TNT’s Ernie Johnson, an ugly cry and a 4-mile run: A recipe for getting over myself

Forget the Hall of Famers, this desk belongs to Ernie. (Photo via E:60)
Quick confession: I spent most of the weekend feeling overwhelmed by this whole adulting and dadding thing.

Strange revelation: TNT’s Ernie Johnson helped me get over it.

Also, I’ve never met Ernie Johnson in my life.

The truth is that this weekend has been rough on your boy. I’ve been feeling the crush of late winter, the professional pulls, the dad goals and all the stresses in between. But thanks to a partner who was kind enough to identify my need for some space, my wife brought the boys to play with friends, and I was able to clear some space in the ol’ noggin.

In years past, that would have meant calling up some friends and running a full-court game. But I’m 39, and all of my friends are just as busy as I am. So it was downstairs to my treadmill, where I popped on E:60 and ran head first into just what I needed: a feature on Johnson’s life as a father and a pro.

Ernie Johnson tends to his son. (Photo via E:60)
One mile in, I was holding back tears. Two miles deep and I wasn’t holding them back anymore. By miles three and four, I was in a full ugly cry, and owning it. And when it was over, I felt great. It was, in no short order, exactly what I needed to pull myself back together.

So much of what Ernie has been through spoke directly to many of my challenges as a dad–adoption, coping with the mortality of a child, etc. (Many of these themes I touched on when I told my Dad Story, right here). But many of these travails speak to the universal challenges of active fatherhood.

Now, I’m not going to give away much of the story, because I’d love for you to spend 20 minutes with the video below, but suffice it to say Ernie Johnson is killing the dad game.

Hope you dig it.

Remember, dad, it’s OK to feel overwhelmed. This. Is. Hard.

Kyle Belanger

Written by: Kyle Belanger

Proud father to three children (in order: one deceased, one adopted and one biological), Kyle is constantly navigating the worlds between actively grieving and openly gloating. Learn more about Kyle here.

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