What does fatherhood mean to you?
Fatherhood is a very complex word and it has a lot of meaning. I think it means having values and being a role model for your kids. Having a good relationship with your wife and family sends a message to your kids about the way that things should be. Hopefully you do enough to set a good example for their future.
What is the best part of being a dad?
The best part of being a dad is watching your kids grow up to be happy, have a good head on their shoulders, make the right decisions and become mature in a very complicated world.
What is your proudest moment as a dad?
I have to say that it was the day that my sons were born. Nothing can surpass that feeling. But at the same time, I also know they are proud of their parents. When I was inducted to the Hall of Fame, my sons introduced me in a very touching manner - as a role model and father. They talked about me and how the motto they grew up with was ‘everything is possible.’ I would say those two moments are definitely the most touching I’ve had as a father.
What do you and your children do for fun?
We do everything. Of course we play the game that we all love; we all play together every time I go home. We ride motorcycles. My sons bought me a Harley Davidson and we go riding together.
What is the hardest part about being a dad?
The hardest part about being a dad is knowing that you made the right decisions for your kids - letting them go. The hardest part is praying that they make it home safe at night. The question that you have every day, in the very crazy world that we live in, is are they safe every time they go out because you aren’t there to help them or protect them.
What kind of dad do you strive to be?
Someone that my sons would say did everything possible in his power to help them, in any way, shape or form. That they felt that they were always loved by me. I’m human so we all make mistakes, but I hope that my sons know that the mistakes were made out of love. That I always strive to give them values, something that they can use to make a better life for themselves.
Describe your funniest moment as a dad.
I’m very demanding, but we have a lot of fun. We go to the beach together, we go everywhere. We ride bikes. One of my funniest moments was when I was trying to show off for my kids because I used to do motor-cross and ride dirt-bikes. I ended up breaking my collarbone when I tried to show off a little bit. At the end of the day they were the ones laughing.
What would you hope that your kids would say about you if asked what kind of a dad they have?
I hope they would say that I am very honest and that they are my life. That they know how much they mean to me. Also that I am a very good and a fair father.
What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received about fatherhood?
Very simple. Where I come from, communication with parents was not that big of a deal. When I came to this country I was 21 years old and my wife was 18. I think the only advice my father ever gave me was ‘If you want to go far in life, always be straight. Be honest and you will get far.’ That always marked with me. I hope that statement has influenced my children as well.
What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?
Something that I aim for with my children is college. My oldest son graduated college in a completely different country, in a different culture. I want to see my kids get a life for themselves and give them an education. My younger son graduated from high school and is now going to college. I would say that is very inspiring.