Smarties, I’m excited to introduce you to our Smarty Dad this week! Meet Billy Doherty. Billy is one of the first super fun friends we met in Charlotte 16 years ago. Those were the days of Have a Nice Day Cafe, The Hut, and Vinnie’s Raw Bar. Ahhh, we were so young with not a care in the world – our only worries included what was on the social agenda for the upcoming weekend. What I would do to go back there for just one week!
Here we are years later, all grown up, kids growing up way too fast and new business ideas popping up left and right! Billy contacted me recently asking for some help spreading the word about his new swim team fundraiser idea and I loved it immediately. Billy and his bud came up with a plan to eliminate the permanent marker from swim team meets across the greater Charlotte area. I can’t tell you how annoying our swim meets were with four kids tatted up with permanent marker that didn’t come off for days. I never even went down the road of researching the health effects of permanent ink absorbing into their skin. Billy’s idea is simple – custom swim team tattoos, that are safe for your skin and you can raise $ for your swim clubs at the same time. Brillz in my book! I’ll let Billy fill you in.
Smarty Dad Stats
Married: Wendy Doherty, 14 years July 4th!
Dad of: Max (10) & Sophie (8)
Years in Charlotte: 16
Occupation: Marketing Director for Upper Cervical Health Centers. I devise programs and strategies for our franchisees which we now have over 50 and three in Italy – the best kept secret in Health Care!
Where did the idea of your swim tattoo fundraiser stem from?
Two years ago, a good friend of mine who wants to be left unnamed (star status I guess) were talking while hanging out at one of the 5+ hour swim meets. Seeing our kids with permanent marker all over them and thinking what fun it was going to be to scrub it off of them when we got home, the idea came about. The swim teams are always looking for ways to raise money and the idea seemed like a good way to keep the markers off the kids and raise some money for the swim teams. The first thing we did was use our kids as a focus group for the design of the tattoos. We presented it to our swim team, the Wynfield Forest Dolphins, and it was well received. We put together a packet to send out to other swim teams in the Lake Norman area and people were really interested in it. We offer four fun tattoos on a sheet and also offer team tattoos.
How do I bring this to my swim team?
If interested, I would love to send you some information on the program. You can email me at email@example.com or call me at 704-975-1310. We hope this program takes off and next year we will have a website and a variety of tattoo options. We plan on placing our first order at the end of March so we can have them ready for delivery by mid April.
You are one of the most physically active/fit dads I know. How do you instill that active lifestyle into your children?
By example I hope. Max and Sophie see Wendy and I adjusting schedules to fit in a work out, a walk, swim, bike ride, a run, something. Trying to eat right and exercise is part of our lifestyle. They don’t know any different. We instill in them that if you don’t have your health, nothing else matters. Its totally true! We always tell the kids, “if its from the ground, its good for you!” Its important to stay active and hang with your kids. Time flies and pretty soon they wont want to hang with us!
You had a terrible biking accident that nearly cost your life. Tell us about it.
I was in a severe bike accident in August 2010 while training for IM Florida. A box truck made a right turn in front of me. I slammed into the side of the truck and my momentum threw me underneath. I remember hearing the distinct sound of the gears being shifted as the driver proceeded to drive on. I grabbed onto the drive shaft and was dragged for 40-50 feet. I could not hang on any longer and curled up into a ball expecting to be run over. My family flashed before my eyes and I blacked out. When I regained consciousness, the trucks wheels were stopped on my legs. One more rotation I would have been crushed. I was in the hospital for 10 days with multiple surgeries and skins grafts, and 7 months of rehab.
After my accident, I started the “Strong & Focused Triathlon Club”. The purpose, simply to provide area athletes of all levels the opportunity to train with others so they do not train alone. A very close friend of mine who lost his life to pancreatic cancer inspired the name. During his battle, he always ended phone calls with “Strong & Focused”. I don’t ever want anyone to experience what I went through or what I put my family through. We now have over 60 members and are in our second year.
How did that change your outlook on life?
How much am I allowed to write? I could go on for hours about how it changed my outlook. It did more than that though, it changed my life! I was very lucky and blessed that day. I am not sure how or why I survived that accident but God must have other plans for me. I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore and I truly embrace my family and friends. I have a daily affirmation that is stuck to my mirror in my bathroom and I read it every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to sleep.
Here it is: Thank you for this day and the opportunity to embrace life. I have the strength to look at every challenge as an opportunity for growth. Protect, guide and bring health to our family and friends. I do not judge people I do not know. I instill in my kids to live life with an attitude of gratitude and focus on what is truly important – family, friends and God. I set goals, write them down and set a date to accomplish them. It keeps me on track and reminds me to focus on what’s truly important!
Do you consider yourself a hands-on dad?
Yep – Wendy is better at it than me though!
What is the funniest thing your kids have ever said?
Max told me he was going to take away my man card.
It was cold out and he will not wear pants, shorts only. I told him I was wearing long johns under my pants and he told me, “one more of those and I will have to take away your man card”, I said “what”, He said “wearing long johns under your pants, come on dad, its not that cold!” I still laugh about it every time I think of it.
Favorite activity with just you and your kids?
Primitive camping for sure. We have been going since they were 5 years old. Hike in 1.25 miles on Friday night with head lamps and stay til Sunday. Its a blast. They are carrying more in their back packs now that they are getting older!!
Favorite date-night spot?
Mickey and Mooch
Favorite family vacation spot?
North Myrtle Beach. Its inexpensive and a beach is a beach – We hang on it all day long!!!
Favorite phone app?
Words with Friends this week!
Best kept secret in North Charlotte?
Not sure if its a secret, but Birkdale Village is pretty cool. If there was a secret, it would be all the parks and trails!
I could not live without my…
My MacBook Pro, my Cervelo P2 and my family!!