If you’ve ever watched a CrossFit competition or busted out a few rounds of muscle ups, you’ve probably heard of Rich Froning Jr. In the world of high-intensity workout competitions, he’s perhaps the most recognizable figure. Dubbed the “fittest man in history” after winning four back-to-back individual CrossFit Games championships, Froning Jr. is one of the most successful competitors of all time. Might his nickname be a bit hyperbole? Sure. But watch Rich in competition and you won’t wonder why he received it.
Froning Jr., who also owns and operates the CrossFit Mayhem gym in Cookeville Tennessee, is also a dad of three young children, Lakelyn, Trice, and Violet, and, alongside his wife, brings the same amount of passion to parenting. Fatherly spoke to Froning about the most important lessons he wants to teach his children and we discovered that, while he is a world-class athlete and competitor, Rich is a man who prizes faith and family above all else. Here are the 10 most important lessons Froning Jr. wants to teach his kids.
1. That Value of Hard Work
“Both of my parents led by example and they’d have us do chores and stuff like that but they weren’t sitting around while we were doing that. At the time, I wasn’t real happy about it but now I really appreciate the fact that they not only made us do chores and work but also they were out there doing stuff with us and leading by example. I want my kids to understand that hard work is essential and that I wouldn’t have them do anything that I wouldn’t do with them.”
2. The Importance of Family
“Family is a huge part of who I am. I’m one of 32 first cousins on my mom’s side, and 25 of us are boys. Most of them lived in Michigan, where I was born, for most of my life. Even though we moved, were super close then and super close now — my parents made sure of that. So, I want my kids to understand how important family and maintaining those connections and just being there really is. I want my kids to understand that when family needs something, I’m there. And, on a different note, all three of my kids are adopted. That means nothing. They’re my kids and I hope that, no matter what, they understand that they are brothers and sisters and always there for one another.”
3. That Physical Activity is Essential
“Everyone always asks if I’m going to ‘make my kids do CrossFit.’ I’ll never make them do anything. I will, however, make sure that they’re physically active in some way, that they’ll play some type of sport or do gymnastics or dance or something. That’s so important for their health and well-being. A funny thing with my kids — and all kids — is that they’re always watching. So it comes down again to leading by example. They see me workout and want to try it, too. If I do a handstand walk or pushup, they try to do handstands or…
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