Big Decision for my Son…and some Fatherly Wisdom

I wear a lot of hats. One of them is the #DadHat.

Over the last 3-months, we all have faced some of the most challenging and difficult of times. There are several things that have kept me SANE during this time…

1. Working out. This is without a doubt #1.

2. Teaching virtual workouts to my Fitness Quest 10 community. There has never been a better time to “lean-into” my community than now. I’ve especially loved team-teaching with my wife Melanie again as we haven’t done that since our grad-school days over 20-years ago.

3. Luke with his college football recruiting. Let me explain.

My son Luke is a rising senior in high school and plays football and lacrosse. And he’s dreamt of playing Division 1 Football for many years.

But right now, there is so much uncertainty and questions whether there will even be Fall Sports for all of our high school kids. Ughhh!

Long story short, Luke took it upon himself over the last 4-months to take advantage of the time “off” and up his recruiting efforts. Nowadays, it’s as much you recruiting schools as schools recruiting you.

He probably reached out to 100+ schools, of all levels.
Some already filled their spots for quarterbacks.
Some were not yet offering scholarships for next year.
Some were definitely interested.
Some were not interested.

All in all, Luke had 9 solid opportunities & offers (at various levels) to fulfill his dream of playing college football.

And today he made his decision.

Davidson College is a great school in Davidson, NC, just outside Charlotte, NC. They are a Division I-FCS (1-AA) program, play in the Pioneer Conference, and play a great brand of football. Better yet, it’s an awesome school in a great part of the country.

I’m as happy as a father could be. Not so much that he found a place that he loves and can see himself at for the next 4 years, but for a few lessons he has learned in the process…

Here is some “fatherly wisdom” that I’ve been sharing with Luke…and now to you.

1. You must create your own opportunities.

People don’t do it for you. You must go out and create what you want in life. This opportunity that Luke created will be the first of what will need to be many in his life if he’s committed to continued success.

2. Hard work pays off.

Luke has devoted his last 4-years to training. Both in the weight-room and on the field working on the craft of being a QB.

And this wasn’t “Dad” lead. I always told him that I’d be there for him but never force him to train.

3. School work always comes first.

At the end of the day, Luke had offers from some of the top schools in the country. Besides Davidson, some of those schools included William & Mary, Carnegie Mellon, U of Chicago, and Washington University (St. Louis). And he really liked those schools also. All of them are incredible academic institutions and top-notch universities with solid football programs.

I reminded Luke that he wouldn’t be even talking to those types of schools without his strong GPA (4.8) or extra-curricular activities. And it was really 3+ years of discipline, sacrifice, and STUDY that put himself in this situation.

4. Success is often paved with setbacks & adversity.

Luke went to a private all-boys high school his freshman year. He broke his arm in the first scrimmage and didn’t play again until he was healthy towards the end of that season. He ended up transferring back to our local public high-school (Scripps Ranch, San Diego) but had to sit-out the first 5-games of his sophomore year.

So he barely even took a snap at ANY level until half-way through his sophomore year when he became the varsity starter.

I told him to never forget the path he traveled as it will eventually be fuel to help you get what you want. Luke put his mind to getting the nod as the varsity QB that year and never looked back. His adversity has continued to fuel him even now.

5. The best decisions come from your “Gut.”

When making big decisions, you always need to trust your gut.
We did the “pluses & minuses” of each school.
We set our feet on several of the campuses of his top choices in the last few months.
He prayed about it.
And ultimately, he made a decision based on his “gut.”

And I couldn’t be more proud.

My friends, thanks for reading and letting me share today. I’m beaming with “Dad pride” today. I’m normally “not” that parent that’s out saying my kid is the best…because he’s no better than anyone else.

I’m just a Dad who loves his 3-kids. And I’m proud today that my oldest Luke has made one of the biggest decisions of his young 17-year old life.

I’m not sure what the rest of the summer/fall looks like for all of our HS kids. But I can tell you what, if they use these 5-principles I shared above, I truly believe that it will all work out and that they will find a happy home as well.

Much love…go Wildcats!!


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About the Author

Todd Durkin, MA, is a world-renown trainer, coach, author and motivational keynote speaker who trains dozens of elite, high-profile NFL, MLB, and MMA athletes, including two Super Bowl MVP’s, one NFL League MVP, Olympic gold medalists, Heisman Trophy winners, and MMA champions. Todd is a 2-Time Trainer of the Year, the 2017 Jack LaLanne Award recipient, the 2018 Canfitpro International Presenter of the Year, a member of the Under Armour Training Team, and a Top-100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness.

Todd was a featured trainer on the popular TV show, NBC STRONG, which is now airing on Netflix. His award-winning gym, Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, is a Top-10 Gym in America and his 3 best-selling books, Get Your Mind Right, The WOW BOOK, and The IMPACT Body Plan, have both changed thousands of people’s lives. If you would like to get motivated and inspired now, you can pick these books up at, or if you would like a signed copy, please purchase at
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