“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” –Graham Greene
Larry Hagner is the founder of The Dad Edge (formerly The Good Dad Project), a strong community of fathers with a simple but powerful mission: to help dads become the best, strongest, and happiest versions of themselves so that they can guide their kids to the best versions of themselves, too.
However, as a kid, Larry’s greatest fear was being a father. Growing up, he never saw a successful marriage modeled for him – he “always looked at marriage as a step to divorce” – and he didn’t have any positive male role models to speak of.
From that scared kid to the epic father that Larry is today is a huge gap – so I had to ask when the moment was that he opened the door to let the future in.
It all started with focusing on personal development. Larry, like a lot of us, was heavy growing up, and it really affected the way he thought about himself and approached life. However, he was pushed to wake up early, put the work in, and ended up losing 40 pounds over the course of a few months.
“I never felt so good in my life. I hated waking up that early, but we did it and that was the beginning of a whole new world for me and that’s when I started to really love fitness... and that’s when the future really opened up for me.”
You can see how that experience shaped the mission of The Dad Edge, too. It’s not all about relationship counseling or parenting tactics – it’s about becoming the best version of yourself so that you can share that with your children, and for most people, that requires taking action to fill a void in your life.
There’s a movement in The Dad Edge Alliance, of which I am a proud member, to “own your shit,” and that requires leaning into a place where you can be vulnerable and viewing that vulnerability as strength.
We don’t have to be invincible, we don’t have to be perfect, and we don’t have to have all the answers. It’s okay to reach out for help from your partner, or a wonderful community of like-minded people who will support you. Because none of us have this whole life thing all figured out, but together we can do better than any of us can do alone.
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