Rad Dad Feature: Jack Kelly of Slapshot

By August 24, 2016 Rad Dads
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I have anticipated few features more than this one. When a friend of mine asked me a while back who is one person I wish I could do this interview with that I haven’t yet, I immediately blurted out “Jack Kelly of Slapshot.” Few bands spoke to me the way Slapshot did in hardcore music. They always seemed like they were on the outside, even in their own scene and almost every song belted out was something I could relate to. Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, the tales I had heard of Slapshot and their show antics were almost as impressive and terrifying as their music. With their patented tongue in cheek humor mixed with hard and serious stances on everything from relationships, drug abuse, the hardcore scene, and anything else that pissed “Choke” off, Slapshot was to me, the ultimate definition of a hardcore band.

Much to my surprise, Jack is a really funny (his Instagram is proof enough) and friendly guy that just beams with pride about his very talented daughters. He is a very dedicated, yet realistic father who understands that as important as it is to be active and supportive for your kids, there’s a lot of merit in standing back and watching them blossom on their own. It is my pleasure to share this feature with you all with the infamous hardcore icon, and very Rad Dad, Jack Kelly.

1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

I’m a barber/hair stylist by trade and an incredible internet troll by night, and the frontman for Slapshot, Stars and Stripes, Last Rights, and Negative FX.

Being a dad is the easiest thing I may have ever done. Never thought I’d be so fucking good at it. It’s all a matter of staying the fuck out of the way and letting my girls do their thing. Encouraging them to do whatever. Even if it’s staying up all night or doing whatever they do in their rooms all night. I keep tabs just to keep them safe but as teenage girls go, mine are amazing. Straight A students in one of the toughest schools in the US. They don’t give a shit about boys. They both don’t drink or do drugs.

I leave them alone because I don’t have to be on them. Easy.

2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

Well. I guess the Internet is most likely the biggest thing in modern day kids lives so it stands to figure it’s in mine too. I’m basically still a 12 year old boy so I relate to them in so many ways.
I think I surprise them when something they discover or become interested in, I’m already aware of. That generation gap just doesn’t exist in our lives. They introduce me to many things and I them.

3. How did becoming a father change your life?

It didn’t really. It just changed the way I drive. I drive older than I am, and maybe the hours I keep.

4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?

Watching them accomplish things. One learned Russian in a Summer…on her own. Their report cards, just all of it. I have a lot of pride.

5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?

My older daughter had met a boy on her Minecraft server and had talked to him for nearly a year.
That Summer we decided to get them to meet and I took her to Six Flags for the day. His parents were from the Ukraine and his mom didn’t speak a lick of English. I followed them around for about 45 minutes then once I realized it was all ok, I went to the cafe and basically live blogged the afternoon through Facebook.

I think a lot of people had a great time following the updates that day.

6. What advice can you give any new father out there?

Don’t give in to what others tell you the way things should be. Your kids are your kids. Just relax and let them be themselves. DON’T BE YOUR PARENTS. Be your own parent.

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this feature. You’ve been a huge motivator to me for years through your music, and I am stoked to see how inspiriting you are as a father as well. Truth be told, it’s just really cool when your idols don’t let you down. It’s few and far between these days. So here’s to hoping this was a well needed break from answering if you are still straight edge or not, and I wish you continued success.

More about SLAPSHOT HERE: http://www.oldtimehardcore.com/

Check out SLAPSHOT GEAR HERE: www.slapshot.bigcartel.com

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A Moment of Mindfulness

By August 23, 2016 Everyday
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I’ve heard that snakes represent #healing, #transformation, and life changes. It’s been said that the spirit of the snake is connected to life force, #primal #energy and #spiritual guidance.

I’ve just always thought they were cool and despite a pretty healthy fear of them biting me, I’ve always been attracted to snakes. This guy is pretty lucky I saw him before the lawnmower caught him. Whatever the snake was doing or if it had some cosmic #mystical purpose, it reminded me to stop to smell the roses, or in this case, to stop and explore the snake.

It’s pretty easy to get wrapped up in work and routine and forget that we have that choice every single day. I’m glad I chose to hang with the snake instead of having my mind so focused on finishing the task before the rain rolls in… A moment of mindfulness and a recharge to get back to whatever it is that needs to get done.

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Taste Test Challenge

By August 22, 2016 Everyday
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Bored on a Friday night? Yeah, we were too. We played the "taste test challenge" where I blindfolded my daughter and made her guess which condiment she though I was giving her. She thought grape jelly was pickle relish and that ranch was salsa! . Amazing, the things we do to entertain ourselves.

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Relatable Parent Moment #157

By August 19, 2016 Everyday
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Relatable Parent Moment #157.

Pretending to poop so you can check your Instagram in peace.

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Tattoos, No Tattoos, Who Cares Right?

By August 18, 2016 Everyday, Parenting
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Tattoos, no tattoos, who cares right? There’s a saying I heard a while back… “The only person that cares if you have tattoos is someone that doesn’t have one.” Truthfully, I don’t care as long as you’re doing your thing as a parent. It shouldn’t matter if you’ve got tattoos on your face, blue hair, or virgin skin covered up with a business suit, a good parent is a good parent. Can I get an amen?!

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A Change For The Better

By August 17, 2016 Everyday, Health & Fitness
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Every so often I like to toss one of these in there so any new followers (and old ones who care) know I'm not just posting exercises as some kind of attempt at vanity. It keeps me motivated and maybe others as well, but more importantly it's a testament to what changing your mindset can do.

A testament to the fact that having kids and raising a family literally gave me to motivation to change my life and ultimately save my life. The guy on the left was a mess, riddled with anxiety, depression and a handful of addictions. Almost 100lbs heavier than I am today, I'd medicate myself with fast food and wash it down with a case of beer. Frequent aches and pains, panic attacks and so on, I couldn't even keep up with my toddler running around the house without being out of breath. Not to mention the example I was setting…

The guy on the right is just short of three years off the sauce, almost 100lbs lighter and has replaced those negative addictions with positive ones. I spend a few days a week lifting weights and it's become my therapy, my grounding, my zen…and that says a lot coming from a guy that thought weights were just for jocks and hadn't lifted a weight in his whole life until a few years ago.

I learned quickly that little kids watch out every move and we are their superheroes and we should live up to that standard. Today I try as hard as I can to be the father my kids deserve and the husband my wife needs. It's not about losing weight, it's about defeating the enemy in yourself and being around for a long time, so you can be the best parent possible to the ones that need you the most.

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Rad Dad Feature: Josh Ford

By August 16, 2016 Rad Dads
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I have been a fan of Josh Ford’s work for years. I remember seeing his tattooing and machine building work at about the same time and wondered how he was so proficient in both. When I got a hold of him for this feature, I learned that it doesn’t stop there. An absolute workhorse, John is an inspiration as a dedicated father that has a lot on his plate and somehow manages to juggle it all, giving the utmost attention to all tasks at hand and coming out on top.

1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

My name is Josh Ford, 39 years old and father of two awesome kids. My daughter is 15 and my son is 11.

I’ve been a professional tattoo artist for 20 years and I build and sell custom tattoo machines internationally. I am a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, used to fight professionally in MMA and I’m the head coach for an MMA team in Maryland. On top of that, I do nutrition and have worked with a lot of professional fighters on their training camp nutrition as well a certified strength and performance coach.

I am in the process of doing some life coaching training and education so I can take all of this knowledge and experience to do what I can to start helping others live happier and healthier lives.
I’m able to balance what I do with being a Father fairly easily because I’ve spent the last 20 years following my own path and most of my kids lives I’ve been able to dictate my own schedule and have plenty of time for them. I also talk with my kids frequently about following what makes them happy and do my best to set that example.

2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

Being a Modern-day Dad has been challenging, but I like challenges. With all of the social media, access to smart phones, tablets and internet it brings a whole new dynamic as opposed to when I grew up. I just try my best and I’m continuously trying to learn to communicate with my kids better and try to see life through their eyes so that I don’t get narrow minded or lose touch with the feelings that they are going through.

My wife and I try to expose the kids to culture, international and domestic travel, consciousness and educating themselves outside of school to seek out who they are and who they want to be. I strive to teach my kids to see past the surface distractions and look deeper into life.

3. How did becoming a father change your life?

Becoming a Father definitely changed my life. My ex-wife and I wanted to have kids young enough that we could enjoy life with them and still be young enough to enjoy life after they were grown up. I was 24 when my daughter was born and it really gave my a purpose to life. Until the kids were born, I wasn’t really doing much but going through day to day life, so they helped me to learn a bigger perspective and think about the future.

They have also been a driving force for me through hard times. Points where I was struggling in life, whether personal or financial, the kids were in my mind as a motivation to get through it and set an example to not give in.

4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?

Loving my kids and being loved back, simple as that. There’s nothing better than one of the kids coming up to hug me and tell me they love me.

5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?

My daughter had her first real boyfriend last year as a Freshman in high school. I finally met him for the first time when they went to the homecoming dance. My daughter had shown him videos of my professional fights, so I think he was a little nervous. The kid is tall, 6’2 and I’m a whopping 5’7, so I’m thinking how funny it’s going to be to have to look up at this kid.

When I took my daughter to her friend’s house to meet up with her boyfriend and some other kids to take pictures I finally got to meet him. I walk up and shake his hand and in a shaky voice he says “Oh thank god! I thought you were going to bring an axe or something!” hahaha! All I could do was laugh.

6. What advice can you give any new father out there?

Don’t always think you’re right! Don’t ever think you have it all figured out! Make time for your kids, even when you don’t feel like it. Make sure they never question how much you love them! Continue to grow yourself and live your life as an example.

Thanks so much Josh! Keep up the great work!

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Check out Josh’s website and tattoo machines here: http://www.joshfordmachines.com/

Follow Josh on Instagram here:
https://www.instagram.com/joshford13/

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Rad Dad Feature: Don Foose

By August 12, 2016 Rad Dads
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With the infamous hardcore heavyweight Don Foose, there is much more than meets the eye. His music is both positive and inspiring, yet it maintains a hard and heavy sound with a total sense of urgency. As a fan of his music for years, it was a pleasure to connect with him and learn a little more about what makes him tick. He’s incredibly active in his son’s life, and also remains as a wonderful example to anyone that gets to know him. As if his impressive catalog of music wasn’t enough, he just published his first book on raw vegan superfoods and the like. It’s my pleasure to introduce to you all Don Foose.

1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

My name is Don Foose, I sing for a bunch of Cleveland hardcore bands such as Run Devil Run, The Spudmonsters and Foose. I’m a union concrete worker and the author of my first book, Raw Life, a book on raw, vegan foods, juice fasting, elixirs and superfoods. I’m the proud father of my 13 year old son, Jayananda. When I’m not working or performing music I coach my sons baseball team or act like one of the kids and hang out with my son and his friends.

2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

It means connecting with my child on a very personal level and being his friend, yet an authority. I want my child to love and trust me so I try to be attentive to his needs and desires.

3. How did becoming a father change your life?

Honestly, I didn’t even want kids when I was younger. One day, my niece had a baby and said she couldn’t keep him and was going to put him in a foster home. My wife and I couldn’t watch that happen and offered to take the child. After the first night of having him we fell in love with him and made all the arrangement to adopt him. He’s been my pride and joy since.

4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?

The greatest part of being a dad is seeing the accomplishments of the child that you’ve raised. The interaction of love is unparalleled with anything I’ve ever experienced in my life.

5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?

One time I was in the grocery Store and I had my cart by me where I was shopping, I yelled to my son please come over by me where I was at. I wasn’t really paying attention to what he was doing but I notice he didn’t come over there so I yelled again “Hey Jai! Come over here please.” I then heard him respond “I can’t Dad, big lady with the beard has her cart in the way….”

I was horrified to look up and see a heavy set woman with some facial hair looking like a deer caught in the headlights. I did my best to backpedal and tell my son “you must be mistaken, all I see is this very attractive young lady here…..”

It was kind of funny in hindsight. Kids say the craziest things.

6. What advice can you give any new father out there?

Advice to new fathers? Pick your battles with your child. Be strict with yourself but have a heart and be a little lenient when you can. Don’t bend when you set the law, they’ll take advantage of you. They need to see you as a loving authority. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and admit when you do. Your child will love you if he or she sees you as a sincere, loving authority figure. And NEVER say “Do as I say, not as I do.”

BE the example you want to see in your child. Last but not least, let that kid know, every day how much you love him and be a pillar of strength!

Thanks so much man. You are an absolute inspiration, and I wish you continued success in all that you do!

Learn more about Don here: www.fooseforlife.com

Follow Don on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/donfoose108/

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