"In this life, in this, oh sweet life"
Life is a spiritual experience; I mean what other way you can explain life? It’s all energy. The energy that keep us alive, the life force, is what I call spirituality.
Life is challenging, and we all got challenges. I got challenges, and my son got his challenges. The difference is my challenges you cannot see, and his challenges you can.
About the Dad:
My biggest challenge in life is emotionally. My childhood was emotionally was very complicated and as I grew up, I became more and more numb. All the guilt, blame, shame kept accumulation until one day I found myself depress and working in a job that I didn't like, and to be honest I saw a side of the business world that I did not like. I was 23 years old, 100 pounds overweight, smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. One day I woke up and decided to challenge myself physically and train for an ironman. So, I quit smoking, started to train. I did my first ironman in 2005, and I loved the mind war that goes on in an ironman and somehow going through that mind war with a tremendous amount of physical pain made me feel good, not whole but good. I enjoyed so much that I ended up racing 18 ironmans, 16 of them as a professional athlete. However, I saw another side of the sport than I did not like, and depression started to hit again.
In 2014 where pretty much my midlife crisis begins, I started thinking about doing something else, something to help others and to leave this place better than how I found but I did not know what or how. That year I added to my uniform “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I was going to therapy on that time for a few reasons: work on my baggage (depression), working on my frustrations on the athletic industry and working on my purpose. That is when I realized I wanted to be a Dad. I remember one day, I expressed to my therapist the idea of being a Dad, and my idea of doing something to help make an impact. She looked to me and said: "The best way to create and in impact is with kids". 2015 came along and I was sure of only one thing, I wanted to be a Dad, and we got pregnant at first try. Luke was so ready to come.
Luke was born with a rare muscle condition called nemaline myopathy, affecting the skeletal muscle making it hard to eat, breath, walk and talk. Luke is an amazing kid full of life (light), that moves music specially Rock. AC/DC is his favorite so far.
About the Foundation:
When Luke was born, we spent 84 days in the NICU and 40 days in the PICU. During this period, I saw a lot of support for moms, and not a lot for dads, and I was lost and for a while I thought, why 2 athletes have a kid with a rare muscle condition. I remember thinking how ironic all this was, and how confused I was with the situation. The interesting part is that this time depression never came because I felt whole for the first time in ages.
So, I quickly realized that is not ironic, it’s a perfect connection between us. I did not think twice. Months after Luke was born, I finally announced my retirement from racing professionally to become a full time Dad and transform my coaching business into this nonprofit organization and just like that, I became a Dad on a mission.
Why go Luke Wygand? During the NICU stay the #goLukeWygand was created with many collective meditations and many people all over the world praying for Luke using the #goLukeWygand.Why foundation? Because LOVE is the foundation for everything in life!
Why fatherhood rocks? Fatherhood is the best experience ever, even with all the challenges and responsibilities fatherhood is absolutely the best feeling in the world. Luke and I have a great connection with music and we both absolutely love rock and roll. Besides, for me, there is no other type of music more empowering that Rock and roll. So welcome to the Go Luke Wygand Foundation INC, where "Fatherhood is like living in paradise city, with rock playing out loud and nothing else matters!
May the force be with you,
Richard Wygand and Luke Wygand-Founders