Can You Balance Being A Dad And A Dreamer?

by Andy Amick on July 2, 2015

in Dreams, Kids

“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one”

How does one manage to be a good dad while also having their own dreams of adventures? That’s a question I struggle with often. It’s one that has really given me issues over the past month as the Tour Divide 2015 race got started, and I started to dream of getting back out there. As the race passed towns and mountain passes, the memories came back. Could I race it again and go faster? What would I do differently?

A few days later, I took my kids for an overnight trip with a campfire, s’mores, a morning hike, and time for them to goof around. As we left the campground to drive home, they talked about how they wanted to come back for a week or two and just have fun camping.


How can one balance these two opposing activities? The initial answer, at least the only one that I can come up with, is that being a dad trumps everything 90% of the time. The dreams of my own adventures win out 10%. I’ll admit, last year the dreams won out big time as I trained for and rode the Tour Divide. For every other year, I think the ratio works out.

The dreams have to win out occasionally because it’s not possible for me to turn off the dreamer part of my personality.  Sure, I can reign it in, but it’s always there. If I don’t go out and do some adventures, even a simple bikepacking overnight with friends, I turn into a major grumpy pants. That’s not good for me. It’s especially not good for my wife and kids.

Rather than a true balance, I think the final answer is that it’s more of an ebb and flow with the majority of time spent in the dad realm. An occasional venture over to the personal adventure bank of the river is fine, even healthy.

The month of June had me struggling to figure out this ebb and flow. There was a very strong current trying to pull me over to the personal adventure side. As with any struggle, once I got past it, I gained a new perspective. One that I hope I can maintain when the pull of a dream starts to grab hold.

That perspective is this:

A dream can exist and even percolate in my mind. Instead of letting it take control, I’m going to remember all of the family adventures I want to do – bikepacking and backpacking with my kids, taking family vacations (seeing all 50 states before my kids go to college would be fun), more bike rides on our local trails, and plenty of s’mores over campfires.

Understanding that my list of wants is more than just my dreams, I’m hoping the current will direct itself towards the dad side of the river. It’s as much fun, even more usually, on that side watching my kids have their own adventures.


So, does this ring true for anyone else out there? What’s your key to finding the “balance” between being a dad and being a dreamer?

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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