Dads AF: Fatherhood Through Fitness, Community, and Service

Dads AF Group at the Father's Day Picnic 2024

This article was written by Jennifer L. Byrd, a valued contributor to SpoFI. Jennifer is a mother, donor, volunteer, and veteran educator who brings her unique perspective and dedication to our organization. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Jen for her multifaceted contributions to SpoFI, which have a profound impact on our community.

These are dads of adult children, of estranged children, of children coloring on laps, and of children giggling and playing on the floor. They are fathers deeply loving and deeply loved, bound by a title and a purpose. This past Sunday, they served and celebrated fatherhood together. This Saturday, they braved the Clark Fork river, forging their bond through exhilarating adventure.

Around a familiar table, they discussed the evolving curriculum on sleep, hydration, whole foods, stretching, strength, and movement. They shared their victories: more energy from cutting back on sugar, more patience from prioritizing sleep, and fewer headaches with more stretching and hydration. Gratitude flowed as they reflected on the alumni community service to SpoFI and families on the 16th.

Father’s Day is typically a time for dads to relax and enjoy a BBQ with loved ones. This year, however, the Dads AF group took charge and transformed it. After weeks of embracing real fitness—mind, body, and spirit—and learning to prepare and share wholesome food, they orchestrated a healthier Father’s Day picnic.

Fathers who care for themselves have a greater capacity to parent well and set a healthy example.

Over six weeks, their group evolved from a class with a rafting finale into a brotherhood. They met regularly, supporting each other through family hikes, grueling stair climbs, slow pull-ups, wall traverses, and walks brimming with connection.

They began with a detailed, health-conscious menu and a comprehensive shopping list. Jobs were eagerly taken up, extending to friends, partners, and children who joined in on the fun.

Preparation started two days prior, with dads pressing fresh juice, marinating lean meats, ripening avocados for guacamole, and mixing homemade dressings. The air buzzed with camaraderie and shared knowledge.

As one wandered through the picnic, lively debates over taco fillings, inquiries about a young sous chef for hire, sing-alongs with resident crooner and philosopher, “B”, and dads deeply engaged with their children filled the scene.

There was one disappointment though—there weren’t many leftovers.

Every child needs parents fueled by purpose. These dads showed us that a connected group, united in becoming stronger together, can uplift and serve the community. It was a beautiful afternoon where Fathers of the Year were honored, committed dads served their families and communities, and true servant leadership was modeled.

A Special Thanks To our Valued Donors

Your generosity has ignited a transformation in our community through programs like Dads AF and the SpoFI curriculum. You’ve helped forge a brotherhood of fathers who are redefining health, friendship, and family bonds.

Thanks to you, dads are finding renewed vitality, children are gaining positive role models, and families are growing stronger. Your contributions have funded more than fitness classes – they’ve sparked a revolution in health, mindset, and community spirit.

The impact of your support reverberates through every workout, every nutritious meal, and every moment a father feels empowered to be his best self. You may never meet those you’ve helped, but your generosity is shaping a healthier, happier future for countless families.

Thank you for investing in the heart of our community. Your continued support will help us expand these life-changing programs, touching even more lives.

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