Lessons from Papa Bower

I have always been a daddy’s girl, and assume what you want about me from that statement.

But if you knew my farther, you would be a daddy’s girl (boy) too.

My father did not spoil me, in fact he frequently kicked my butt. And by doing so he taught me some of the most priceless and precious life lessons. And before you make assumptions, let me explain.

When I finished ski school, he took me to the top of a mountain for my first real run. It was closed off with yellow caution tape due to exposed rock, cliffs, and steep grade. I was six. But I made it down.

When I was twelve I wanted to try running for the first time. He took me to hiking trail and we ran in the mountains. The mountains. But I made it up.

When I was fifteen I got my permit. He had me drive us back from the DMV, but our truck was stick-shift. I learned how to drive a manual in rush hour traffic. But I made it home.

When I was twenty-five and had not skied in ten years, he had me get in a helicopter and do back country skiing in Whistler, Canada. But I made it out alive.

You may have certain opinions about the Bower family tactics, and I will admit they are definitely not osha certified or the safest by any means. But my God, was my father there for every second; protecting, encouraging, and guiding.

What he taught me can not be learned from books or lecture.

I know Fathers Day can be a hard. The love, support, and guidance of a father is so fundamental. My heart goes out to all of you who never had a father/father figure to impart wisdom.

So on this Father’s Day I share my fathers wisdom with you. I know I would be lost with out it.

Lessons from Papa Bower:

  • Above all, do not live your life with a spirit of fear. You were made with courage, live with courage.
  • The pursuit of living with honor is a lost art, learn it. Same with guarding your heart, protect it.
  • The amount of pain you experience is directly related to your perception of pain. Yes, some things in life hurt. But why is that a bad thing?
  • You are as good as your word, and your word is only as good as your follow through. Do what you said you would do.
  • Create a hunger and desire to read scripture. Don’t be that person that only opens their bible on Sunday. Your faith and knowledge of the word is YOUR responsibility, not your pastors.
  • Your life, and arguably your soul, needs and craves more adventure. Do not restrict your life based on fearfulness of others.
  • Allow yourself to be inspired and moved spiritually and emotionally. Lift those arms up wide and allow the tears to come.
  • Control your finances, or they will control you.
  • Sometimes you just need to toughen up, buck up, and make a comeback.
  • If you have fallen, do not wallow in self-pity. Get up and do something about it.
  • The way you respond to adversity and your ability to respect authority you do not agree with, speaks volums on the content of your character.
  • Set your goals higher. More than likely the goals you have now are an insult to your God given capabilities.
  • Learn how to work hard. I mean really hard. A lazy life is disrespectful to all those who invested into you’re development.
  • Train with the best person in the room. Get your butt kicked (and be okay with it) so you can kick butt.
  • Just because you can say something, does not mean you should.
  • Do not be that person who is always talking about their achievements.
    • One, it is annoying.
    • Two, if your accomplishments are that great, they will speak for themselves.
  • Real confidence is being the first to humbly admit you made a mistake and then what you will do to fix that mistake. Insecure people defer, deflect, and get defensive.
  • A true apology never includes the word “but”. Replace, “but you did…” with ,” can you forgive me”.
    • So many people apologize but never seek forgiveness.
  • If you are blessed enough to have nice things, be good stewards of them.
  • Live and give generously. Everything you are given, is from above and it is a joy, honor, and damn fun to be able to overflow into the lives of others.
  • The toughest man in the room is usually the most humble. Real strength reconciles, protects, and restores.
  • Before you tell anyone how to live their life, is yours in order?
  • Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is hold someone accountable. There is no honor in letting individuals self-destruct because you didn’t want to offend. But before you do, see above. And do it with grace.
  • Always run back to the middle of the mat. In wrestling you meet your opponent after each period in the middle, typically each wrestler is exhausted and takes as much time to get back to recover.
    • Not you. in life, no matter how exhausted, tired, and beaten-up you are don’t walk back to the middle, run because some matches are won purely from grit.

My father’s shoulder has seen my tears too many times to count. He has answered every phone call, every, “Dad I need your help”. Cheered the loudest when I felt the lowest. He has showed up and showed out in every aspect of my life.

I always say my mother is the perfect combination of grit and class, femininity and strength. But my father?

He is the perfect combination of character and honor; fearlessness and humility.

To you, my tougher than nails and loving father.

5 thoughts on “Lessons from Papa Bower”

  1. Michal this is great!
    I had sent you a friend request on FB not long ago. It is real. I got locked out of my other account.
    Hope you guys are well.
    Can I have permission to copy and post these wise words?

    From: Counter Culture
    Reply-To: Counter Culture
    Date: Friday, June 19, 2020 at 11:59 AM
    To: Eric Cressey
    Subject: [New post] Lessons from Papa Bower

    michalgregory posted: ” I have always been a daddy’s girl, and assume what you want about me from that statement. But if you knew my farther, you would be a daddy’s girl (boy) too. My father did not spoil me, in fact he frequently kicked my butt. And by doing so he t”


  2. Wow, thank you for sharing this. I lost my father 2 years ago on Memorial Day. He and I were also very close like buddies and I still miss him very much. He was taken suddenly and I wasn’t able to have him at my wedding last year and he will never know his grandchildren. I appreciate this story so much because I agree that a quality father figure is imperative. This has warmed my heart and inspired me to write about my father. Thanks again. God bless you.


  3. Such a great fatHer mine is also the best but he don’t ask appology jajajajaja but he is very hard to me and theach me hard work to sustain their sons 🙂 thank Hanna you are very brave woman !!!!!!!


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