Family Magazine

The Top 5 Extreme Sports for Dads. Including Gardening…

By Morander @notreadbooks

dummyI awoke last Sunday morning, sore. My head hurt, my back ached, I was bruised, battered and scratched. I rolled out of bed making old man puffing noises as I made my way to the kitchen to put on the kettle. 4 years ago this sort of pain would have been brought on by some extreeeeeeeme (best read with hardcore sound track playing in the back of your mind) activity; careering down a slope on a snow board or belting down a track on a bike but now… not so much.

No, my afternoon schnapps half way up the slope has been swapped for a cup of tea and a biscuit, my warm snow boots replaced by muddy wellys and my bike and board swapped for a frying pan, scooter and pruning shears. In the blink of an eye my old life has vanished. My ability to pull off crazy product-assisted hair… gone and reasons to use the terms “smashed it”, “crazy” and “stack” in context… rare.

At some point in the last 4 years, life tricked me into getting excited by the successful repositioning of an azalea or the appropriate grade of mulch. Bloody kids.

So how does the family man keep up his need for extreme-ness. How does he find ways of satisfying that need for danger or the desire to go harder, faster stronger and longer (enough chuckles ladies). Well, my tip is to introduce extreme into new areas;

1) Scooter of death. Pretty much as it sounds. You find a moderate hill, a toddler with a scooter and connect the two. It helps have an iphone to distract you for about 5 seconds,  just enough time for your child to pick up adequate speed down the hill to get the death wobbles. Dad gets to be extreme as he races wildly to grab her, dodging other kids on scooters being more responsibly manoeuvred down the hill (normally by mums).

2) The Department Store set-and-go. My mom used to call them “hands in pockets” shops. You know the ones where everything is on glass shelves, about hip height for an adult, eye level for a toddler? Well this sport involves a Dad taking a nearly three-year old into the glassware section of a reputable department store, letting go of his kids hand and checking his iphone for 30 seconds. After this time he can look up and then dash wildly around pillars adorned in expensive glass trinkets grabbing at his child while she grabs at anything worth $500 and upwards. Extra points awarded for an audible tutting noise from the shop assistant.

3) Extreme Gardening. Sure you could dig out a couple of weeds but instead why not move trees by digging them up, dragging them around your house and then digging bigger holes for them to be re-planted into. While you’re at it consider laying 2 tonne of bark mulch and breaking up concrete paths to take to the tip. To ensure extreme-ness make sure you only give yourself a weekend to do it and that at least some planting has to happen at night. With head torches.

4) Totes Gnarly Cooking. Next time you have a family gathering don’t rely on your standard, tried and tested recipes. Instead pick a recipe with a cut of meat that barely fits in your oven, with ingredients only available from “speciality stores” (read expensive and three-hour round-trip to get) that needs most of your second drawer contents to prepare, along with every bowl and baking dish you own. Extreme you ask? Well it gets that way when your partner realises that they will be cleaning up after you!

5) The dump truck, taco, downstream flip! Ok so opportunities to hurtle down a river in a rubber, inflatable boat are limited to the average Dad but what I can offer you is an opportunity to get just as wet. Put your toddler in a shower. You stand outside the shower, fully clothed and attempt to wash your three year-olds hair.The three year old spends their whole time rushing to stand on the other side of the shower to you. You spend the whole time trying to reach around the stream of water, forcing your child’s soapy head underneath the water in a vain attempt to rinse it off. Throw in the occasionally howling scream and their you have it. Totes. Amazeballs. Extreme!

So how about you? Are you a post-gnarly-edge-of-the-seat type person, trapped in a parents body? Has your definition of crazy changed since kids? Or is being up past 10pm about as on-the-edge as you get now?

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