2017 Almost Killed Me
Written by Tyler Condie
About 5 years into building my men's travel goods brand (Rugged Material) I found myself in the eye of a figurative hurricane that threatened all aspects of my life.
Just a couple of months prior to that storm I had finally given-in to my wife's pleading to start trying to have a child. I have always felt an extreme reverence for family and the essential role of fatherhood. So much so, that after I got married I put off becoming a father for 7 years because I was scared I wouldn't be able to balance my business, relationships and personal desires/goals.
Then with the added stress of learning I was going to be a dad I suddenly realized I was plummeting straight into a hurricane of failures.
My company's sales took a dive which meant my deal with a new investor was going bad, I was feeling I had lost my spirituality, I was losing my grip on my brand/company and my wife and I were very disconnected and unhappy.
It was not a good recipe for a successful pregnancy and enjoyable family beginning. In fact, it was a recipe for depression, bankruptcy, divorce or suicide.
Early in that 9 month pregnancy period amongst unbearable stress, embarrassment and fear I realized that I was responsible for this mess. I had let myself become almost 50lbs overweight, was nursing an addiction, living like a hermit and was neglecting the relationship that meant the most to me. I was failing in every area of life. I was nowhere close to being happy and it was all my fault.
To make things worse I could tell my wife was dragged down by me and even though her love and loyalty didn't fault I sometimes wished it would so I wouldn't feel so badly about how much pain and stress I caused her.
Depression and anxiety loomed over me constantly like a thick fog on a cold winter morning. The discipline I had previously used to win scholarships, win mountain bike nationals and build a business during college had almost completely escaped me.
But even in the thick of that fog I was determined to be a good father because I had a great father, father in law and grandfathers. They told me and God told me that I could get there if I didn't give up. I knew I had a lot of work to do to turn things around but because of all the encouragement I knew it could be turned around.
I had to dig deep to see clearly amongst the chaos of my floundering business and fear of a future of not being able to provide for my family.
Luckily I was surrounded by great examples of strong men who had answered the call of fatherhood with grit and determination. I leaned on them, learned from their stories and asked for advice from many of them. Then I got some extra inspiration and strength from God that was the final key that helped me form and execute a plan to turn things around.
By the time our first daughter was born I had pulled out of my depression, regained my discipline, overcome my addiction, simplified & pivoted my business, launched my most successful product to date and started to heal from my wounds. I got to enjoy the experience of bringing a new life into the world and was on a good path toward becoming the father I wanted to be.
I hope I don't experience another year quite like 2017 but the lessons I learned during that intense time are principles that I still rely on today.
After going through such a dark time and coming out stronger I want to share my struggles, successes, passions and pursuits with as many dads or aspiring dads as possible.
It was the combination of learning powerful principles, leaning on my support group and taking action that made the difference for me and I want to pay that forward.
Even after coming out of such an intense time successfully, the challenges didn't end in 2017. I am still baffled that it is so easy to regress. Staying on the path of progression is like trying to run up an escalator that is going down.
If you lose focus, get worn out or stumble you lose a lot of ground and sometimes get slammed back down to the bottom. This is why I created PRIMED FATHERHOOD. I recognize that all of us have to stay focused, motivated and strong in order to stay on the path and be great fathers.
This experience put me on an intense learning track for all things self improvement, leadership, business and family. The more I learn and experiment with the more motivated I am to do a good job at work, at home and in my community.
PRIMED FATHERHOOD will help you to do just that. My goal is to provide new stories of strength, powerful principles and challenges that PRIME you for daily successes so you don't lose focus, make fatal fatherhood mistakes or succumb to the pressure when life's storms threaten to destroy you.
I am not an expert in parenting but I have something that most experts don’t. I have an experience that shook me to the core and motivates me to help others prevent or survive the same kind of challenges that almost ruined everything I had going.
I feel compelled to search, organize & share everything I can to help fathers navigate the challenges of fatherhood. I am fully committed to bring you the tools, principles, support community, accountability and inspiration needed to be a great father.