I think that speaks volumes about Zeke as a man and a father, and I thought it would be cool to share his thoughts on both fitness and fatherhood. We sat down together - rare for two trainers who aren't big on sitting - so I could ask him some questions. Here are some excerpts from our conversation:
Q: How old were you when you started getting into fitness?
A: I began training really young, around age 11 or 12. I began powerlifting. My family was into wrestling.
I wrestled for six years. The training was good, but I didn't have a good grasp on nutrition at that time and would binge-eat and diet to make weight.
Q: That reminds me to ask you about nutrition - especially as it relates to men, and to men of color in particular, who have high rates of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. What advice do you have for your brothers?
A: Start eating healthy. I know it's easier said than done. If you really want to heal, stop the junk food - the fried food and sodas - and instead go for plant-based foods.
We have to learn how to relax, too. Spend more time with your family. Love your family. Even though I'm divorced, I find time to spend with my daughter and my son. We laugh a lot.
Q: What kinds of activities do you do with your kids?
A: We love things we can do outside, keeping our feet close to the earth, like hiking, walking and throwing footballs and baseballs. Do activities where you can be fully engaged, like bowling, swimming, talking and joking over dinner - things like that, not the movies.
Q: What about you? What do you do to stay in such great shape?
A: Ideally, I do a combination of strength training and cardio about five days a week for an hour.
Q: What about your diet? Is there anything you eat that the average dad may not?
A: I generally begin the day with a green smoothie for breakfast. I use different greens - sometimes it's kale or bok choy - with ground chia seeds, flaxseeds and hempseeds [all whole grains that have fiber and healthful omega-3 fatty acids], banana, lemon and frozen berries. A serving is about 10 ounces.
Q: Sounds yummy. I know you're a voracious reader, also. What's your favorite book on parenting?
A: Smart Love, by the Piepers. [The full title is Smart Love: The Compassionate Alternative to Discipline That Will Make You a Better Parent and Your Child a Better Person, by Martha Heineman Pieper and William J. Pieper.]
I read it every year. It's one of the best parenting books ever written.