If you look close at Jason Strudwick you can see a collection of scars. Punches, stitches, a few hockey stick blades…whatever causes a scar, they are stories told on his face.
He was a stalwart NHL defenceman for several teams. To some, he’s the burly gent that can deliver a bitchin’ press lift on Battle of the Blades. To others, he’s someone you want swinging a battle axe beside you if you had to travel back in time to fight some uncouth Viking marauders. Let’s just say he can wear many hats.
Currently he is, amongst other things, a host for DinnerTV here in Edmonton (which is where I met him on a parent panel). From what I’ve gleaned from my conversations with him is that he’s an insightful man that cares deeply about the world he lives in. To sound cliche, he’s the opposite of the bruiser he was on the ice. He loves his family, his community and his home town.
I’ll leave it at that.
Here are some jovial answers from daddy Struds:
UnDad: For as long as you can remember, did you always want to be a father?
Jason Strudwick: Yes. I did always want to be a dad but it was not a pressing desire until I got into my late 20s. I was happy to start my family later in life.
Has it changed how you see the world?
I do see the world differently after having kids. I am for sure more emotional and I have never been more affectionate! When reading the book Love you forever I am like a waterfall! Tears all over the place. They have also slowed me down. I enjoy small things with them more than anything else. Going for a walk in the river valley and seeing an animal makes their day and mine!
What is one of the biggest surprises you’ve come across?
I got a lot of advice before we started our family but I was not prepared for how consistent you need to be. Discipline or teaching it happens every day, every minute! They probe for weaknesses in my defense to take advantage of an extra few minutes on the Ipad or getting away with teasing each other. Much like erosion they never stop and so must a dad!
Do you have an anecdote that (sort of) sums up your dad experience thus far?
We took the whole family to the circus recently. It was hot inside the tent, someone had to pee every 30 mins, our youngest was tired so it wasn’t the easiest day. But once the show started seeing their faces react to all the different elements of the show made it all worthwhile. Much like our good friend Andy Dufresne from Shawshank sometimes you have to crawl through a tube of turds to reach the great stuff!
What advice would you give other dads?
PATIENCE!! Every day is unique based on how every little one is doing. The best laid plans must sometimes be tossed aside. Roll with the punches. My cousin gave me great advice a couple of months after having our second. Lower your expectations to 0….you will have a better chance of reaching that target.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Being a dad is the best thing that has happened to me. I would prefer being with my family no matter how hectic life is getting. It would just be nice to get a nap once in a blue moon without someone giving me the people’s elbow as a wake up call!