Our 875th Dad in the Limelight is Steve Lemig of Wilderdads. I want to thank Steve Lemig for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Steve Lemig with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Steve Lemig I work in advertising, am a writer, outdoor athlete, and founder of Wilderdad.com, a leading source of tips and inspiration for outdoor family adventures. I believe the outdoors holds a key to building a happy family. Also, I believe spending time outdoors, whether urban parks, lakeshores, or remote mountains teaches kids confidence, creativity, problem solving, teamwork, self-control, and respect for each other and nature. This is founding idea behind Wilderdad. Motivate dads to get outside with their families and everyone wins.
I had a bizarre childhood. My parents divorced early on and I grew up attending churches of spiritual cults and participating in political activism. At one point, I lived in a van in a urine-soaked alley. That was for most of sixth grade. We moved nine or ten times and I went to six different schools before graduating high school. It was stressful and the only place I found peace was in the outdoors. So, I spent most of my childhood outside running trails, fishing, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Being active outdoors helped me stay balanced and express my angst in a positive way.
2) Tell me about your family
I live in Denver, Colorado, with my wife and nine-year-old daughter. My wife and I started dating 20 years ago and have been married 14 years. She’s a backpacker having guided many backpacking trips with high school kids from the Denver area. She also rafted the Grand Canyon almost 20 years ago and it’s still a highlight of her outdoor career. My daughter is an amazing little human. She loves science, art, and especially birds and plants. Ask her what she wants to be and she says she’s ALREADY an ornithologist (expert in birds), a botanist (expert in plants), and she is interested in also becoming a paleobotantist (expert in plant fossils).
She’s super athletic–loves to bike, rock climb, fish, hike and camp with us. Believe it or not, she started running with me when she was just 18 months old. I started running with her in a stroller when she was about 4 months old. She was so small I’d secure her into the stroller with a half dozen rolled beach towels all around her. And I think by the time she reached a year and a half she just was fed up sitting in the stroller with her dad pushing her around. So, she hopped out one day and just started running alongside me. She made it almost half a mile that day.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Not a whole lot of guidance. I come from a long line of fathers (and a stepfather) who had no idea what they were doing. And they passed along the tradition to me. I felt like I started from scratch. The one benefit of having father figures in my life who didn’t know what they were doing was that I learned what NOT to do.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Relax. Be Present. Have Fun. Half of parenting is just showing up, being there for your kids, and helping them through whatever the problem du jour is. Kids who have involved dads are 75% less likely to have a teen birth, 80% less likely to spend time in jail, and 43% more likely to earn A’s in school. And the more fun you can have with your kids, the more they’ll respect and listen to you. You don’t need to be a mean SOB to get your kids to behave.
Oh, and GET OUTSIDE! Spending time outside with your kids and encouraging them to play outdoors is so good for their mental and physical development.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
It’s hard. I have so many projects going on at one time that it can get really messy. Currently, I work a full-time job, I drop off and pick up my daughter from school half the week, I help with homework, cook meals, do house maintenance, and run a blog, am writing a book, and try to workout five days a week. It doesn’t always happen. But, one thing I have going for me is that I worked really hard for years to be able to work from home full-time. It cuts out five or more hours of commute time and I’m able to knock out a few chores here and there during the day that would normally get pushed to the weekends.
Also, my wife and I used to live in California and moved to Colorado to be closer to family when our daughter was born. So, we have a strong network of family and friends who help us–and we help them. Community is key!
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
No one has it easy! There’s no perfect family. No perfect formula for fatherhood. Life’s messy. Dads need each other. We need dad support groups, whether it’s just a group of good friends or an actual local support group of dads.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
My most memorable experiences with my family have been traveling or spending time outdoors. Skiing knee deep powder in the Rocky Mountains, hiking and picking huckleberries along the Continental Divide, searching for sea glass along the beaches of San Diego, scrambling on boulders in Joshua Tree National Park, watching moose stroll by while camping outside Rabbit Ears Pass, standing in the middle of the Arkansas River fly fishing with my daughter. These are the moments when all the stresses of life melt away and I feel the strongest connection with my wife and my daughter. I think they feel it too. I can tell because of the great big smiles on their faces when we’re outside together.
If you have any questions for Steve Lemig, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!
Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave a Reply