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Dads Beyond Definition

lululemon Ambassador Max Gawn shares how he stays well to show up as his best self for his son.


Today’s dad is beyond definition. They are so much more than a father, more than a babysitter, more than a coach, mentor, backboard - they are a continual evolution. Open to change, flexible and dynamic in every moment.

As a father, looking after your own wellbeing and leading by example is more important than ever. We know that wellbeing is a lifetime practice of physical, mental and social health, to ultimately unlock greater possibility and deepen joy.

This year to celebrate Father’s Day, we spoke to AFL player and lululemon Ambassador Max Gawn about how he’s celebrating his first father’s day and how he stays well to show up as his best self for his son, George.

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lululemon: How are you celebrating father’s day this year?
Max: This is my first Father’s Day and I think when it's your first, you really need to cash in. I wont get out of bed till 3pm and I’m expecting a mug.

lululemon: How would you describe yourself as a father?
Max: I have trouble answering this one so early on into my journey as a father. But early days, I’m basically a support for both mum and George.

lululemon: How do you look after your own physical, mental and social wellbeing, to ultimately look after your son / what do you do to stay well?
Max: Physical – Apart from day to day training to be an athlete, I add a walk to my morning, to get things going. I also love my bike! When I can, I will ride into training.
Mental – I've found a few little tricks that make me be able to walk in the door and be the best husband and father I can be. I have a long freeway drive home everyday so I get windows down, turn the radio off and just tune out and have some me time. I normally make one stop on the way - either a sauna at my local in Rye or head to the beach, weather permitting. This can be seen as more time away from the family, but I pitch it this way; it makes the time with my family so much better when I'm not on auto-pilot and am ready to be the best father and husband I can be.
Social – Phone calls to key people are a must, followed by a genuine catch up with family and friends where we leave our phones in the car and go for a walk.

lululemon: How do you want to show up for George as a Father?
Max: I think it's important for me to be me. If i try to be a dad that I can't be or don’t enjoy being, George will see straight through that, and won't it make my time as a father enjoyable. I want Georgie boy to know the Max that I know.

If George feels like he can tell me anything & be the same person he is at school, at home, at the footy club, then I’m happy.


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lululemon: What are 3 things you have learnt in your first year as a dad?
Max: 1. George doesn’t read the paper. He ain't got no idea what's going on in the world. Enjoy that for what it is.
2. For me to be the best dad, I need to be the best max. For Jess to be the mum, she needs to be the best version of Jess. We can help each other with this. Give her time away without her asking.
3. Don’t wake a sleeping child.

lululemon: What lessons did your own father teach you growing up that you’ve adopted in your life now as a dad to George?
Max: My own dad taught me some Gawn values pretty early on, one being hard working. Bit stiff if I make my 10 month old learn that value now, although I do put his food just out of reach sometimes.

lululemon: What do you want your legacy as a parent to be?
Max: If George feels like he can tell me anything & be the same person he is at school, at home, at the footy club, then I’m happy.

lululemon: In closing, can you leave us with some tips for any new dads to support them in looking after their wellbeing as they embark on their next chapter of fatherhood?
Max: Organise your time wisely and allow time for everything.. although it will most likely get cancelled because your kid has some sort of illness or didn’t sleep for 4 days straight, but always allow time for you, and always allow time for mum to be mum.
Buy a load of wipes.
If there is a fire and you can only save one thing, the sleep suit, bring the sleep suit.

My own dad taught me some Gawn values pretty early on, one being hard working.

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