5 Minute Interview: Chris Lopez
Alvin: Who are you, what do you do, and what do you enjoy most about it?
Chris: My name is Chris Lopez. I’m also known as the FitAndBusyDad. When you ask “what do you do” the traditional answer would be my vocation – I’m a strength coach & personal trainer. But if I take a good look at my life, my primary function is being a dad to my 4 daughters & son and a husband to my beautiful wife.
I also volunteer coach a 12 year old volleyball team (for which my oldest daughter is a member). And I run 2 websites – FitAndBusyDad.com is my “home base” and blog where I talk about anything from how busy dads can get back to a 32″ waist without having to run on a treadmill to how important it is to give back to the community by volunteering your hours and expertise. KettlebellWorkouts.com is my 2nd site where I teach my readers how to use a kettlebell, which in my opinion is the absolute best way to get in shape at home.
Based on all of that, I love and enjoy everything about what I do. I take pride in telling people that I’m at a point in my life where everything I do, I actually love – save for paying taxes (maybe) and cleaning up after a big family dinner.
Alvin: Pick any man in the world as your role model who would it be and why?
Chris: My father.
I’m a first generation Canadian – my parents immigrated to Canada from the Philippines in 1975, 2 years before I was born.
My dad, who graduated with a Marketing degree in the Philippines, decided to go the blue collar route when he came here and worked his tail off to support my mom, my brother and me. Through all of that he was still there at all my baseball, basketball & volleyball games driving me to practice at 6am and picking me up after practice at 9pm. The guy is the hardest worker I’ve ever met in my life and a lot of what I’ve accomplished in my lifetime is due to the work ethic that he’s instilled in me solely through his example.
Alvin: What do you wish to accomplish 1 year from today?
Chris: In a year’s time, I’d like to be on the web full time. I’d like to be a “full time blogger” and really have my kettlebell site take off.
I’d still keep some personal training clients – people whom I’ve befriended over the years of training them – but I like the freedom of being able to write or create where ever and whenever I like.
With 5 kids who are getting more and more active as the weeks go by, I’d really like to be there to spend as much time with them as possible. I want my kids to be able to say that I was “there” all the time and having a home-based online business, I believe, would be the best way to make that happen.
My wife and I also have aspirations to travel the world with our 5 kids – pull them out of school and to educate them through experience – so being a virtual nomad would be the first step towards that ultimate goal.
Alvin: Name one challenge with being a father and how today it’s made you a better father?
Chris: The biggest challenge is finding time for yourself – to take care of yourself. When I consult with and coach other dads I like to use the airline oxygen mask analogy….
“Put the mask on yourself first, then attend to your child and put the mask on them”
A lot of dads are on the extreme edges of the spectrum. Some guys are so devoted to their families that they don’t make an effort to take care of themselves. They let it all go. This always ends up biting them in the ass in the long run.
And then there are the other dads who can’t get out of that “me first” mentality and still go out for drinks every night of the week, have poker night, football night, play pick-up ball twice per week, work late nights, go golfing on the weekend and only end up spending a couple of quality hours per week with their families.
The biggest challenge for us to find that balance where we can spend some time for ourselves (because that time helps us become better people – better dads), but not abuse that time so much that we don’t see our families.
Alvin: What has been your largest step to manhood?
Chris: My largest step to manhood was the realization that I was going to be a father for the first time. My wife and I had our oldest daughter when I was 21. I was still in school, had no money and we didn’t have a lot of family support initially.
I grew up quickly in those 9 months, let me tell you.
I put school on hold for a semester, was lucky enough to find a decent paying full time job, found an apartment on campus and then started going to school during the day and working at night. It was tough at first, but in retrospect, those first few years when we were making it on our own were some of the happiest years of my life. We didn’t have much, but didn’t need much. It was just the 3 of us and that’s all that mattered.
Alvin: What has been the best advice you’ve received about being a man?
Chris: Always be honest – and that goes beyond always telling the truth.
Be honest about what your needs are – do you need a flashy car, the latest clothes, the best gadgets? Can you make due with less?
Be honest about what your intentions are – are you doing things to impress others or for some other external reason? Your actions should be congruent (should be honest) with who you are as a person.
Are you honestly happy with your life? If so, that’s awesome! If not, you have the power to change things.
It sounds hokey, but it’s amazing how this simple rule can change so many things for you.
Being honest is such a simple concept, but so difficult to implement for some.0