, I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to the athlete after the class. You could be whoever you want to be, but right now I'm talking to the athlete in you and this is what I need from the athlete in you.

Joey Odom (29:00):

Man, I love that. I was emailing with an RO member and in North Carolina, and she told me that her husband, Tom had asked for a gift. And so we were talking a little bit about that, a little bit about Tom, and she was saying that he asked for it because, and I'm quoting her, she says he wants to spend more time fishing, camping, and being with the Boy Scout troop with his son, and they want to plan a good plan for storing their son's cell phone overnight. RO is not really a parental control. We actually think of it as an opposite parental control where the kids can control the parents and put their phones in there, but it does unlock family time. It is a good place. I put my phone in the RO box every single night so I can have uninterrupted sleep, and I was the guy who would check it in the middle of the night. So people like Tom who are looking for this for themselves, but also for their kids and for their families, I applaud him for putting it on the gift list. If you're interested in ro, just go to go ro.com or follow us on Instagram at go.


So I want to get really practical, rod. I want to get into the four pillars, and before we jump into that, I want to hear a little bit about how did the concept of forfeit fatherhood come up? And you are even, you were saying, you're talking in that you're talking to the athlete in the gym and here you're talking to the dad, you're talking to dads across the country. You have a huge Instagram following, like you are speaking directly to dads. So I want to hear how forfeit fatherhood came about, and then I would love to do a deep dive into the four pillars, the faith, family, finance and fitness.

Rod Richard (30:36):

So forfeit fatherhood started 2018, kind of started dabbling in it. I mean, honestly, it started before that. It started in 2012 when my daughter was born. It started with me having conversations with other dads because I felt like I had read the baby books. I had kind of done that thing or done some Google searches and tried to find out stuff about fatherhood. But most of it is what to expect when you're expecting. It's mostly talking about mom or what mom's going through or what maybe baby is going through, but none of it's really talking about what dad is going through. And I had two dads, but both of them, most men don't talk about that stuff. They can tell you, I told you so later on, or Oh, man, you should have asked me, dog, you should have told me. But guys just aren't out there sharing their experiences in fatherhood.


You have to go dig it up. And so I started reaching out to the guys that I knew that I thought were good fathers and asking questions and having these conversations. And I started to think if I have these questions, it's typical when you're in a classroom setting. One person asked a question, but 10 people had the same question. They're just afraid to ask it. So I started talking to these guys and getting these answers, and I'm like, man, that's such good stuff. I wish I could share this somehow. And I didn't know what to do with it. At the time, podcasting I don't think was big enough on my radar for me to think that was a thing. But just in my circle of friends, we just started having those conversations and talking to each other and talking about it. And so that started happening, and then I was like, this is something that maybe we can turn into something bigger.


And so I told my wife, you know what? I think I'm going to start an Instagram page. So 2018, and this is obviously years have passed, so now we're talking about 2018. I start the fourth, fifth fatherhood Instagram, and it is me and five other people, six other people. It's crickets. For a long, long time, I'm just talking to myself, posting stuff that I thought was good, things that I heard, videos that I had seen, things like that. And nothing's really happening, but I'm not really doing it for that. I'm not doing it to build some great following. I was just sharing information, hoping to help somebody out, but it just kind of continued to grow from there. The more that I shared and the more that I found and the more that I researched and the more guys that I talked to, I got to a point where some of these conversations were really good, and I was like, you know what?


I'm going to start a podcast. And these little things just start happening where I was just like, you know what? I'm going to do this thing and I'm going to do that thing, and then I'm going to try this thing. And just trying stuff and some stuff working and some stuff falling flat on his face, but just continuing to move forward, trying to help other people and help other dads be better. And then the four pillars part of it, I just feel like, and there's probably more pillars as I've talked to guys, they've said other things that maybe I thought that work, but when I think of stability, we talk about a house or you see the four pillars. You got to hold up the corners. Those four pillars I think are most important. And then there's other load-bearing walls that you could put in there, but you got to have those four pillars and faith, family, finance and fitness.


The family one I think is really obvious, right? Because you're a father and we're talking about fatherhood, then family is obviously super important. It's got to be right? Your family, your extended family, the families that are around you in your community, the family of fathers that you create, that support you, that push you, that encourage you, that's really important. Your faith. And it's not any specific faith. I'm Christian. I've spoken to guys that are Muslim guys that are Hindu guys that are a bunch of different religions, but your faith provides you with some guiding principles. What you believe in or don't believe in, however you phrase it, provides you with some guiding principles or some things that you align yourself with as a man and as a person that kind of help you guide and lead your family. So that's obviously important, right? Finance kids are expensive.


Let's be real kids cost money and providing for them all the things that they need or want or all trying to do. All the stuff that I think a lot of times we go, well, I didn't have this as a kid. I want to make sure my kids have it. And that's finance a lot of times. And sometimes it's emotional, but a lot of times it's finance related. And so we've got to figure out how to be financially savvy. So it has some intelligence around financial literacy. And then fitness is one of those things where I think it's a foundational piece. And I say this because I'm a father, I really love being a father right now. If I want to be a father for a long period of time, I've got to be physically fit. I'm not talking about being a bodybuilder. I'm not talking about being a competitive athlete, but the more fit I am without any kind of crazy diseases or one-offs, I get to live longer.


I get to be a father for as long as possible. So I not only get to be a father, but I get that golden transition. I get to be grandfather and maybe great grandfather. And if you love fatherhood, as much as I love fatherhood, I want to be great granddad, I want to be the guy where they come over for Christmas and I'm in my chair, I can still move around, but I got my chair and everybody come. The kids sit around me and I tell 'em stories about how I used to walk uphill 10 miles in the snow to get to school

Joey Odom (36:20):

Both ways. Yeah,

Rod Richard (36:21):

Yeah, no, and I've got cool little sayings and things that I say where they can be, my granddad used to say such and such. So the fitness piece is super important because a lot of us are just not nailing that piece as well as we could. And so we're leading fatherhood on the table. We only get a certain amount of years of fatherhood. As a father, you are infinite. You're always somebody's father, but to physically be present, you only get a certain amount of years of that. And if we aren't taking care of our fitness, we're leaving fatherhood on the table. And so the fitness piece is I think, really important now, just depending on where you are in life, any one of those four things may be more important than the other. And so I don't really rank them, right? It's not like a 1, 2, 3, 4, it's these are the four corners. One side might need more support at one point, the other might need some more support on another point. Or you might be holding up two sides. I think of it maybe more like a Venn diagram. It's these four circles, but that sweet spot where all four circles cross is where you kind of get the most out of it.

Joey Odom (37:27):

Yeah, I'd love to, if you can, I'm putting you on the spot here, but for maybe somebody who's listening right now, it resonates like, yes, I know I need those four. Give us this. I would love to hear your thoughts on next best step to initiate something in each of those categories. You know what I mean? And again, maybe it's too obvious, but I think a lot of times it's just that startup for somebody. I don't know what the heck to do. Yes, I know I need to be fit. Yes, I know I need to focus on family and faith, finance. What would be the next best step in each of those categories? And again, I know I'm putting you on the spot

Rod Richard (38:03):

Here. You're good. I think a couple of things have to happen. I think I, what you're talking about is, and that's a great first step, is number one, to be self-aware, to know what you need and what you want. A lot of times we have a feeling of there's more, but we don't know what that means. We could be more, we could do more, but we don't want to know what that means. And that's in some parts because we don't know where we're at. And so we have to get brutally honest with ourself. We have to ask those questions of financially, am I where I want to be? Let's just be completely, just be completely honest. Don't lie to yourself. Are you where you want to be financially? Are you where you want to be fitness wise? Are you where you want to be in your faith? Are you where you want to be? Is your family where you want it to be? Or who are you who want to be for your family? I think once you ask that question, then you ask a secondary follow-up question of where am I right now? And then where do I want to be? And it's like G p s, like Waze, right?


When you go on Waze, it asks you for your destination. It asks you where you want to go, right? Because your G P s location tells it where you're at right now. So that's number one. It knows where you're at right now, then it needs to know where you need to go from there. It gives you several different routes to choose from. If I know where I'm at right now, and I know where I need to be now, I can kind of plot out a route to get there. I can kind of figure out, okay, this is where I'm at right now. Let's say it's a fitness thing. I'm 240 pounds. I want to get down to 200 pounds. So now I know where I'm at. I know where I need to go. Okay, when do I want to get there? Whether it's a realistic timeframe for me to want to get to that point.


If I say that I, I'm in debt right now and I've got a hundred thousand dollars in debt. I want to be financially free. I want no debt, so I got a hundred thousand dollars in debt. How long do I want to work on getting that down? And then that allows me to chip away at it and create milestones. But I think what you said is really important is that first step. It's just taking the step beyond saying, I know that I'm not. I'm where I need to be. That's great because you're starting to be aware of the problem. You're problem aware, but you're not solution aware yet. You got to get to the point where you know what the solution is, and that takes some work, and that takes some digging into yourself and laying it all bare of where you are and what you want to try to accomplish. I hope that answered the question.

Joey Odom (40:37):

It does. And I really actually really like the Waze example. I imagine you get those three routes, and one of them may be fastest, but it's on the highway, and the other one may be a little more of a scenic route, but it may take a little bit longer, but it may be a better drive for you. And so you just have to determine what's important to me right now. Do I want the hectic, do I want it to be hectic jumping on the highway, or do I want to be a little more scenic route and take a little bit longer? So that third question I do think is super important is how much time do I have for this? So I love that perspective on it as well. And I think you're right. It's just something, it's just that solution and it's the next best step.


And you can't lose all 40 of those pounds now in this workout. But to your point, you can chip away at it and give yourself, I've found in a lot of this stuff is just giving yourself a little bit of grace too. You know what I mean? You're going to be here for a long time. You had a post the other day about the next 40, what the next 40 years are like, and that's a long time, and you can do it. You have a lot of time to do it, but it does begin with ion today.

Rod Richard (41:43):

Yep. Yep. And then I think one thing that's important to point out too is that you are going to run into some obstacles along the way, right? You're going to pick the path that you think is best for you right now, and then along the way, that may change when you put it in the ways, somewhere along the way they go, you're no longer on the fastest route, and they give you another one. Or you might make a wrong turn, just you're not paying attention and you don't have to go back to the start. You just repl the path from where you're at, right? Okay, so now we need to get back on the freeway and do this thing. And I think it's important to understand that there is going to be obstacles along the way no matter how well you prep for it, right?


I can give you a perfect, perfect game plan for how to get there, but there's going to be something that neither one of us see coming that neither one of us know what's coming up. And it's just an understanding of that is not a obstacle. It's an opportunity for you to redirect, maybe refocus, maybe reassess where you want to go. Because like we talk about, I used to talk to guys who are entrepreneurs and there's this big thing about making a hundred thousand dollars a year or $10,000 a month or all these kind of things, and guys will get to a certain amount and just feel comfortable and like, okay, well maybe a hundred thousand wasn't what you needed. Maybe 70,000 is just a really sweet spot for you, because to get to a hundred thousand, you're going to have to dedicate this much X amount of time and X amount of extra effort. And 70,000, you're really comfortable. Life is sweet, right? Everything is going the way you want it. So maybe we don't need to push so hard not to say this, you settle, but you found out that the goal you thought was the goal really wasn't the goal. It was an idea, but you hit the goal along the way,

Joey Odom (43:31):

Right? Yeah, I like that a lot. I want to close with a question about leadership in the home for dads. We've noticed at RO that a lot of times dads will defer over to their wives on stuff. And by the way, I think that people say, oh, you got to be the leader of the home. No, no, no. You got two leaders of the home. Everybody has a leadership role in the home. But I do think that, I do notice that recognize a little bit of passivity sometimes in some dads or a little bit of being too deferential and not taking on their role of leadership. Will you speak generally about the role of leadership and maybe what guys who are listening, or I bet you there are some women listening right now who want to send this to their husbands. And so what does that message you want dads to hear right now of being leaders in their homes?

Rod Richard (44:23):

Yeah, I talked a little bit about not having, my dad didn't give me a bunch of fatherhood advice before me being a father, but when we did have our first daughter, it was one thing that I remember, and I always think about it, is that he told me, there's going to come a time where your daughter's coming at. Well, my daughter, there was no SS at that time where she comes to ask you something and don't be the guy that says, go ask your mom, because that only needs to happen a couple of times before she stops asking you all together.


So if you defer to her, and that's fine. I think a lot of times we defer because mom just has a better grasp, but she just knows the schedule. You know what I mean? Mommy knows what's going on. I'm just floating through and she's telling me what to do, so don't ask me. Go ask your mom. But I think when you do that too often, you unseat yourself. You take your own leadership out of the picture because you're now saying to the person who's looking to you for leadership that, well, I don't know. I'm a follower just like you, so just go ask the leader. So I think a couple of things have to happen. One, we've got to do a better job of being involved completely in our household. That's something that I've definitely had to work on for a long time. I just said it just now, my wife, she schedules stuff.


She plans things out, and we talk about our schedule on a weekly basis, but she has certain family stuff that she just plans. And I'm like, okay, all right. Just let me know when. But I've had to get really active in my own personal calendar. Everything that happens in the family is on my calendar. Just like everything that happens in work is on my calendar. I'm very, very intentional about my time because I want to know how I can best show up for whatever is on the schedule. If I don't know that it's on the schedule, then I can't be as effective as I need to be. And for a lot of us, we take our quote pss, our provide, protect, preside. In some situations, we take those and okay, I'm just going to go provide, that's my job as a dad. I'm a provider, or my job as a dad is, I'm a protector.


But there's another P that we miss out on a lot, and that's just being present. Present and available is huge. I think I would think, obviously you have to have a house, a roof over your head and food in your mouth and clothes on your back, and that provision part of it, and you got to protect your family from the wilds of the world. But a lot of people could do that, right? A lot of things can do that. Not everyone can be present in the way that you can be present, right? Matter of fact, I'd argue that only one person can be present in the way that you could be present, and that's you. So to sacrifice that presence for those things that could, if we put a gate up around the house, well then not a lot of things are going to get in.


So that takes care of my protection part. If my wife has a really good job and she can pay the bills and provide food on the, well, then you don't need me to be a provider, but she can't be present in the way that I can be present. That gate can't be present in the way that I can be present. Only I can do that. And I think we miss that as men and as dads. And that's a huge part of leadership is being present with the people that follow you. It endears them to you. It makes them want to follow you. And the way for us to do that is to have an understanding of what's going on in our household and not just zone out, go to work, make money, come home and watch E S P N until we fall asleep and start all over. You know what I mean? We have to be present in every way possible whenever we can early and often.

Joey Odom (48:09):

Man, that's good. It's totally right. And you're right. It is very easy because very often the mom, she is the manager of the household, but that doesn't mean you can't be involved in it. That doesn't mean that doesn't mean you have to wait for her to tell you what to do next. You can take it action over that, even if she may be the overseer, that you can still take action in that you can still do your part. And this is where I'm bad. Maybe if we're going to go to the beach, maybe I can pack some towels instead of waiting her just because she's the manager, that doesn't mean that I can't involve myself in that process as well and take an active role. Then, so I have a son and a daughter, so then my son sees, oh, this is what you do. Yeah, mom manages that, but dad is also taking a leadership role in, in being helpful towards it. And then my daughter will then see, oh, this is what I should expect someday when I get married, expect I should expect my husband to do what my dad has done. And you're so right. And presence is, yeah, it's more than just being attentive. It could be, it is contributing as well. So there are a lot of different facets to presence that you touched on there.

Rod Richard (49:14):

Yeah, 100%. 100%.

Joey Odom (49:16):

Man, that's good.


Rod. I'll say this, man. I'm just grateful and appreciative for the message that you are speaking. I think that the message that you have is more powerful because of your track record, because you live it out because you are an athlete, because you have had a successful career using your platform, you're using your voice on a large platform. You have the credibility to do it. I'm just grateful to you for speaking to dads because we all need it, even from the most involved to the least involved of us. We all need some sharpening. And the great thing about you, you can sometimes dads, we need somebody to get in our faces every now and then, but do it in a reaffirming also, you can do it also. So I'm just grateful for your voice in talking to dads and for your message in helping point them towards those four things to hold up the house and keep you stable. So thank you for that.

Rod Richard (50:20):

Yeah, no, thank you. Because I really enjoyed what you're doing as well. I think the fatherhood space needs so many different voices and so many different, because it is such a big, being a father is such a big thing. We try to narrow it down to one role for us or one thing that we do, but it, it's like all encompassing and there's so many different perspectives and so many different things that you need to hear, and some of 'em you're not going to agree with. Some of 'em, it's like, I don't like that. I'm going to hear it and I'm going to move past it, but even in that situation, it strengthens what you believe, and so I thank you for what you're doing as well. Man. It's refreshing to have another voice out there that's encouraging men and fathers to show up as the full version of themself to not be the typical sitcom dad.


The goofball to pull my finger to sit on the couch Al Bundy kind of guy. It's just the really not the seventies show. It was funny, it was red on the seventies. Show was a hard guy, but then there's also parts of him that were loving that they don't show. But even in that, there's so much to a character. There's so much to a dad that we need more guys expressing that. That is a thing. You're not just a stoic figure in the house. You can be emotionally present and you can be physically present and you can be the tough guy. You can do that, right? You don't have to be, but you don't have to be bad cop all the time. Bad cop has to play gut cop sometime.

Joey Odom (52:11):

Yeah, that's right. That's right. Rod, tell people, we'll put this in the show notes as well, but website, Instagram handle, give us all the ways that people can connect with you.

Rod Richard (52:24):

Yeah, I think obviously where I'm the most active is on Instagram. The Instagram handle is four Fit Fatherhood, the number four Fit Fatherhood. It's the same on Twitter, but I'm not really on Twitter that often. I was, but I've really focused all my attention on Instagram, so if you want to reach out, that's the best way to do it. The email is the same. Forfeit fatherhood, the number four website. It's the same forfeit fatherhood, the number four. I try to line everything up to make it really easy. My personal coaching page webpage anyway is you can call me coach, like I mentioned to you earlier with my name. I get Rob, I get Roderick, I get Rod Derek, I get all these different things work. Derek, what seems to work best is I have my athletes and the guys that I work with, they just call me Coach, right? So the website is, you can call me coach.com. I love it just because it's simple.

Joey Odom (53:20):

Yeah. Well everybody, I will say this, I mean it's forfeit fatherhood is a must follow on Instagram. It's original and curated content, but it's just, it's so between the eyes, it's awesome. So everybody go follow Forfeit fatherhood. Rod, thank you. Or Rod, Derek. It's going to be hard for me not to call you Rod Derek from now on. That's really good, man. Thank you so much for what you're doing, and thank you for coming on the RO podcast. Yeah,

Rod Richard (53:49):

Man, thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

Joey Odom (53:53):

Dads, I have a question for all of us to ask ourselves, what would it look like for us to be involved completely in our home, even if it's not something we're necessarily taking charge of. Maybe the schedule in your home. How can you be involved completely in that, where you're not just a bystander to it? How can you be involved there and where can we step up in other areas to be involved completely? I know that may be a little bit of an ambiguous question, but take a few minutes to think about that. What does complete involvement look like in your family? Hey, if you like The Aro Podcast, will you do me a favor, please? Will you go give us a five star rating and maybe even drop a comment on Spotify or Apple Podcast or wherever you listen? Will you do that for us? We want to grow The Aro Podcast so that a lot of other people can have that inspiration and the tools to live out an intentional life. Thank you so much for doing that, and thank you so much for joining this week with Rod Richard. We can't wait to see you again next week. The Aro Podcast is produced and edited by the team at Palm Tree Pod co. Special thanks to Emily Miles for video and digital support and to our executive producer, Aro's own, Katelyn Farley.