Being a father is more than a dream come true. But being a Fit Father is a responsibility I owe to myself, our son, and my friend that passed away when I was 16 years old. Between the ages of 18-35, I worked in the Parks and Recreation field. If you believe in the African proverb, it takes a village to raise a child, then know that I was doing so by encouraging youth to learn and grow through sports programs, summer camps, after-school activities, as well as mentorships.
Working with kids was rewarding in endless ways. A few years before I worked in Parks and Recreation, I lost my best friend to senseless gun violence. After that tragic incident, I made a commitment to thank God every day for my health, and that I would not take my wellness for granted. Since witnessing it firsthand, I now knew that life could be changed in an instance. Years later, my wife and I were blessed with a son whom we named Adam. We selected this name because it would be recognized around the world and reflect his Ethiopian roots. Everyone on my wife’s side of the family could say Adam with an Amharic accent! We also believed that his name and spirit would be welcoming and inclusive from a global perspective.
After Adam was born, and once my wife went back to work, I would bring him to the office for a portion of the day. I now manage an event venue that is open nearly 24/7. Being flexible with my time allowed me to flex my schedule and find ways to support being a dad while still keeping up with job demands. Working in an internationally diverse community just outside of Washington DC, Adam met people from around the world. Thus, I was also able to help raise him with the values that I hold dear to my heart – respect for humanity and an appreciation for our diversity. Today, Adam is a smiling boy that loves to meet new faces. We enjoy taking him to the park, the beach, and other places where he can explore and learn. As each day passes, I continue to be reminded that life is precious.
As I touched on earlier, being fit is essential. Similarly, my wife Mirchaye, works hard to create nutritious meals, finds time to exercise, and prioritizes self-care. I believe it’s my obligation to also be healthy for Adam so I can keep up with him as he grows. Fit Fathers is an inspiring non-profit that lives the organization’s values. I’ve seen firsthand how Kimatni Rawlins of Fit Fathers has planted seeds in people and supported their growth, knowing that they will then inspire others to make fitness and living well a priority in their lives.
This is my story, and I’m living a Fit Fathers lifestyle.
Eric Rasch, CPM, MPS
Operations Manager Silver Spring Civic Center