Behind Every Great Woman Is A Great Man: Woman-Up Part 2
Can I say that? We would say that about men, that every great man has a great woman behind him. In my world, it is that every great woman has a great man in her corner as a champion. As it is Father’s Day I wanted to reflect on some of the amazing men in my life that support women (I was going to say their women, but truthfully they support not just their woman but the other great ones around them).
This blog is a follow-up, a part 2, to Woman Up [insert link], my Mother’s Day 2016 Blog. While it is paramount to ‘Woman Up’ to do what you believe in, you need a good support crew. On Father’s Day no better time to thank some of the amazing dad’s out there.
Of course he tops this list! Not just because I’m biased and think he is the best dad ever but because of the amazing relationship he and my mom have. I’ve said before my mom is this amazing powerhouse who inspires me everyday, but I know she is who she is because of my dad. My dad is there when my mom needs someone to listen, and given that they have a similar field of expertise they can have some really good discussions. They have fun doing a variety of activities together, from golf to alpine skiing, sharing books, and scotch tasting. They challenge each other. They listen to each other, but really listen to what the other is saying.
My dad is one of those men who I wouldn’t describe as a feminist, but as a ‘person-ist.’ He believes in the good of all people, he supports and inspires many female surgeons. He believes that women bring a different perspective to a team. But he also believes in being fair.
Most importantly my dad told me I could be anything I wanted. There were no boundaries to that, but also no expectations. In a circuitous way I followed in my dad’s footsteps and became an engineer, fell in love with downhill skiing, and become my own woman by chasing my other dreams, athletic, academic, and professional.
Well it’s been 4 years since this guy and I started dating; time flies when you’re having fun. Right?! Never did I think I would end up with a guy who came with three kids (nor do I think my parents were thrilled at first, but they’ve all fallen in love with him and the kids). But my gosh have I learned a lot from him in three years.
Everyday I watch him interact with his kids, set boundaries, have fun, let them know the sky is the limit. He’s a great dad, a great, great dad. He goes to ultimate frisbee practice with Dax, not just to help coach, because he loves ultimate and loves playing sports with his kids. Despite not growing up as a skier he puts on skis or a board just to watch Andie tear it up at an Alpine race. And for Cassidy, his dancer, he gets so excited to watch her grace and strength every time she steps on stage. In an era where finance was king, being the dad and away from your kids was seen as ‘cool.’ He broke that stigma and did everything and anything he could with his kids. And trust me, his kids love him all the more for it.
And no, in some freudian way I don’t see him as a dad in my life. But he is a great supporter of who I am and who I want to become. We laugh, we cry, we push each other’s buttons. As we have said to each other lately, I hate him less than everyone else, because yes when you think about it, that is the imperfect person you want to fall in love with.
The U of T Track Coaches
Our club, like many others, is male dominated. Coaching is a tough profession for women, with the long, unpredictable hours, it doesn’t make raising a family easy. But that’s besides the point. The point of this is post is about the amazing men we have coaching at the middle distance level. These guys put themselves on the track whenever we need them, and it’s not just about the workouts, it’s so much more. They also support the amazing women in the club who have chosen to be coaches.
They believe in our talents. They know we are willing to work had. They help us to be the strong women we know we are inside. And the little we learn about their families, we know they support and believe in the women in their lives.
To all the amazing dads out there, Happy Father’s Day. Celebrate loving your kids, spend time with them, love them for their flaws and failures. Keep working at building a friendship with your kids; I know my dad will tell you that it is so worth it in the end. Support your wives and all they do for your kids, break down barriers, smash societal norms. And in a year from now I hope you can reflect on an amazing year being a dad