I used to be an athlete. In my head I was an elite athlete. In reality, I was simply average.
But I did all the things – I lifeted, I ran (when I had to), I did plyometrics, I lifted, I threw heavy things. I practiced, practiced, and practiced.
I remember playing in the rain, the snow, the heat, the cold. And I remember loving it.
My body remembers the scrapes, the sores, the pulls, the sprains, the exhaustion. And I remember loving it. Actually, I relished it. It was evidence of effort – of striving to achieve goals.
Track and field, basketball, baseball – those were my biggest joys. I also enjoyed, to a lighter degree, tennis, flag football, and soccer.
As a kid, I chased the sunlight away with games of catch with my father or mother, and imagined playing catch with my kids one day.
Time passed, as it always does, and practices, games, and training were replaced with stories, songs, and potty training.
The athlete in me started to disappear – replaced by the dad. A change which I fully embraced. I am not complaining now and have no regrets – but it was indeed a change.
Little did I know beneath the storyteller, diaper changer, and minivan driver there was an unsung hero waiting – a dadlete.
There are no formal competitions for dadletes. The course is never the same, the obstacles vary daily. Bicep curls are replaced by uppy! kid curls. Bear crawls are replaced by circuits around the living room with a child on your back. Road marathons are replaced by amusement park marathons. Instead of pushing a weighted sled, you push a stroller – and all the kid baggage that goes with it.
A dadlete embraces those challenges and explores for more.
As kids become older, the challenges sometimes have less to do with fitness and more to do with entertainment. For example, I remember my dad always saying that he could kick a football from the Cleveland shores of Lake Erie to the friendly confines of Canada. We trained for that moment a lot. Parks, open fields, rest stops – we kicked and kicked and kicked.
The moment never came, but if it did (or ever does) – I believe that my father would have been (still is) ready.
This summer I have begun to rediscover my abilities as a dadlete. Jungle gyms, monkey bars, tree trunks, park strolls, lakes, oceans, and pools have all been my playground.
And that’s just the beginning. I invite you to join me over the next couple of weeks as I explore all the ways that my inner Dadlete has come out to play. Some events will be entertaining. Some will be challenging.
There are a few constants through all my adventures though – my neon green Dadlete fanny pack and my Russell gear. The gear will vary depending on the challenge, but I can tell you one of my favorite pieces is the Russell FreshForce performance underwear. These pieces are lightweight, have a moisture wicking effect and odor protection. Some performance pieces leave you feeling like you’ve worked out in a garbage bags. I will say these are some of the most comfortable (yet supportive) pairs of underwear I have ever owned. One might say these are official Dadlete underwear.
There are many more posts to follow in this fun Dadlete series as I take on land, water, and sky (well sort of). In the meantime, if you know a Dadlete who needs some gear, whether it is performance underwear or shorts or tank tops, check out the Russell Athletic line online or at your local Walmart.
The Russell brand is built for performance. Let’s see how this Dadlete measures up.
Check out my adventures here:athelete, Dadlete, Fatherhood
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