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Joy of Fatherhood

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Staten Island dads recall big lessons from little teachers

by Staten Island Advance
Sunday June 21, 2009, 7:00 AM

Today, dads on Staten Island and across the country will be honored for teaching their children important tasks in life.

Yet, what often goes unnoticed is how children actually teach their fathers.

Take Concord resident Tony Avilez for instance.

Avilez, 42, a fitness trainer and owner of Staten Island Boot Camp in Grasmere, learned the importance of persistence when his 2-year-old son, Antonio, started learning how to walk:

"It's amazing how many times he fell down and picked himself up and never complained. It reminds me what it's all about. You fall down, you pick yourself back up."

The Concord resident also realized he has to be on his best behavior at all times, since Antonio's always watching him.

Take the time Avilez, a fitness trainer and owner of Staten Island Boot Camp, brought the toddler to his fitness studio in Grasmere.

The 42-year-old father was demonstrating with weights when his clients started laughing. He looked over to see his son mimicking his actions and lifting tiny kettlebells.

"He makes me want to stay on my toes and remember I have to be the best I can possibly be, not just for myself and my wife, but for him," Avilez said.


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