Skip to main content
Fatherhood On Fire

Fatherhood On Fire

By Ryan Sullivan
Fatherhood On Fire celebrates fathers who inspire us. Elevates the conversation on fatherhood. And encourages men embracing their role as father.
Listen on Spotify
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


The 80/20 Rule with Dave Neff
In this episode we’re talking with Dave Neff. He’s the Chief Revenue Officer of Prolific, a strategic growth firm. Prior to that he helped start and was the CEO of EDGE Mentoring, a whole life intergenerational mentoring non-profit, for 6 years. He’s the father of the three children all under age 5. Dave shares amazing insights about the power and benefits of mentoring. He shares what the mentees responsibility is and how to be a good mentee. He talks about the growing importance of strategy in the workplace and skills that young fathers should be developing and encouraging in their kids. Dave talks about the importance and difficulty of being present with our kids and ways we can leverage our networks to facilitate early mentoring opportunities for our children. Connect with Dave
May 27, 2021
"Clear The Day To Win The Day" with Emily Bopp Co-Founder of Enable
How do you define a win? Emily Bopp is the mother of two young adult boys and the Co-Founder of Enable. She shares with us: What it means to clear the day to win the day and how we can use leading indicators to ensure we're focused and executing on the right activities. What does it mean to teach our kids to love themselves and how do we practice it? The benefits of early home schooling and the impact of social media. Building relational capital with our kids early to develop mature and healthy relationships as they grow. Connect with Emily: LinkedIn
May 13, 2021
Always A Pastor with Jason Graf
Jason Graf is the father of seven children age 15 to 2. That is, in fact, a lot of young people in one house. He's a former pastor of a Home Church and currently the Executive Vice President of Zoe Facility Services. In this episode Jason shares: Managing the chaos of a large family. Trusting God with their family planning, despite tests that revealed having children wouldn't be an option. Transitioning from Church Pastoring to Corporate Pastoring. What it means if you're yelling. The challenges of being provider, protector, and pastor for our families. Connect with Jason on LinkedIn
April 29, 2021
"The Soundtrack Of Our Kids Self Talk" with Alex Perry, author of Minivan Mogul: A Crash Course In Confidence For Women
Alex Perry is the founder of Practically Speaking and the author of Minivan Mogul: A Crash Course In Confidence For Women. In this episode Alex shares: Her Five Road Rules for confidence. What she would say to her children if she knew she wouldn't be able to speak tomorrow. A fathers role in raising confident women. Healthy and unhealthy comparisons.  The importance of affirmative language. Effective language to challenge status quo. Buy Her Book Minivan Mogul: A Crash Course In Confidence For Women Join the Minivan Mogul Facebook Group Checkout Alex's Professional Services at Practically Speaking
October 29, 2020
Take Your Kid To Work Year with Coach Lucas Woody
Lucas Woody is the Owner and Founder of Human Movement Performance and Prehabilitation in West Lafayette, IN as well as the owner of Coaching Better. He is the father of an 18 month boy and is showing his son everyday how to fall in love with the process. In this episode Lucas shares the 8 dimensions of wellness that he instills in his clients and what you can start doing today to keep those in balance. He shares why he chose a half Ironman in order to learn how to swim and what that in turn taught him about fatherhood. Lucas tells us about his fear of being a bad caregiver to a newborn and how Covid forced him to face that head on. Connect with Lucas Coaching Better Human Movement LinkedIn  Facebook Instagram
October 08, 2020
"Excellence, Joy, and Perseverance" with Ryan Callahan, The Smartest Neighbor
Our guest this episode is Ryan Callahan. He is the father of a four year old girl, McKinsey & Company Alumni, recently became President of the newly founded health analytics company Orthos, and finished multiple marathons alongside his own father. Ryan shares what it means to be your authentic self at work and how he recently practiced it meeting new colleagues. He talks about his family "motto" Excellence Through Perseverance and how becoming a father forces us to become more perseverant. He talks about how he uses faith as an anchor to make forward looking decisions. He talks about running marathons with his own father and about his experience learning Krav Maga. From those experiences he's recognized the importance of fitness to not only physical health but to allow your mind to rest and recover.
October 01, 2020
"Mindset Is Everything" with Tom Short, former NCAA and USA Olympic Basketball Official
Tom Short is a new father to a one year old girl. After ten years in black and white stripes he chose to step away from NCAA D1 basketball officiating to ensure that he was physically present with his daughter and wife during this season in his life. In this episode Tom shares with us: What experience led him to make the decision to step away from officiating. What he learned working with elite performers that he applies to his own life and fathering journey. What mindset means to him and how it actually plays out in his life. Why sports analogies are so prevalent in our society and how we can get the most out of the lessons we learn from sports. Connect with Tom: LinkedIN
September 17, 2020
Eight Month Check In with Dr. Tyler Lucas
In this episode we check back in with Dr. Tyler Lucas. We first interviewed a few days before his daughters birth, then a month after wards to see if it was what he expected. We're checking back in at the eight month mark to see how they're doing. Tyler shares how they've handled childcare for Nora with daycare being shut down. Tyler shares his insights on Covid from his perspective as a medical resident and how things are slowly getting back towards normal and they're seeing an increase in in person visits. How will we be able to respond as things move and flow.  As one of two Chief Resident's Tyler shares how being in a leadership role during Covid is actually a blessing and has exposed him and his colleagues to critical decisions early in his career. Tyler also speaks about the challenges of mental health and depression for healthcare professionals. He says often times working in a high pressure industry people fall into rhythms and get burnt out without anyone noticing. He uses triathlon and exercise to maintain balance and unplug from the stresses of his work.  We talk about the challenges of exercising with a baby and the different baby carriers and attempts to get exercise done with a baby. Tyler shares the most unexpected part of becoming a father and how it's made him so much more grateful for everything he has.
September 10, 2020
"Rhythms Out Of The Fog" with Red Mallard Founder, John Welches
John Welches is the father of four children. He said no to the traditional lifestyle and got into marketing agency and content writing and now owns his own agency, Red Mallard. What Fuels Your Fire? Understanding other people and the soul of the other person as best as he can. John says his life would be considered quite boring if seen only from the outside.  John shares his brush with religious legalism and how he moved back towards a relationship with Christ. As a young man he witnessed his future wife's parents go through a really challenging experience with their Church. From that John learned that he needs God first, and the Church is to bring him closer to God not serve in God's place. Paul Jensen - Leadership Institute. John shares how he incorporates rhythms from Jesus's story that enable God to pull him out of states of depression and despair more quickly. John shares how he has made walking an important part of his fitness and intentional time to prepare himself to live this day for God.  "The moment that matters to them is Dad coming in and bringing a sense of faith, of hope, of love" John shares how he lives out his faith at work. By being transparent with his faith and welcoming of all people.  John shares how he works through doubt by looking to Jesus and stop trying to figure it out himself and started asking God to show him. Red Mallard LinkedIn Instagram
September 03, 2020
"Starting Chapter Two And Celebrating Chapter One" with John Sherrill
John is the father of two children a 10 year and a 13 year old. He is the step father of twin 10 year old girls. John's first wife, Carrie, fought a four year battle against ovarian cancer. She passed away in 2017. In 2018 he met Julie, whose first husband had also fought a four battle with cancer and passed away two months before Carrie did. Their similar experience and positive outlook brought them together  and they were married in November 2019. On this episode we talk about: What John learned from walking the battle with cancer with Carrie. What it was like to be a widower and single father. The differences single fathers experience compared to that of single women. Dating and the guilt of loss. Introducing the kids and what worked for them... then BAM, quarentine! When and how was able to prioritize family and make a tough decision in his career. We don't have it all figured out, but how do we set an example of kindness and dignity for our kids. Connect with John
August 27, 2020
"Running On Faith" with Tri Dad Trying, Jonathan Wentworth
Jonathan Wentworth is the man behind the Instagram profile Tri Dad Trying. He's the father of two kids age 4 and 2. Professionally he helps oversee the budgetary reporting and analysis for the University of Georgia. He swam competitively in high school, cycled in college including a cross country bike trip, and switched to running shortly before his oldest was born. After going completely off social media for a number of years Jonathan decided to rejoin social media with a purpose. To make fitness a part of his story as an outreach opportunity. And to raise awareness and funds for charities.  In this episode we talk with Jonathan about: -How faith in God is central to his parenting. But also how his fathers journey from a dysfunctional environment to becoming an engaged and loving father gives Jonathan faith that any man can be a great father through effort and intentionality. -Jonathan's athletic journey that led him to triathlon. -How he uses social media for good and what he does to shield himself from getting sucked into the comparison trap. -The impact homeschooling had on him and his wife and how they're approaching that decision for their children. Connect with Jonathan: Instagram Twitter
August 20, 2020
"Copious Amounts of Grace" with Rural Healthcare Advocate, Jacob Woodason.
Jacob Woodason is the father of 3 girls (expecting their 4th child any day), an employee benefits consultant for large employers with a focus on rural healthcare, and a former collegiate athlete. -We talk about the importance of health insurance and how to take control of your healthcare by adopting a consumer mindset. -What it's been like to be a girl dad having grown up with all brothers through wrestling and collegiate football. -What he learned growing up around pastors and ministers that he now incorporates into his life and fatherhood journey for his girls. Connect with Jacob: Linked In- Jacob Woodason  Work email-  Personal email-  Cell- 812.201.2128
August 06, 2020
"There Is No Box" With USAF Veteran David Inman
David Inman is a US Air Force Veteran and is now a sales trainer and consultant with Sandler Training. What fuels your fire? "Challenge and experience. The more experiences I have the more it's going to serve me in the future." After building a successful career, buying their dream home with a two year old, and a second on the way, David was so inspired by the book Team Of Rivals and the story of Abraham Lincoln and started considering joining the military. After seeking counsel from several uncles who served he chose to enlist in the Air force.  After much prayer and conversation with his wife David enlisted. On the second night of basic he actually broke down and cried, questioning if this was really where he was supposed to be. He woke up the next morning, said a prayer and told God, "okay, this is where you wanted me to be" from then on out he actually loved basic training. After wrapping up basic training, his wife moved down to Texas to live near base so David wouldn't have to miss the birth of their second child. After their second was born and David was working his way through technical school. He said even with everything going on it was such a happy time for his family. He said he attributes this to a philosophy he lives by that was taught to him by his parents. "Choose the right and let the consequences follow." He said we were doing what felt right, and he felt that God blessed them to handle hard things. We were going through experiences that helped us grow, I was becoming a better person. What did you learn from your Air Force experience that has equipped you as a father? Understanding sacrifice. In his role as an Air Force psychologist, David worked with people who were coming back from deployment, or had lost kids back home or were going through divorce, and just seeing what they were going through to serve was super impact. Additionally he realized how faulty our first impressions can be. He said when people would come into his office he would make a snap judgement as to who they are and why they're struggling. And he said "I was wrong almost every single time. I came to the strong realization that people are struggling in ways that I can't understand and I need to give them the benefit of the doubt. Just love them and serve them." David is the oldest of seven kids and learned from his father what it means to incorporate your children into your decision making. When David was nine years old his father, who is an artist, brought the family together and presented the family with a choice. The family was barely living above poverty at the time and his dad told the family he could either remain an artist and the flexibility that comes along with it, or he could pursue another career and earn more money. The family  "Kids don't even know that a box exists yet" "We can teach our kids to solve interesting problems." David says when his kids come to him with problems he asks them to bring three solutions. David's youngest was born just a month before he left the Air Force. The birth was the easiest of their four children. Shortly after her birth it was discovered that, through David's insistence, that their baby's lactose was severely high and her sugar levels were severely low. Doctors didn't know what was causing it. And his wife and their newborn were sent to Riley. They ran numerous tests but couldn't identify the issue. David said a blessing and the next morning her levels began to balance. They've never discovered what caused the issue or resolved it. Fear took over faith and I prayed out of desperation. But that's what we needed. No matter what you may be going through there's a lot of opportunity to help in life. Email David Follow On LinkedIn
July 09, 2020
"Growing Out Of Your Comfort Zone" with Troy Wingler
Troy is the father of 3 girls aged 8 through 16, plus a 15 year girl foreign exchange student from Spain. He's the Global Product Manager, Engineering Manager, Field Product Specialist and now Global Product Manager for the Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Division at Cook Medical where he's worked for 22 years. And for the last six years he's run the All Pro Dad's program at his kids' school. In addition to running his schools chapter he's helped start many other chapters in Southern Indiana. All Pro Dad is a program that makes it easy for dad's and other male role models to engage with their children and be involved . All Pro Dad was founded over twenty years by Tony Dungy. Troy says All Pro Dads has given him a group of men to bounce ideas off and turn to for advice and guidance. It's enabled to get more involved in the schools and easier to get plugged in with the community and get to know many of the local leaders. Troy is also  hosting a foreign exchange  student. Troy talks about how difficult it would be for him and how fortunate he feels to get to host one of his coworkers. And how challenging it would be for him to send one of his daughters abroad for a year. He's really focused on getting Paula as much experience as possible. She's playing volleyball, which is something his daughters weren't really interested in so it's been cool for him to experience. Troy has been luck to work for a family oriented company. The motto from the founder remains strong to this day. "Take care of the company so the company can take care of you and your family."  He shares what he's learned from his work that he's applied to his life and shared with his family. "You gotta fail to move forward." "More time is lost to indecision than the wrong decision." When he travels he regularly sends texts and leaves notes at home to stay engaged with his kids. Be strong. Be involved. Love your family well. Get on their level. Look 'em in the eye and tell them how important they are." Connect with Troy at
June 25, 2020
Fathers Day 2020!
2020 has been a wild year. I think there's more reflection in 2020 than many of us have done in our lives.  Evaluating priorities. How we spend our time. How we earn our living. What is that really matters to us and our families. On this fathers day. A quick backstory on fathers day! And this really funny clip of LBJ ordering pants.
June 18, 2020
"Another Layer Of Compassion" with David Harding
David Harding is the father of three. David's oldest son, Grant, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was only two years old. When Grant was diagnosed, David had just started a new career in insurance only six months before Grant was diagnosed. After Grant was diagnosed, David spent so much time at the hospital and felt called to become a nurse. He enrolled in nursing school and pursued that calling.  He says his experience as a parent has enabled him to better relate to his patients. In 2018 David's second child, Berkeley, contracted ecoli and went into kidney failure. She was an inpatient at Riley Children's Hospital for almost a month.  From going these experiences David has moved forward with another level of compassion. Having gone through two situations in which their kid's could have died. David says he has another level appreciation. When asked how it gets through it all David Says, "I'm not that special. You just step up and get through it. That's what moms and dads do." LinkedIn Facebook  
June 11, 2020
Evolving Through Empathy with Cory Rich
Cory is the father of two boys through adoption. Knox, age 5, and Ames, age 2. They struggled to conceive and began doing fertility treatment without success. This led them to accepting invitro. However, when they were on the drive home from the fertility they received a  call from a nurse at the facility who told them they'd found an ulcer on his wife's uterus. And, while it's very treatable, it would delay their process another six months. Cory is the co-founder of the new SaaS company Evolv Leadership Technologies. Episode highlights: -Instilling a sense of confidence in his boys to go after what they want. And the bed time routine that he uses. Cory "Remember you can" Knox "Be and do  and have whatever I want" Cory "Why?" Knox "Because I am a Child of God" -Be guided by your faith. There's no difference between faith and business. The activity's may be different. But our foundation and morals are the same. If I'm doing things in my business that aren't consistent with my faith then I'm not really living out my faith. -Creating a culture of diversity in the work place and wanting to empower his employee's to identify and employ their own strengths has carried over into his fatherhood journey. He's taken what he's learned about empowering others in the workplace and is using it to harness his own helicopter parenting tendencies. Fatherly Advice From Cory: Put your family first. Be a fantastic husband, a fantastic father, and everything else in business will fall into place.  
May 21, 2020
"Keeping It Real: From Rapper To Sales Leader" With Brad Ton
Brad Ton has had what most would consider an atypical career path. And an atypical family. But he wouldn't want it any other way. Brad is the proud father of two children aged 6 and 6 weeks. And two amazing step children age 20 and 17. Being a red headed step child himself, Brad understands his role as a step father is unique. Before Brad became a father he was the rapper Brad Real. Brad started 8729 Records and dedicated 7 years of his life to being a professional rapper. He performed shows all over the Midwest and released 4 albums. By pursuing his dream Brad was able to get really clear about who is and be really authentic in every situation. As a result of having had that experience and getting clear about who he is as a person he's able to better connect with his children and step children. When they're acting out or struggling, he's become better able to ask questions. To recognize that their behavior is modeled after his own. And with that humility he acknowledges that he struggles with similar things and encourages them to take it as a challenge to overcome with grace. Brad shares about his experience during quarantine and how impactful meditation has been in his life. And how he uses journaling in a unique way. Every morning he writes out "I am" statement.  Claire makes a quick cameo to close things out! What fuels Brad's fire? Serving other people. Last piece of advice: Meet your kids where they are. Don't be assumptive. Ask questions. Be honest with your kids about what scares you. This episode is 26 minutes of PURE FIRE! Connect with Brad LinkedIn Brad Real Music Fatherhood On Fire Two Mile Stroller Challenge Here's how it works. Each week in May submit your fastest 2 mile stroller run. You'll be able to edit the form, so come back and add to it each week. Each Week the top 10 fastest times will score points accordingly. 1st place = 10 pts. 10th place = 1 pt. At the end of Week 4 the runner with the most points will be crowned the Stroller Champion Of The Quarantine! Week 1: Sunday, May 3 - Saturday, May 9 Week 2: Sunday, May 10 - Saturday, May 16 Week 3: Sunday, May 17 - Saturday, May 23 Week 4: Sunday, May 24 - Saturday, May 30
May 07, 2020
COVID, Quarantine, and Parenting: The Heat Check with Ryan
Ryan comes at you solo in only the second Heat Check of the year to give you his thoughts on COVID-19, Quarantine, and Family.
April 23, 2020
"Like Father, Like Son" with Owner and Managing Broker of Rise Real Estate, Jon Bell
Jon Bell joined his fathers real estate firm Mint2Sell Realty in 2011 when he graduated College. He said the opportunity to work alongside his father was a great experience. It enabled them to grow their relationship both professionally and personally. In early 2020 Jon took over the firm and formed Rise Real Estate as the managing partner with his business partners. Being a young business owner, Jon says having a supportive wife in both his professional ambitions and his participation at home with the family is critical. It's good that he likes to work and his wife supports that but she ensures Jon knows he's needed at home. Having young girls Jon, recognizes that his girls are only young once and trying to take advantage of that while they are young is important. Jon always envisioned going into business with his dad. They started Mint2Sell Realty in 2009 at the bottom of the Great Recession. Because of that they worked really hard to get off the ground. Doing a lot of bank owned deals and foreclosures is tough in the real estate industry, but it's where Jon was able to get his start.  They expected that at some point Jon would take over the firm. In October 2019 they recognized that Jon's ability to recruit other agents was limited without being in a managing position. Jon says it was actually his dad who recognized that need first and put the transition into motion. Within a matter of months they had successfully transitioned the business to Jon who in turn brought on partners to help grow and manage the firm.  When Jon talks with his oldest about what she might do when she gets older she says "a dog walker, a baptize lady, a dentist, and a realtor." Very ambitious. Now that Jon is a business owner he's leveraging the strengths of his business partners to distribute the needs of the business so he can keep his priorities in line. His wife provides both encouragement and constructive criticism. Having kids has made him more efficient with his time. And now he recognizes that he can't just answer the phone any time. Faith in the workplace has always been #1 at Rise and Mint2Sell Realty. One of the ways they set the tone is by praying before company gatherings and before each meal. For him and most people in the work place they believe faith comes first, then family, then business. Really that began with his father who was a pastor as a second job when Jon was growing up. Most important about incorporating his faith into his career is leading by example. For Jon that means ensuring to the best of his ability that he's never showing homes alone with another woman. When he works with a client who's a single woman he encourages them to bring along a friend. Or he'll bring his daughter Kinsley along. If the situation does come up that he's showing homes alone he ensures he over communicates with his wife Lindsey to let her know the situation. This becomes another way that Jon can share his faith. What does it mean to lead by example? Maintaining integrity in tough situations. It's not about not getting angry, that's going to happen. It's about handling yourself with integrity and not blowing your top. Carrying yourself in a manner inspires trust an confidence. These are some of the biggest things that Jon was able to learn from starting his career with his father and that he now implements as he leads the next generation of brokers. Most important to Jon is guarding his integrity and it is an area where he admits he'll get mad if someone challenges his integrity. His dad worked a lot but he was intentional in carving out time. Jon and his dad were in a bowling league every Wednesday night and then get Applebee's Words Of Wisdom: Your kids are only their age once. Shut down the phone. End your work day. Spend your time wisely. 
April 09, 2020
"Verbalize That Fear, Identify It, And Face It Together" with Marty Samples
Our guest today is Marty Samples. He's been married to his wife Beth for thirty eight years. He has two adult daughters. Leah, who's a PhD. candidate at Penn for history. Hannah, who's an Accounting Manager at Cummins.  Marty's career began in ministry, mostly working with high-risk kids. This was mostly a reflection of the type of environment he grew up in which was very challenging. And he wanted to work with kids who really needed an environment of love, support, and encouragement. Marty says working in ministry with at-risk youth and in reflecting on his own childhood, he recognized the need for a loving and supportive environment. This was his number one priority as a father to create a loving and supportive environment. And to make sure his daughters felt loved and experienced love in our home. Over the course of the years the church communities provided love and support at critical times. One of the most important things about fatherhood is to be a student of your child's design. As Marty reflects on his daughters growth and achievement he shares that it's a privilege to be their father. We talk to Marty about making a career transition in 2003 just have the tech bubble burst and what lessons from the past he's applying to the current situation with corona virus and the economic uncertainty. And also the challenges personally of transitioning from full time ministry and being a leader in the church and now a volunteer it was challenging to make that transition in that environment. And then on the other side, moving out of a working environment in which everyone shared the same faith, core beliefs, and similar lifestyle into auto sports marketing which had various lifestyles was really challenging. He said he sometimes made mistakes and sometimes made the right decision. The biggest challenge is maintaining your own belief system. Marty talks about the parallels between ministry and professional leadership. Being a good leader means empowering people to be their best self and being a student of their design. And also remembering that you're learning from your team and their teaching you how to coach and how to empower. Good leaders are the ones who don't feel they always have to be right, but are really helping others succeed. Marty shares his own struggles with anxiety and the reality of anxiety. He says in the current situation you'd have to be almost totally unaware not to be afraid and anxious to an extent. Being responsible about the things we can control and being content in the things we can control. But the other thing is staying connected, even if virtually. It's really reassuring to stay connected to your family and friends and draw encouragement from one another. The hard part is bottling it up, then you're dealing with it alone. "Being able to verbalize that fear, I am afraid." Marty shares what he's done throughout his life and career to manage his anxiety. The big thing is being able to share his anxiety with friends and family after years of bottling it up and hiding it. He says being able to identify and name your fear has been great. We dive into how Marty navigates sharing his anxiety in the workplace and how he's learning to be more transparent. He says good leaders are factual and straight forward when they share their anxieties. It's not just unloading your fears on others, but sharing with people honestly about the challenges you're facing together. Final words of wisdom: As a dad be vulnerable about your own brokenness. Helping them understand that you're not perfect. While at the same time creating an environment of love and acceptance where they can grow up to be who they were designed to be. Be a student of your child's design and celebrate their differences. Connect with Marty: LinkedIn
April 03, 2020
"The Reason My Kids Still Have A Father" with Founder of Be Like Bill, Jeff Utzinger
Jeff Utzinger is a father of three the founder of Be Like Bill and a survivor of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. In 2017 Jeff experienced Sudden Cardiac Arrest while out for a typical run in his neighborhood.  He was lucky that Bill Schlies, an (at the time) unknown neighbor saw him lifeless on the ground and stopped. Bill called 911 who walked him through 4 minutes of CPR until a local cop showed up with an AED that shocked his heart back into rhythm.   The unknowns for that day around whether or not he was going to ever wake up and if he did, not knowing what his mental state would be is something we can't imagine his family and kids living through. Jeff says, "This has obviously changed me and how I view being a father - and it's the simple things that I appreciate more:  watching them play sports, have success in the class room, getting to see my daughter in her prom dress, and the list goes on.  Everyone always asks how I'm one ever asks my wife and kids - I have no memory of the event or the week in the hospital...they're the ones who lived through it, and I know it's impacted them as well - remembering and being empathetic to this has become a big focal point for me and my relationship with them." Since that day Jeff has gone onto start the organization Be Like Bill.  We got to talk with Jeff about that day. Statistically speaking there's a 97% chance that Jeff should be dead. His experience is what's called an Jeff talks about the impact this experience has had on his family and his kids. For him he was totally unconscious, he says "I had the easy job." His wife and kids had to live through it. While he was unconscious they had to live through the trauma of not knowing if he was going to wake up, when he was going to wake up, and what his mentality capabilities would be. Since the the doctors weren't sure how long Jeff had been down before Bill began CPR they didn't know how long his brain had been without oxygen. Jeff says when he finally did wake he was really frustrated with the situation. He didn't know what was going on and felt really agitated being so disoriented and the cause of so much concern for his family. As he worked through the grieving and acceptance process Jeff began to move past "why did this happen medically?" and move into "why did this event happen spiritually and how am I supposed to use it?" Being a better father and husband absolutely has to be one of them. Now he focuses on the quality of the time he gets. We all see tragedy everyday and then we see motivational posters and we got back on the hamster wheel. But don't let it take something like that to live with gratitude. "If somebody's going to save your life, it's good that you want to hang out with them." Bill and Jeff still get together to this day. And his family loves Bill, but seeing him does bring back hard memories and emotions from Jeff's experience for his family.  Don't ever wish you didn't do the things you know you should. Jeff had his Sudden Cardiac Arrest 200 yards from his daughter who was nannying at a neighbors. Be Like Bill is about being a person who jumps in everyday to be a good person, a good friend, a good father. Bill represents that person who puts others first. We live in a litigious society, but jump in. Do what's right. Be Like Bill Facebook Buy "Be Like Bill" Shirts. Email:
March 26, 2020
"Doing Hard Stuff With Cool People" with Marcus Hall, President and Partner of California Closets.
Marcus Hall is a father of twin four year olds. The President and Partner of California Closets. He serves on the Board Of Directors for Edge Mentoring. And an emerging ultra runner. He and his wife went from zero to two kids right out of the gate. Quickly learned that discipline is key and got good support from family friends. But like any good dad you just gotta get in the trenches and get your hands dirty sometimes literally. Shortly after his girls were born Marcus took on a new professional challenge in a leadership role at California Closets where he's now the President and Partner.  He says there's no secret or playbook just "A weekly sequence of mistakes that I try to improve on daily."  Key for him is being cognizant of the whole person that is Marcus. He recognizes that without that awareness a bad day at home becomes a day at the office and vice versa. Maintaining consistent communication at home and at work is integral. He knows there are times hes got to be all in at work and times hes got to be all in at home. And setting boundaries. In his house dinner at six is important and he always makes the effort to be home for that even if sometimes his obligations don't allow that happen the effort and communication is there. Marcus's career path has been unusual by most standards, but it's a testament to having an open handed mindset to opportunities as they arise. From sports marketing, to software, to custom closets, Marcus has created success by being open to opportunities in the situation at hand. Having had an unusual career path himself, it's enabled him to be more open to the reality that there's really only so much we can control in our children's lives and ultimately they're unique individuals. Having twins means recognizing their individuality is even that much more important. No matter what his kids interests are, right now they're really into dance theater, it's about helping them explore that passion and facilitate opportunities to scratch that itch. We go on to talk about the role mentoring and development in the household. Marcus compares it to his work in professionally mentoring and how much effort and intent goes into professional development, but rarely do we put down on paper how we want to love our kids and in what areas we want to pour into them. This is an area I know we all struggle with and Marcus encourages us to avoid the comparison trap. The reality is we probably are doing a great providing experiences and love for our kids, but if we can't get ourselves out of the comparison trap we don't recognize how good we are doing. Marcus also talks about his running journey and jumping from the half marathon distance to a 50k race. Just taking the mindset of "Doing Hard Stuff With Cool People" Marcus once shared with me the concept of "first fruits." He recognizes that it's not easy to do that each day and how fortunate he is to have a "high capacity spouse" who can run so many aspects of their household and is blessed with high attention to detail. Being intentional to start his day with the things that fill him up. Spending time reading the bible. Journaling both gratitude and stream of conscious prayers. Getting in some physical activity. Spending time with Christ in the morning knowing that the rest of his day will spent pouring out to his 51 team members and then immediately tagging in at home "blocking and tackling" his girls so his wife can finish up dinner. Last words of advice: "Don't be to hard on ourselves. Have some level of intent. Go thank your spouse. Write love letters to your kids for them to have as an artifact when you leave this earth." LinkedIn
March 19, 2020
"Ministry Starts At Home" with Campus Pastor David Cupp
David Cupp is the Campus Pastor for Traders Point Christian Church West Campus. Before becoming a Campus Pastor in 2016, David had been a teacher and basketball coach for 17 years. This was a power packed interview in which David shares his love for God and how that drives every other facet of his life. Show highlights: Men searching for more: David discusses how men are pouring themselves into their work, thinking that’s their job. Providing really comfortable lives for their families and safe places for their kids but feeling like there’s so much more. And he says when we see men really engaged, really leading their household in the church that’s when things take off. If the head of the household leads the family will follow. Career change: It wasn't discontent in his teaching profession. Just felt like God was calling me to something else. Now when he meets who express similar feelings he asks "are you going suppress this or are you going to lean into the Spirit?" David has a great story about becoming the Campus Pastor at Traders Point West. When the executive pastor initially asked he said "Immediately turned him down. Because I felt I wasn’t qualified. Something I never wanted to do." When he got home and told his wife she had tears in her eyes and told him. “I didn’t know you were this prideful.” Pride?! This isn't pride, I disqualified myself. To which she replied "This isn’t are you qualified. This is, is God able to do it through you." I hope we're all so blessed to have a spouse who speak that kind of wisdom to us. Being a Campus Pastor for his kids: David wants to ensure that his kids love Christ more, not less, because of his job. So his family sets boundaries so they are able to participate in the church to their comfort without feeling pressure to be everything to everyone. Evening meetings have been hardest on his youngest daughter, so before he leaves he takes the time to explain to her why it's important rather than just walking out the door. I know that's a habit I'm working to develop and I think we will all benefit from incorporating. Nicaragua Mission Trips: David's been going to Nicaragua for 9 years now. In that time he's learned that the Great Commission isn't a command but rather a gift. When we talked about how he makes the logistics work, PTO, time away from family, etc, he put bluntly. "There's a lot of really good reasons not to do a lot of really good things." Establish a mindset of what's the purpose. God is calling of us to something uncomfortable, something out of routine. You've got to lead your family to understand why you’re going and having those conversation. To connect with David you can email him at To learn more about Traders Point Christian Church check out To learn more about David's upcoming Nicaragua mission and support CLICK HERE
March 05, 2020
New Year, New Job, New Baby, New Focus for FOF! Heat Check with Ryan
Lots of changes going on for Fatherhood On Fire! For Ryan personally, we're expecting our second baby! Ryan started a new job! And FOF is honing in on what matters most. Faith, Family, Career, and Fitness. We'll focus on harmonizing those aspects of our lives and how we do that as fathers and parents. Spread The Fire!
February 27, 2020
"This Is My Life's Work!" Developing A Family Dream Team and Marketplace Ministry with Coach D
Darrell "Coach D" Andrews is an business and personal coach, hes spoken for international corporations, been the keynote for national conferences, a published author, a philanthropist, a father, high energy, and still a humble man of God. There's so much we pack into this interview. Coach D shares his four pillars for building an all-star family. He talks about his son's journey into graphic design and how he and his wife leveraged their available resources and networks to aid his son on that journey.  Easy win: hire a college student to tutor or coach your kid. One hour a month for $15-$20 is a steal. We talk about Marketplace Ministry and how Coach D uses his platform to draw people closer to him and glorify God. Connect with Coach D Coach D Speaks LinkedIn
February 20, 2020
"They'll Know You're Faking It" with Dad Tired founder, Jerrad Lopes
This weeks episode is with the found of the Dad Tired ministry Jerrad Lopes. We talk about his journey to start Dad Tired, his new book Dad Tired And Loving It: Stumbling Your Way To Spiritual Leadership. We get an inside scoop on his next book and a behind the scenes look at what to expect from the Dad Tired conferences. Learn more about Dad Tired Buy the book Leave Fatherhood On Fire a Voice Message To Share encouragement on an upcoming episode.
January 25, 2020
"I Can Never Let Anyone Down...Ever" with Owner of Wolferich Insurance Eric Rich
Eric grew up with his Mom and Grandmother.  Six month's prior to Eric's birth his grandfather passed away. So his grandma decided to go back to college and his mother decided to go back to school as well. For the first eight years of his life he spent a lot of time between babysitters and occasionally even going to college with his mother when they couldn't find a sitter. She juggled two jobs and would often wake Eric up late at night to say I love you after a long shift. Eric's biological father was an addict and an abusive father and abusive towards Eric's mother. As a young man he didn't quite understand it, but he knew when "the man with mustache" came around it wasn't going to be good. Having not grown up with a strong father figure in his life, Eric really struggled envying other families that seemed to have it all together. Now that he has four kids of his own he reflects back on those feelings and how hard his mom worked to provide for him as motivation to be engaged and deliberate with his kids. Balance has become a new focus for Eric. He recognized that work was dominating his life and his wife, kids, and God were getting the left overs. It stems from the feeling that he can't ever let anyone down, ever.  Because of his childhood experience growing up with a father whose an addict, abuser, and deserter, he's swung the pendulum so far the opposite direction to ensure no one ever see's him in that light. So focusing on balancing his time hasn't meant so much his schedule as much his attitude and focus. To be deliberate and ensure that though time is limited, he doesn't focus on quantity but the quality of the time with his kids is high. He's on their level, he's listening. And learning to say no. We talk about Eric's choice to get baptized as an adult and the health scare that led him to that decision. Earlier this year Eric had a biopsy done that indicated he could be looking at the early stages of lymphoma. The fear of dying became very real in that moment. After seeing another specialist and enduring a battery of tests the doctor concluded that the cancer was benign and issued Eric a clean bill of health. During all this time Eric continued to praise God and trust in him. After weathering this health scare he decided to get baptized and wanted to publicly declare his faith in Christ. He says doing so raised his family's awareness of Christ and opened an opportunity to grow closer to Christ. Eric accepts that his number one responsibility on this earth is to point his wife and family and towards Christ. Final advice: "Don't be so hard on yourself" Find two to three other fathers that you can reach out to for support and encouragement and most importantly to share when you feel like you're maybe not being a great dad. Cell - 765.810.8935 Wolferich Insurance Season 1 Episode 21
January 17, 2020
Paging Dr. Lucas... You're A Father
This is the first of an ongoing series for Fatherhood On Fire. Dr. Tyler Lucas is expecting his first born when we first connect with him. We talk about the pregnancy. How his experience as a doctor, particularly his rotation in an OBGYN unit, impacted how he approached the pregnancy and his impending fatherhood. And discuss what his expectations were for fatherhood.  Three days after our first interview his daughter Nora was born. So we decided to reconnect a month after to see how things are going and get the predictions on the next five months. We're going to be checking in with Dr. Tyler regularly on his fatherhood journey to see how things are going. After the interview Tyler and I got to chatting about triathlon and there's some great stuff so you get a little behind the scene looks this week. We talk lots of triathlon. Tyler and Nora's first bicyle ride on the indoor trainer. Prepping for Nora's first overnight away from home. And talking race schedules as fathers in the prime of our peak performance years. We talk... dun dun dun... running strollers. Putting Claire in the running stroller and running to Wal-Mart. DISCLAIMER reference the manufacturers recommendations regarding, age, weight, and all things safety. 
January 08, 2020
Turning the hose on 2019. Get the torch for 2020!
2019 Year In Review Spend a couple hours 2-3 reflecting and writing on 2019. While I didn't feel the sense of accomplishment I strive for I recognized how many great lessons I can take from 2019 to set 2020 ON FIRE! 3 Interviews that had MASSIVE impact on me in 2019. 1) David Cupp "Ministry Starts At Home" - I had to ask myself, "am I really walking with the lord? Or just going through the motions?" Lots of introspection followed and more honest conversations with myself about where I'm at on my faith journey. 2) Jason Barnaby "Getting Unstuck" -  what really lights my fire and how can better incorporate that into my career. Who's in my tribe and how do I better connect with them. Answer Fire Starters Inc. FREE Ignite Your New Year Course. 5 straight forward exercises to help you get clarity on your passion, your tribe, and what lights your fire. 3) Ryan Miller "Building A Foundation For Fulfillment" -  Forced me to reflect on my identity and get clear about my identity and the habits I need to build in my life to be true to my identity. 2019 was an awesome year full of ups and down. I'm grateful for everything I learned. But I'm ready to get the hose and put the flame out 2019 and get the torch out and set 2020 ON FIRE!
December 31, 2019
"Mom Guilt and Mental Load" with Meredith Bodgas, Editor-In-Chief of Working Mother
Meredith Bodgas is the Editor-In-Chief of Working Mother. She's our first woman guest on Fatherhood On Fire and she brings the heat!  We talk about Working Mother's 2019 Best Companies For Dad's 2019. What it took to make this years list and what steps ANY company regardless of size and resources can do to help father's find better work/life rhythm. We talk the "mental load." All the remembering that it takes to get parenting done. With 70% of American mother's working full time it's no longer feasible for the mother to carry the entire mental load. The best way for fathers to help is just start. If you're worried you're going to do it wrong ask before hand or ask for feedback after the fact. But just start! We talk about "mom guilt" and how we as father's can help alleviate "mom guilt" and help. Often "mom guilt" is a result of feeling that not enough is getting done. To combat that be specific. Offer your wife to take a nap or watch some TV while you take care of the dishes. So she knows something is getting done around the house and it's okay for her to take some time. We talk about "trendy self care" and over coming the pressure to make self care another to-do list item that doesn't really bring rest and restoration. Plus me embarrassing myself on how terrible I am at every topic. Check out Working Mother Follow Meredith on LinkedIn Email Meredith at
December 17, 2019
"Simplify To Mitigate Your Risk" with Jay Gabrani founder of Prepared Fathers
Jay Gabrani is the found of Prepared Fathers.  He's the father of three children, an entrepreneur, and a real estate investor. When his wife unexpectedly passed away in 2014 he was left as the executor to her will. Believing that his accounting education and entrepreneurial background had equipped him for this role he was shocked to find how challenging it was for him. On top of navigating the loss of his wife and becoming a single dad over night there were so many unknowns with her accounts, safety deposit keys, etc. Jay began to ask himself what would have happened to his family if the situation had been reversed and his wife and kids were left to navigate the finances on their own. He reach out to other fathers to ask what might be. Were they prepare? Would their families have unnecessary hurdles that could be avoided? We talk with Jay about the low hanging fruit that you can take action on today. Jay gives advice on how to instill sound financial habits in your children. His policy is that half of every dollar they earn or receive goes into savings. Once it grows large enough they invest it and the kids are involved in where it gets invested. His kids all do lemonade stands. Not because they make a bunch of money but because they learn about buying and selling things. He encourages his kids to embrace technology and the opportunities there. His kids buy and sell things on Kijiji, a Canadian classifieds website. It's not about making money, it's about learning the skills of buying and selling. We talk about investing. He shares timeless advice and encourages us to ignore the trends and choose the investment vehicles that make sense for your lifestyle and your family. Does it interest you? Do you have the time to nurture it? Are you able to educate yourself so as to minimize the risk? Get your free Father's Guide To Financial Preparation Check out Prepared Fathers for all their resources. Email Jay directly with questions
December 12, 2019
Reconciliation, Crisis of Faith, and a Bicycle with Scott Paciorek
Scott Paciorek brings a unique perspective to fatherhood. He has two adult daughters from a previous marriage and new a 10 year old son with his wife. His wife encouraged him to reach out and forgive his wife which he says "immediately lifted the weight of the world off". Afterwards his wife said, now it's time for you to rebuild your relationship with your daughters. Assuming that they would want nothing to do with him he was hesitant. His wife, who came from a separated home, told him he just had to reach out and be consistent in his communication. Scott, compares the reconciliation process to growing a plant. You have to start by throwing the seed out there. And be continuous and purposeful in your communication even though you're not seeing anything develop on the surface yet. You have to trust that there's activity working underneath until the plant is ready to sprout and face the world. Scott and his wife experienced the lost of a child 18 weeks into their pregnancy. It was a devastating loss that led Scott to challenge God and ready to give up his faith. His wife said to him, "you are the leader of our house. As you go, I'll go." It was in that moment that Scott realized his responsibility as a man of God is so much more than himself. Scott and Serlena were able to conceive again and welcomed their son Timothy, "The Goalkeeper" earlier than expected. He says it was prayer and the strength of his community that kept him going. Being in an interracial relationship, Scott talks about the the challenges and the comments they've had to endure. He talks about now raising Timothy and how they're able to discuss those things openly. Finally, Scott shares about how a bicycle changed his life. He was at a point where he was overweight, taking 9 different pills a day, and had just accepted that this was his fate. One day he went out and bought a bicycle, rode 2 miles, and has been hooked ever since. He says his diabetes is in check, his weight is manageable, and he only takes one pill a day. A great episode for anyone experiencing fracture in their family, crisis of faith, and in need of encouragement.
November 26, 2019
Building A Foundation For Fulfillment with Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller is a coach to high performers (and aspiring ones). Host of the Exsellence Mindset podcast. Founder of Fit Health. And Executive Pastor of For His Glory Community Church. Ryan brings the heat! We talk about Servant Leadership at home. The challenges he had to overcome to be the leader he wants to be at home. We dive deep into the social media post that caused me to reach out to Ryan as a guest. Ryan's oldest daughter, in her senior year, was informed she was going to play on the JV Water Polo. After the initial anger subsided she made the very mature decision to step back from water polo and focus on swimming which she is stronger at and expects to finish well at. She took the extra step to sit down individually with each of her coaches and explain her thought process around her decision and express her gratitude to them. Both coaches said it was the first time a student athlete had ever had such a conversation with them. What we can take away from this as fathers: Give your children time to work through those situations instead of forcing them to make a decision when we want them to make it. It happened because their household celebrates effort over outcomes. As a result they're able to identify the leading indicators for why things are or are not going the way we hoped them to. By them as parents demonstrating their commitment to reward and punish based on effort not outcomes allows their kids to test the waters and figure these things out instead of the fear of "I did or did not make the team." Laying that foundation as parents has produced really great results in times like this. AND that means as adults in the house we need to set the same standards for ourselves. At the beginning of 2019, for the first time in more than 10 years, Ryan decided not to write down any goals. He chose instead to focus on who he wanted to be as a person, based on the identity below above, and focus on the habits that lead to fulfillment of that identity. 10 Habits Read Everyday- First thing in the morning: Bible, current events, books that make him a better Christian, husband, father, coach, or consultant. Work out 5 days a week - focus first on health, then improvement, then achievement. Sleep a minimum of 7 hours a night. Meditate 10 minutes per week. Make good food choices - limit sugar, junk food, and alcohol. Date wife twice per month. Invest or save a minimum amount of money each month.  Give a minimum amount of money each month. Create high value content 5 days per week for business owners and sales people. Invest in myself through personal and professional development.  Personal Identity -  Christian Husband Father Friend Athlete Pastor Business Leader Instagram LinkedIn Tik Tok @rjmsalespro Fit Health
November 19, 2019
Getting "unstuck" with Fire Starters Inc. Founder, Jason Barnaby
On this episode we connect with the founder of Firestarters Inc., Jason Barnaby.  Jason talks about starting a family in Poland. How 9/11 impacted his family. The decision to home school and long distance calling plans. We talk about his company Firestarters Inc. how he helps people get unstuck, find their fire, and fan their flame.  We discuss the importance of Tribe. Who's in your tribe? What roles should be in your tribe? And how to "hire" your Tribe.  Check out Firestarters Inc.  Connect with Jason on social media:  LinkedIn Facebook Instagram
November 15, 2019
"Those Are My Feet" discussing adoption with James Sells
This episode's guest is James Sells. He shares the story of he and his wife adopting their youngest daughter, Sophia. It's a really powerful story of how God works in our hearts and the challenges that adoptive children and families face. And the understanding that can help us support them. "God had placed an ability in my heart to connect with kids. No matter what area they were in." This instilled in him a belief that he could love an adoptive child just as much as a biological child. It was early on his life that he began to see the need for children without parents and he felt he could do that. One year during Adoption Month, in November, a couple came to his church to speak about international special needs adoption. This reignited the fire in James' heart to adopt. So he asked his wife. At this point they had two young boys and she was not interested in bringing another toddler into their house. So he prayed to God to work in heart if adoption was something that was supposed to be part of their life.  Each year following the adoption message at church he'd ask his wife. And each year the answer was NO. On the fifth year, before asking, he told himself this would be the last time. Expecting another no, he turned to ask his wife and began rolling over before she could answer. To his surprise she said yes. The next day they called Bethany Christian Services to begin the process. James expected a quick placement, maybe two weeks. It actually wound up taking two years for them to get a placement. It turns out that most mothers prefer to place their children with parents who don't already have children for fear that their child wouldn't be loved as much. While disheartening to hear, James could understand the perception. Finally they got a call to come to the office, having been two years they had grown discouraged and expected it was to update some paperwork. The mood quickly changed when the social worker said "I think we've got a match for you." James saw the feet on the birth certificate and told his wife, "those are my feet." When asked how adoption has changed his approach to fatherhood James said, it hasn't really changed his approach to fatherhood much. Because he loves Sophia like his own. He says he'll have moments when he'll be reminded that she's not biologically his and it come as a bit of a shock each time. What adoption has done is changed his approach to everyone else. He says "If I can adopt her into my heart as if she's mine, I can do that with any other human being." James talks about the struggles and challenges they face as an adoptive family. When they hear "You're not my Mom and Dad. My Mom loves me." The fear of having to see their daughter go through the emotional pain of feeling inadequate or abandoned by her biological mother. And knowing that all they can do is love her through it and pray for her. You can email James at Indiana Adoption Program Bethany Christian Services
November 05, 2019
12. "The 'Stache Life" with International Mustache Competitor, Josh Summerlot
Josh was the 5th place finisher at the 2017 World Beard and Mustache Competition in Austin, TX. His daughter, Poppy, was born at the end of 2018 and Josh missed the 2019 competition in Belgium. We talk with Josh about the 2021 World championship in New Zealand and the decision process he and his wife are going through. Josh is traveling enthusiast and a bit of a thrill seeker. New Zealand has been a bucket list destination for a long time and being host to the 2021 Championship it is very enticing to go. However, it would be an expensive trip. Although his wife, Chelsea, would be all on board for the trip he says there is still a sense of selfishness about dragging the whole family across the world so he can compete in a mustache contest. To learn more about the facial hair community check out the North American Competitive Beard And Mustache Alliance. Josh gives us the inside scoop on No Shave November which raises awareness and funds for cancer prevention and research. As well as Movember whose tag-line is Grow A Mo, Save A Bro. Movember raises fund and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, as well as mental health and suicide prevention. We also discuss Josh's approach towards fatherhood and the internal competition we all face to both spend time with our family and fulfill the role as provider. Josh shares that his father was around but did work a lot and often wasn't able to be present with the family. He says now becoming a father he's realizing that he draws on this past experience to fulfill provider role more than he previously realized.  He talks about the impact it would have when his dad was able to show up for his little league games. And the feeling that we would get to play harder. That he needed to step up, needed to show dad that he could do this. He felt like he had to work harder for his dad's approval, to impress him, so that his dad would see that he could hold his own. In that void Josh got to spend a lot of time with one his friends fathers and their family. Who took Josh to his first Red's baseball game and would all go fishing together. But furthermore, Josh got to see his friends parents as total people. He got to witness them resolve arguments as well as love each other. Discipline together and parent on the same page. When they weren't on the same page they could work through it quickly. 
October 29, 2019
"Sacrifice" with 2nd Lieutenant, Kevin Whitehead
This episode's guest is Kevin Whitehead. He's a new father to a 3 month old boy, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Indiana National Guard, a school psychologist, a PhD. Candidate in Counseling Psychology at IU Blooming ton. Key insights: How having Ellis radically changed his approach to military service. Opportunities and limitations in school psychology. The romanticism vs. reality of fatherhood. School psychology's primary responsibility is to evaluate children who may benefit from Special Education instruction. Unfortunately, the opportunities to treat children for other psychological issues, such as depression or anxiety, is severely limited in the school setting. The limitations and inability to fully counsel the students is what led Kevin to seek his PhD. in Counseling Psychology. However, most schools are unable to provide PhD. level counseling services. If you believe your child would benefit from school psychology services, but they aren't currently available. Simply write a letter to your child's school. In the state of Indiana the school is legally obligated to reply within ten school days. We also discuss Kevin's military service. He enlisted in September 2014 and actually found basic training to be quite fun. He decided to become a commissioned officer. Choosing the state route, which is roughly a 14 month process. Kevin commissioned in March of 2018. He's still actively serving in the Indiana National Guard and said having Ellis has radically changed his view of serving in the military. Kevin said prior to having a child being asked to sacrifice your life for your country, even though it sounds crazy as a civilian, doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Now with Ellis in the picture it's definitely complicated his calculations. For father's considering military service, even the National Guard, he says it's imperative that they understand the time that they will be away from their family. And that they may be asked to serve in a deadly situation. While it is possible for families to survive, many do not. He says you have to consider all the variables and determine that it is what's right for you. Kevin's advice for fathers: As a new father he's been happy with his experience. He says for people considering having a child and becoming a father ensure that your mature and ready. He's seen many people with romantic ideas of fatherhood that weren't prepared for the good and the bad.
October 22, 2019
"Grief and Parenting With A Growth Mindset" with Personal Development Author Adam Griffin
This episode is presented in memory of Cade Griffin and Luca Summitt. Adam Griffin is a personal development author and former founder of Bodeefit. In this episode we discuss Adam's book The Guy At The Bar: Notes From A Father Who Lost A Lot, But Gained A Little. Adam's first born son, Cade, had an extremely rare genetic condition that halted his skin growth during pregnancy. The rest of his body continued to develop and grow which meant Cade eventually outgrew his own skin. Two months prior to his estimated birth date, Cade was born on March 13, 2014. Two days later Adam was standing in a bar waiting for a carry out pizza. Cade's condition was incurable and not survivable. Yet Adam waited for a pizza. A seemingly normal guy completing a normal task. It was in this moment on what he called "the longest, worst, most beautiful day of my life," that Adam came to understand how little we actually know about what our fellow man may be going through. Adam realized "Not a single one of these people know that I have to go back to the hospital after this and say goodbye to my first-born son." In our episode we go beyond the pages and discuss how The Guy At The Bar came to be. At the time of Cade's death, Adam was contracted with a publisher to write a fitness book. However, as he used writing as an outlet for grief, he soon realized that sharing what he was currently going through was the only thing he would have the fortitude to write about. Adam talks about the concept of "The Wall" in grief. Many of us probably familiar with the concept of "hitting the wall" in athletics. Adam describes it as similar if you were being chased by a bear. Your body would flood with adrenaline and testosterone to overcome the physical threat at hand. In grief your mind resorts to numbness and isolation to get through the emotional trauma and proceed to safety. However, once the immediacy of the situation has seceded the numbness and isolation wears off and we are faced full force with our grief. Adam shares how grief is actually a really good construct for personal development. When we dig deeper into what personal development, we're really seeking to improve our ability to handle unexpected challenges that come our way. He expands on this in his second book Redwood: A Guide To Leading A Remarkable Life when he dissects the short comings of the "fail fast, fail forward" mantra which encourages people to seek out failure. But if you're really striving for something and expecting positive outcomes failure is a gut punch that knocks you to your knees and leaves you struggling to breath let alone move forward. Adam discusses how Cade's life and death has impacted how he parents now. He's found that "what death does is it makes really clear what's important and what's not." And closes by encouraging listeners to take a growth mindset to parenting. To be open to what your children can teach you about yourself. To purchase The Guy At The Bar or Redwood click here. To learn more about Adam and read his other work visit You can follow Adam on Instagram @adamgriffinbty PPROM Foundation Society For Maternal Fetal Medicine list of support groups
October 15, 2019
"GrandPun" with Emmy Nominated Producer and Writer, Mark "Pun" Maxwell-Smith.
Mark "Pun" Maxwell-Smith is a multiple-Emmy nominee producer and writer. His productions include Mouthtrap, Talkabout, Humdingers, Now You Know, and many others. Additionally he provided material for series such as Name That Tune, Let's Make a Deal, and Beat The Clock. More importantly to Mark, is the honor he's had to serve children with serious medical issues and use his gifts of silliness and sensitivity as "Pun" to bring joy and laughter into their lives. "Pun" talks about the importance of role modeling service for his 10 year old granddaughter. And how touched he was when she asked him about his service one weekend and asked "did you make them laugh?" That it is never to early to demonstrate "that part of life is sharing, part of life is community, part of life is giving back." And understanding that all we have is each other, and if we can be of service to another then we are of service to ourselves. Mark discusses how grand parenting has impacted him and the gift of moving closer to his grand daughter. How as a Dad, he was very much on the work track, and now as a Grandparent he is able to provide his granddaughter his undivided attention. Mark examines the grandparent relationship his daughters had. He shares that one grandma was overly involved in their lives and the other was mostly withdrawn. As a result Mark has learned to be involved without overstepping his daughters authority. Mark shares his observations of fathers of children with serious illnesses and what we can all learn from them. He noticed many fathers show up for family camp with the "chauffeur mentality" that they'll drive the family up, but they're not going to sing and dance and do all that Kumbaya stuff, but within twelve hours that guy is out front singing or wearing a tutu. Or down by the fishing pond having a perfectly idle conversation with their child. Once out of the cultural expectations fathers open and blossom and do what we're all meant to do as humans which is communicate. To see fathers face a situation in which their child faces a life challenging or life threatening diagnosis. To see fathers fighting a battle that he doesn't think he could fight, and to see them stay focused on their children and the happiness, well-being, and future of their children. From that we can draw inspiration to begin to strive for the level of humanity these fathers exhibit. To see their love reminds of us what he's supposed to be. Mark talks about the challenges of extreme emotions and not being embarrassed. That it is important for kids to see us at times at the affect of our feelings. As long it's done with rationality, kids should see that their is a safe space to express their emotions. You can connect with Mark on Facebook at Pun ForPhun To learn more about or support The Painted Turtle Camp click here. To learn more about or support Camp Ronald McDonald For Good Times click here.
October 08, 2019
"He Gets Bigger, I Get Stronger" FOF observations and influences with Ryan
In this episode your host, Ryan Sullivan, shares some of his background as well his observations of our first seven guests. Growing up in Indianapolis, IN the youngest of three. My father was always around growing up. His work even enabled him to come home during lunch most days before I was school aged or in the summer. Dad was generally supportive of our interests. He must have coached more than a dozen soccer teams despite never learning how to properly kick a soccer ball. Dad always wanted us to go to college. And school was a source of constant battle for us. I loathed homework and was more interested in the hallway or the playground. Having done well enough on my SATs, Indiana State University took a chance on me. Despite my best efforts to screw it up I actually had a pretty solid undergraduate career getting elected Student Government Association Vice President and graduating with a 3.25 GPA. But it was the summers that impacted my attitude towards fatherhood. A friend introduced me to the Painted Turtle Camp, now a part of the Serious Fun Children's network. And in the summer of 2009, I was headed out west to serve as a waterfront counselor. The Painted Turtle is a special place that has had a huge impact on my life. In fact I have a single tattoo and it's a turtle with a heart on it's shell. The Painted Turtle exists to provide camp experiences for children with serious illnesses and weekend retreats for families.  One week we had campers with Spina Bifida. A condition affecting the spinal cord that can result in mobility issues and paralyses of the legs requiring the use of motorized wheelchairs for independence. Many of our campers required assistance getting in and out of their chairs. One of our older campers required two counselors and it was usually best if there were a third to help with transfers. No matter how clunky and poorly our transfers were he was always grateful and told us we were great. It was a blast to hang out with him for the week so we wanted to see him off. When his dad arrived we helped load up his bags expecting to help with one last transfer. Before we could get trunk closed his dad had him over shoulder in a perfect fireman's carry and effortlessly placed him in the truck. Me and the other physically exhausted counselors stood mouth agape agape and finally asked how he’s able to do that? Before driving off he leaned out the window and said with a cheeky smile “he gets bigger, I get stronger”. That’s always stuck with me and what I’ve expected fatherhood to be. While most of us won’t have to endure the physical or emotional burden of a child with Spina Bifida. I believe we must continue to grow stronger. Stronger emotionally, in faith, financially (not accumulating material wealth but adequately stewarding our families resources, one of my many shortcomings), physically and mentally so we can support our children as their challenges grow in size and risk. Ryan's observations from our first seven interviews Humility - It’s not about having the answers. But about being on your kids team and helping them ask questions. Taking joy in their interests. Rather than enforcing our passions on our children support their interests and find joy in their passion. Whether it’s playing Pokemon or going to their baseball games even though you don’t like sports. Courage to pursue their own interests. And sacrifice to do it with minimal disruption to their family. Being present. In our time crunched, tech heavy society. As Brene Brown said, “It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.” This is true in parenting and fatherhood as well. But I want to encourage us to be brave enough to openly discuss how much you also love being a father.
October 01, 2019
"Create A Life You Find Success In" with Professional Paratriathlete Uriah Steffen
Uriah Steffen is a a professional para-triathlete and amputee life coach. He lost his leg in an accident and became an amputee. After the accident his focus was to get back on the bicyle and get back to running. As his cycling and running progressed he decided to try his hand at a super-sprint triathlon and fell in love. At his second tri he was introduced to Dare2Tri and progressively advanced into para-triathlon and found that he had the opportunity to pursue an elite level of para-triathlon and is now pursuing a spot on the 2024 US Paralympic team. He lays out what the next 5 years will look like in order for him to make the team. Uriah is already working with his coaches to identify which races he needs to compete in and roughly how well he'll need to perform to make the team. It requires an incredible level of focus and intensity. Uriah attributes his focus and intensity to needing to refocus his life to overcome drug abuse and alcoholism. Just two months after committing to sobriety Uriah was in an accident in which lost his leg and now in addition to battling addiction was figuring out how to live as an amputee and create a lifestyle that he finds success in. He needed to learn how to pursue his dreams, be a positive impact in his community and be a man of God.  He dives into the challenges and reality of sobriety. And ultimately boils it down making the daily decision to choose sobriety and to be driven by an internal desire to choose a lifestyle free of drugs and alcohol because the external joys of life can be taken away at any moment. Uriah is currently in the middle of a 30 Days 30 Tris challenges to benefit Dare2Tri. Dare2Tri creates opportunities for visually and physically disable athletes to pursue active lifestyles through triathlon. Rather than writing a $250 check to participate on the Dare2Tri Team, he opted to have fun with it and bring awareness to the para-athlete community.  He goes in depth about the challenge he faced on day 14 of 30 and how badly he wanted to quit. However he knew he had his girls, his wife, and his community watching and that he needed to be an example of perseverance. So he continued on. And not only did he continue he but he ran the fastest mile of his life in doing so. As a result he learned that this was a mental block and that his body is capable of so much more than he realized. What he found was most surprising is that he's actually continuing to make progress as an athlete. That he's getting stronger and his times are actually getting faster. He's been blown away by the community support he's received. Uriah now works full time as an amputee life coach and has created a well structured and emotionally sound 6 month program to help new amputees create a life they find success in. Upon becoming an amputee he kept a positive attitude and held onto the faith that Christ has his life in His control and that better days were ahead. After going through his own amputation he was approached by his provider to be a patient advocate and began developing his own amputee life skills program. He now works for Kenney Orthopedics as an Amputee Life Coach. Uriah details his Six month plan to creating a life his patients find success in. A system that we can all adopt if we're facing challenges in our lives. Uriah Steffen Cell - 575.529.4259 Facebook Uriah's #30days30tris donation page Dare2Tri
September 27, 2019
"Joy In The Chaos Of Parenting" with Geoff Rothermel
Geoff’s Four F’s and their evolving weight through the seasons of his life. Faith, Family, Firm, Fitness Joy in chaos: When Geoff’s boys were young it was his responsibility to to put them to bed. And it typically ended up with both boys in the same bath then running around the house buck naked. All the while sensing his wife downstairs staring up thinking “you have completely lost control of this situation.” But it was that little bit of chaos and allowing them to be a little bit off the rules that was the most joyful part of parenting in those early years. Choosing to stay connected: The connection and relationship between parent and child is not totally correlated with proximity. Geoff notices many fathers who live and work in the same location as their family but don’t have as tight of a relationship as one might expect. It’s about choosing to stay relevant. And sometimes that’s not the most natural thing. Perhaps it’s staying up way past our bedtime to be able to send a timely text about an event our children have at night. Letting your kids know "I am on your team. I am the man, or parent, or friend that you need on your last leg. Or on your best day! I am never in a position to judge." Honoring your spouse: Geoff’s parents had a very traditional marriage. His father was the breadwinner and his mother’s role was to make his father’s life easier. They have a good marriage and it works for them. But when he met his wife misty. He realized she was someone to be honored. And her confidence and the presence she has about her are the things that attracted him to her. And those are the things he wants to preserve. Helping your kids choose a college: With so many things to consider, academics, social, sports team, scholarships; what Geoff realized was that what’s a perfect fit for one kid might not be a perfect fit for another. Or most importantly for our audience, A DAD. There is no perfect school, or perfect spouse, or perfect job. But there can be a perfect fit for you. Determine what that is and pursue it apologetically. Being your authentic self as a father: Geoff shares how he spent 12 years wanting to love sports. And the failed investment trying to live up to perceived expectations. And how struggled to find ways to foster this love of sports. And finally accepted that you don’t have to be a sports lover to be an authentic, good man. It’s about understanding what he needs in terms to be authentic. Why would I pretend to be passionate about something I’m not. That inhibits his ability to sincere, and true and honest. The person he thought would be most disappointed, his father, turned out to be the most impressed that he had the courage and self awareness to determine that that’s not that important to me. Ironically, his boys are amazing athletes. And what I’ve found is that I do like sports, I like their sports. So two things can be true at once. Work life balance and what we want our children to learn from our professional life:It’s not so much the type of work but the method: focus, integrity, rigor. Those are things I want my boys to to see, that I want to role model for them. And that they understand that life isn’t always exactly as I want it to be. That there is a sense of sacrifice. Not martyrdom sacrifice. On the same note. When they see me at their game or at a parents weekend. I want to be engaged and focused. Not on the phone pretending like I’m not trying to work. Some people may say that’s too compartmentalized. But it’s how I stay true to the objective in front of me. Words of Wisomd: Love that’s unconditional is POWERFUL. It’s way more authentic and sincere and enduring than any other love.
September 24, 2019
"From Man to Man, to Zone" with Terry Johnson
Terry Johnson is the Assistant Mens Basketball Coach at The Ohio State University. He was formerly the Assistant Mens Basketball Coach at Butler University during their back-to-back final four runs. Highlights from this include:  Staying involved with your kids while traveling for work. Raising humble kids. The benefits personally and to the team of being truly family oriented. Facing Chiari Malformation as a family and rallying support. Being in an interracial marriage and raising interracial kids.
September 10, 2019
"Do Your Homework" with Principal Tommy Baldwin
Tommy Baldwin was recently named the new principal of Manchester Intermediate School. In this episode Tommy shares with us why it's important for us as fathers to be involved in our children's education. The impacts he's seeing from the increasing intensity of youth sports and what he does with his girls to help them have a positive athletic attitude and experience. And finally we discus the urban rural divide in America and what Tommy is seeing parents do well to help their children adopt a broader world view. In Fatherhood, Ryan Sullivan
September 10, 2019
"Don't Ask When" with Greg Marshall
Greg Marshall is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Evansville, IN with his wife and two daughters. Greg recently finished the Kettle Moraine 100 Mile Trail Race. Episode highlights include: First 100 mile race and making the leap to ultra running.  The emotional impacts miscarriage and fertility have on men.  And why we should never ask "when are you having kids?"
September 10, 2019
"Fatherhood Skills" with Marc O'Leary
The first episode of Fatherhood on Fire! Our first ever guest is 2018 RAIN Champion, Marc O'Leary. Marc lives in Plainfield, IN with his wife Amy, two sons, Patrick and Parker. Marc is an avid cyclist and has helped grow the cycling community in his town. Marc attributes his parenting style to his father who encouraged him in his own endeavors and never pushed him. He gets his workout done in the morning so he can continue to thrive as an athlete, and come home and put his focus on his family the rest of the day.
September 10, 2019
Introduction to Fatherhood On Fire
Fatherhood On Fire is a new podcast to celebrate fathers who inspire us. Elevate the conversation around fatherhood. And encourage and provide perspective to men embracing their role as fathers.
August 05, 2019