What does fatherhood mean to you?
Wow – this question alone almost brings a tear to my eye. Being a father means EVERYTHING to me. As early as 12 or 13 years old I started to dream of being a father and having a family of my own. I genuinely feel that my purpose in life is to be a father and provide for my children in every way possible. I am lucky to have a son and a daughter. I secretly always wanted a son so that I could teach him and play various sports (like my father did with me). But I was surprised to be as excited as I was when our second child turned out to be a girl. I am blown away each and every day by how much I love and adore my children. Every time they call me “dad” my heart skips a beat and I feel like the luckiest person alive.
What's the most challenging thing about being a father and dedicated triathlete?
The most challenging thing is the lack of ‘spare time’ I/we have now that we have children, especially as they grow up. Life in the mornings is hectic as we prepare ourselves and the kids for the day ahead. Similarly, in the evenings we’re busy – preparing and eating dinner early as a family, getting through bath time routine, bedtime routine, and preparing for the day ahead, etc. There is no respite on weekends due to the kids’ busy extracurricular schedule of football, swimming lessons, ballet lessons and social catch-ups. For my training this means being strategic and often banking sessions early in the morning, to and from work or late at night. When I train or race when the kids are free – it’s heartbreaking to hear them beg me not to leave them, as such I try to avoid this as much as possible.
Describe your relationship with your father in 5 words?
Loving, caring, nurturing, strong, significant.
What's the one thing you didn't expect from fatherhood?
Nothing really, a lot of people say that fatherhood is tougher than they expected. But because I am so passionate about being a father it just feels like a privilege to me. I think fatherhood comes naturally to me, most probably because it was a dream of mine but also because I am an eldest sibling and took on a fatherly role with my younger siblings (my youngest sibling is 8 years younger than me so I can recall every stage of his life and upbringing).
Who has the tougher job mums or dads?!
That seems like a loaded question. I think that has changed in recent generations. In previous generations (my parents’ generation for example), mothers were more present and active as parents. But these days mothers and fathers are sharing/blending their roles/duties within the house. In saying this it is the mother that carries the baby for 9+ months, goes through the pain of delivery and then primarily feeds the baby in those early months – so maybe during these times, mothers have it tougher.
Who do you hope to be for your children?
I hope to be everything to my children – their protector, provider, role model, etc., etc. I hope that I can and will meet their every need.
What do you think your commitment to your sport teaches your children?
Hopefully it is important that they take care of their physical and mental health. I did hope that my children would be active and sporty but put no pressure on them whatsoever. We introduced our children to as many pursuits as possible. So far, my son in particular has gravitated to the passions and hobbies I have which is convenient. We now enjoy playing and watching sports together – we particularly like the competitive aspect of this and are continually trying to beat each other whilst ensuring there is an appropriate handicap to make things fair.
Do your children exercise with you?
At times they do. We go on family walks, bike rides, etc., altogether. There have been times when the kids have stated that they want to come training with me but I have explained that they wouldn’t find it fun. I think soon my son will join me on some of my runs – he can ride his bike to make it easier to keep up. Recently during home isolation, I ran in my driveway a lot and without asking the kids they just joined in. At this stage the kids don’t display much interest in the sport of triathlon because they are scared of swimming in the ocean.
What's the best advice you can give to fathers around managing your passion for sport and family life?
Be organised and prepared to make or find time for training/racing (this could mean early mornings or late nights). In my opinion if you are a parent THAT should be your number one priority – everything else in your life including your hobbies/passions should fit around that.
My motto in life is ‘what you put in is what you get out’. This definitely applies to being a father – if you put time into your children when they are young, you will reap the benefits as they get older. I’d also like to reiterate that being a parent (in my eyes) is the greatest gift but comes with a lot of responsibility – so bear that in mind before having children.
Scott Cadby is a professional triathlete and NuroKor ambassador - you can follow Scott’s journey here on Instagram
To all the father’s and father figures out there we wish you a very Happy Father’s Day!