The Dangers of Internalizing Stress

Stress causes 90% of the health issues that are killing us today. Every thought or emotion we have releases chemicals into the environment in which our cells grow. This causes inflammation, disease, and bad habits that are damaging mentally and physically.

In this 100th episode of Thursday Throwdown, Dr. Ryan Wohlfert talks about how internalizing feelings and emotions leads to a build up of stress, and how we as men and fathers can boost our health and achieve sustainable success by surrounding ourselves with likeminded men and sharing our challenges with them.

Why do most men internalize? We may not even be conscious of it, but many of us have the belief that we’re not worthy to be happy and successful. Getting with a men’s group helps us to find out who we are, what we want, and why we want it. A tribe of brothers gives unbiased advice, moral support, and holds us accountable, so we can achieve longterm, sustainable success in money, work, and relationships

Every thought or emotion we have releases chemicals into the environment in which our cells grow. #men #menshealth #stress #anxiety #fitness Click To Tweet


The Ranger Way with Kris ‘Tanto’ Poranto
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Dr. Ryan Wohlfert




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Hogan Hilling

I Missed Not Having a Dad in My Life by Hogan Hilling

Hogan Hilling missed not having a dad in his life.  This article is incredibly moving and very real.  It’s an honor to have a man like Hogan Hilling share this part of his life with the Good Dad Project.

-Larry Hagner

Article below written By Hogan Hilling

My mom never talked about him. All I knew was that his name was Henk and that my mom and Henk divorced after I turned two.

In school, I dreaded the question teachers and kids asked, “What does your dad do?”

With a crushed heart, I would reply, “I don’t have a dad.”

As a child, I did not know how to share the pain of not having a dad or who to share it with. I struggled with my identity and with the question of why I was one of the few children without a dad in his life. Mostly, I really, really missed my dad.

The middle and high school years were extremely difficult because I had no dad to guide me into manhood. I questioned my existence, struggled with self-esteem and had a hard time trusting people. My rage and anger at Henk for robbing me of life without a dad also grew.

Why did he leave? How could he leave? If he is still alive, why didn’t he come back?

By the time I graduated high school, the pain dwindled into acceptance but never disappeared. Although I surrendered to the reality I would never meet my dad, I hung on to a glimmer of hope for a reunion with him. If it did happen, I wondered how I would react.

In 1983, twenty-six years after my parent’s divorced, fate gave me an opportunity to answer my question. It began with a phone call from my brother.

My brother told me about how he had introduced himself to a man while on a visit to San Francisco. The gentleman said he knew another man with the last name Hilling. That man turned out to be our dad’s brother, Theo. My brother got his number and I called Theo who put me in contact with my dad, who was living in Brazil!

My reunion with Henk began with a letter, followed by a phone call and eventually a flight to Brazil.

At the time I owned a business. I closed it and committed to spend time with Henk and his new family for six months. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I did not want to pass it up even if it meant losing my business.

Father and child reunions after so many years are rare. When it does occur, it is difficult for father and child to bury the hatchet and renew their relationship. I decided to let bygones be bygones and gave Henk a clean slate. No animosity. No judgment. No assumptions. No expectations. No drama.

During the first five months there weren’t many opportunities for a one-on-one chat with Henk. who had a full-time job and family responsibilities.

Much of my time was spent bonding with Henk’s wife, Claudette, and children

Heady, Dewi and Anna Lisa. In addition to the good fortune of my reunion with Henk, his new family embraced me with open arms. Claudette treated me like her biological son and Henk’s daughters treated me like their biological big brother. I felt so lucky to have finally become part of a real family.

My time with Henk and his family proved to be more than just a reunion of father and son. As I observed Henk’s mannerisms and interaction with his family, I began to develop a greater understanding of who I was. I recognized qualities, characteristics, and personality traits as well as shortcomings Henk and I had in common. My time with Henk and his family turned out to be very therapeutic.

One of Henk’s traits that impressed me was his pride. Henk took great pride in every aspect of his role as a loving, passionate, dedicated, involved husband and father. There was no doubt that Henk loved his family. He demonstrated it every day with public displays of affection.

Henk also took great pride in his job as draftsman for one of Brazil’s largest energy companies. On my lunch visits to his office, I met many co-workers who shared their respect and admiration for Henk.

I felt proud to call him my dad.

Henk’s pride for his work is what led to the defining moment of our reunion. He invited me to visit one of the power plants he helped design, which was located in the middle of the Brazilian jungle. During the drive, we had alone time to share more of our personal stories of life without each other.

Three hours into the drive, Henk pulled to the side of the two-lane road near a creek surrounded by miles of banana trees. He turned off the engine and finally shared his

side of the story.

“After your mother asked for the divorce, we went our separate ways. I stayed in Brazil and she moved to the Netherlands with you and your brother. I was devastated. I tried many times to contact you through letters but I never received a reply. I lost track of time and didn’t know your whereabouts. Sometimes I feel I didn’t try hard enough to find you and your brother. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you. I hope you will forgive me.”

As I listened to the pain in Henk’s voice, the many why’s I had asked about Henk no longer mattered. While I wallowed in my pain of life without a father, I never thought about the agony of my dad’s life without a son. I realized Henk had missed me more than

I had missed him.

“Dad, I accept your apology but it is unnecessary. I’m so grateful we met and I love you!” I told him.

Later that day I made a pact with myself. If I ever became a dad, I would do whatever it took to be a hands-on, involved dad for two reasons. One reason was an unselfish one. I would not want my children to experience the life I had without a father. The second was a selfish one. I would never want to experience the emotional pain Henk endured in a life without all of his children.

Today, I am proud to have fulfilled my pact as a father to three boys, who are now adults.

Henk passed away in 1995. Although my relationship with him only lasted twelve years, I have many fond father/son memories I still cherish today.

But I still miss him.

Links to Hogan Hilling

Hogan’s Website

Hogan’s Blog

Hogan’s Twitter

Hogan’s Facebook Fan Page

Larry Hagner Links

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

The Dads Edge Book

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Charlie Brenneman

Charlie Brenneman: How to Live a Life of Excellence

Charlie Brenneman is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, speaker, mentor and author. Following a successful high school wrestling career, Charlie took his talents to Lock Haven University where he achieved a top 12 finish at Division I Nationals and 1st Team All-Academic. After teaching Spanish for three years and winning Spike TV’s Pros vs. Joes, Charlie decided to leave his job to pursue a master’s degree and begin his professional fighting career—“The Spaniard” was born. In 2011, he was ranked as high as #7 in the world, and in 2015, he published his autobiography, Driven: My Unlikely Journey from Classroom to Cage. Charlie currently lives in PA with his wife and daughter

“I would rather be 7th best in the world and have a well-balanced life, than the best in the world and not have that balance.”

-Charlie Brenneman TWEET THAT

“When I pass away, I want my last breath to be from exhaustion from living life to the fullest.”

-Charlie Brenneman TWEET THAT

Charlie Brenneman’s Background

That’s a heavy statement coming from a pro MMA fighter. But knowing Charlie’s background sheds some light on this quote’s reasoning. Growing up, Charlie Brenneman was fortunate to have a supportive family; a mother and father who encouraged him to achieve his goals, and sacrificed their own needs for their children. This upbringing allowed him to be successful in his academic life, his own family life and his career in the MMA.

Charlie Brenneman on Youth Sports

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t try to be the best simply that you should strive for your own excellence and encourage that in your kids. This is especially true when it comes to kids and sports. Charlie applauds his own parents for making sports fun for him and credits this attitude with much of his athletic success. He states that there needs to be a proper amount of push and encouragement. In other words, throwing your kids to the toughest opposition doesn’t necessarily ingrain positive self-image. It may actually work against them and make kids feel defeated. Instead, help kids to have “little successes”; competing against like-ability opponents and work up the ladder as they improve in their ability. Allowing kids to have fun with sports and achieve gradual success will more than likely make them want to play and instill positive behaviors.

Teach Balance and Live Balance

Teaching children the value of balancing being the best in something with other important aspects of their life, like friends and family, gives them a strong foundation for success as adults. Let’s face it: the balancing act of life only gets more challenging. Whether you’re a pro MMA fighter or a fire-fighter, learning to develop and maintain a healthy work-life balance is critical. Charlie works to achieve this through his “Systematic Living”-a curriculum for life.

Positive Habits and Surround Yourself with the Right People

Developed from his own reflection on his past successes, Charlie created this curriculum to help others become successful in their own lives. Essentially, he “deconstructed” how he achieved each individual success and identified certain pillars: honing your positive habits, surrounding yourself with the best people, networking and avoiding negativity (Check out his links to find out more!). These pillars set you up for the greatest individual success in your own life.

Family is the First Priority

Of course, one common thread throughout the entire interview with Charlie is the importance of family. It is clear that he believes in dedicating himself to something greater than himself. In other words, keeping the needs and desires of those he loves at the forefront of his personal aspirations. By being the best version of yourself, you are providing the best example for those around you.

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

The Dads Edge Book

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

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The Spaniard’s Links:

If you enjoyed this episode Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman . Leave your comments below as we would love to hear your thoughts so we can continue to provide you with content you enjoy.

working dad

How To Be Adaptable To Change as a Working Dad with Vaughn Kohler, Cohost of the MFCEO Project

Episode Overview:

working dadWhat defines you? As men, many times we define ourselves by the job title we hold, but that can be fleeting at times given the state of the world. So, what’s a working man to do?

Vaughn Kohler, writer, speaker, mentor, co-host of a top-rated business podcast (in other words, man of multiple hats) talks with Larry and Shawn about being confident enough in your skills and abilities so that, whatever job you’re in or wherever life leads you, you are defined by a core set of skills that will never go away.

Key Takeaways of a Working Dad:

The world is volatile

Change is a given. As cliche as it is, along with death and taxes, change is one thing we can count on. Sometimes that job we’re in doesn’t work out, relationships falter, but we don’t need to be defined by these facts. What defines us is what we take away from this change.

Who are you?

Just because you work at a law firm and you have a law degree and, yes, technically you ARE a lawyer, this is not WHO you ARE. What skills do you bring to the table? Are you the key communicator, researcher, negotiator? See the difference? You are defined by the core talents you have, not your title.

You don’t have to be extraordinary…

It’s definitely ok to be a working dad, but just be you. Be deliberate in your actions and what you set out to achieve. Even if you aren’t superhuman (because NO one is), you can achieve what you want through understanding your gifts and applying them with deliberate action every day.

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

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Vaughn Kohler’s Links:

If you enjoyed this episode “How to be adaptable to change as a working dad with Vaughn Kohler, Cohost of the MFCEO Project”, let us know. Leave your comments below as we would love to hear your thoughts so we can continue to provide you with content you enjoy.