Durias Henry is a man on the grind these days. Fresh off his second workout of the day, personal training, and checking on investment properties, entrepreneur and men’s fitness competitor Durias Henry stills finds time to muster up the energy to devote quality time with his family after a long day. But when family is the motivation, you can never give more of yourself to the world than you give your family. Usually up at 4:30am, Henry likes to get an early start to his day to accomplish his goals, with his morning routine out the way its off to the gym. Preparing his mind and body for competition while simultaneously educating himself on proper nutrition for maximum results & performance.
Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Durias moved to Kansas City for college, fell in love and started a family, and eventually a career in law enforcement. With the birth of his daughter (Tatum), Henry found himself the heaviest he had ever been & it was at that moment holding his daughter in his arms that a change was needed. Through faith, discipline, and the support of family and close village, Durias not only lost the weight but found new purpose in his personal journey. With bigger goals & even bigger passion, Durias became a NANBF Competitor and on May 8, 2021 placed 1st in the Men Physique Open; 1st in Men’s Physique Novice and 2nd in Men’s Physique Pro Qualifier.
Check out his vlog below detailing the journey to his 1st Men’s Physique Show.
Fighting through body aches and mental fatigue, Henry sat down for an interview with me to talk about his upbringing, fatherhood and the importance of building a legacy built on faith, discipline and love.
DF: How do you define legacy?
DH: Legacy for me means, being able to have something to leave my children. Being a black father and having had my daughter first…now bringing a son into the world, there is the opportunity to teach my kids that there are more opportunities that exist. To teach them things that my father didn’t get the opportunity to do. Now you don’t have to go to college to be successful. I’ve been exposed to different ways to find success and fulfillment. Ultimately that is the goal. There isn’t just one way anymore. It seemed so streamlined before and I’m excited to be able to teach them a different path.
DF: How do you think raising a son will differ from raising your daughter?
DH: As time progresses and he gets older, being able to identify what needs correction. With my daughter I’ve learned balance, and taking the time to provided examples as to why her actions require a certain correction and ask her questions, getting her thinking and communicating with me. I like being able to have that dialogue with my daughter so she we can paint the picture in her head so we can learn for those opportunities for correction.
But man… having son, it’s going to be rough little time and it’s not on purpose! You know taking that responsibility to lead by example because there are so many influences in the generation today.
DF: As A Father we take on the roll as ” teacher” but our kids often times teach us more than ever expected, what have you learned from daughter in your first four years as a father?
DH: Learning how to love correctly. When my daughter was first born, I was the first one to hold because my wife had a c-section; and from those first few moments it made me want to turn my life around! I wanted to be that example for her, because as she gets older she is going to see how I treat her mother, my wife and that important to me. So I have to make sure I do things right… so she knows what to look for when she gets older. My daughter taught me how to pay attention to the details.
DF: Switching gears for a moment, what sparked your journey into fitness?
DH: My daughter was definitely a spark. Looking at her and knowing that I needed to make sure I’m around as she grows and not just “around” but active, moving well, high energy. Kids need that from there father .
At the time, I just thought “ protection”. So I was just getting big, strong , lifting weights but just eating whatever I wanted & not understanding proper nutrition. I appeared to be healthy at the time, but being in the market that I am in now, I know that wasn’t the case. I needed to change my habits, because I was also eating drinking a lot. She made me want to change all walks of my life.
My spiritual walk had even taken a hit and I wanted that relationship back with God. I started by downloading the Bible App and getting back into the word the of God!
“ Them days get tough. To be resilient. Do the small thing like waking up early in the morning before 90% of the world, just having that headstart. We are not given anything, we gotta go out an work for it…Its ok to mess up but it how you respond the next day”.
DF: Earlier this year you made the decision to resign from KCPD and dedicated 100% of time and effort
DH: I had been praying about leaving and figured it was time to put some effort behind those prayers. It was after all the protest & ultimately, I left because I needed peace. I remember getting that first call for duty… and that’s when I felt like peace was disrupted. Mentally it takes a toll on you. I just started to have different thoughts and realized that there is “more” out there, but what is more? I tried doing a monthly cleaning service…that didn’t work out. I thought about trash service.. getting a dump truck, and also doing wholesale real estate. I was just trying to make something work. Because again, all I knew was that I had to provide for family.
DF: Recently, you decided not to compete in Octobers Natural Bodybuilding Competition. What was your mindset behind that decision?
DH: I was in the gym working out and I was thinking…talking about internal battles. And for me I thought it would be selfish to try and compete again this year. With baby boy coming in July and prep starting August 1st, the timing just wasn’t right. Being there for my wife and kids is something that was important to me. With what I know about post-partum and all that goes into prepping for competition, God knew what was best for me.
DF: Can you talk to me about the influence your father had on your life and the father you are today?
DH: I remember watching my old man work hard to provide, making sure we had what we needed. Him being present & in the moment… making sure I was involved and making an effort to be at those events. Although he was working a lot, he made sure to dedicate time to be with family and making sure home is good.
So now when I became a father, naturally the first thing I wanted to do was establish my ability to provide… financially. Then making sure I’m giving, & putting my kids into things they enjoy. My daughter is in gymnastics now, she has a natural ability for flipping and it’s something she just always enjoyed to do.
I remember at 3 years old my daughter saying, “daddy I know how to do splits”. Paying attention and listening to my daughter, I recognized here naturally ability and that is something my dad did with me. Making sure I was at the AAU camps and tryouts and being the loudest one there! That was his way of showing me that he was there!
DF: Can you recall any particular moment in your daughters early years where you knew you were built to be the father you always imagined you would be?
DH: Yea… the moment my daughter was born! I held her first because my wife had a c-section. For the first few days I was the first to feed her, change her… I had the first few moments with her. I just jumped right in and was ready, IT WAS GAME TIME!!
DF: If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with ” Dear Father”, what would you say?
I want to tell you thank you… thank you for being present, and being there every step of the way since birth. Thank you for the unknowns that you took time to figure out through trials and tribulations. The unseen hours, working 2-3 jobs to make sure there was food on the table, clothes on my back. Any sports programs I wanted to be in, every tryout …every game and anything I needed.
I know at time we don’t’ see eye to eye due the separate paths we took in life. But you set the bar on what hard work looks like. Never giving up when things get tough, always hold your head high and chest up…be relentless. Never to complain about what you don’t have, but be grateful for what you do have. Never let anyone or anything stand in your way… if they do… run straight through em!
Through losses and lessons. Learn from them and make calculated moves to move forward. Never run from a challenge, but conquer them.
Big Q passed the torch I will carry on to complete the legacy for Tatum and Titan.
Forever… I LOVE YOU BIG DAWG!
To Stay Tapped In with Durias you can follow him here:
IG: @mrtntfit (personal) / @gottntfitness ( business page)