It’s been 10 days since my official induction into the breeders club and things have been pretty amazing. Luc has been steadily rocking my and Heidi’s world.
Over the last week of the paternal initiation/hazing period, I’ve found many things that are accurate and not so accurate about being a dad. I’ll just state that it’s not the nightmare that everyone makes it out to be. Maybe I’m just lucky and won the lottery with an awesome wife and kid. Maybe the worst is yet to come.
Either way, probably the most accurate thing is that you will lose sleep…unless you’re a night owl and can live on 4 or so hours a night. I’ve always been a bit negligent with my sleeping habits since being a kid, so 4 hours has always been the bare minimum I’ve needed to function.
There’s so many correlations that I’ve made with the experience. I think about the times I’ve spent in the backcountry or on climbs that scared the bejeezus out of me, tying it to Brendan Leonard’s timely and insightful article in Climbing magazine about fear and how it preps us to cope with the otherwise trivial things in life.
I’m not calling having a baby trivial by any means…but I’m not going to take a 30 foot whipper onto a ledge and fear that everything I’m tied into will catastrophically explode either.
I’m also really lucky to have a few inspiring guys to follow as well – take this quote from my friend Rob Coppolillo:
“Step one. Know you are motivated.
Step two. Trust you want to be a baller dad.
Step three. Prioritize your time and be efficient. The rest will shake out.”
This morning I was inspired by a thought and yet, another correlation. I’ve been feeling the proverbial ‘second wind of life’ with this new chapter. Suddenly, the aches and pains of what I deemed as growing old has disappeared, I’ve felt stronger and surprised with my newfound energy. Is it possible that becoming a father has made me a new man?
While cooking some breakfast before heading out to the gym, I thought about my life now and how it has a few attributes in common to a time in my late teens and twenties. In top 10 fashion, I give you my thoughts on how fatherdom relates to being a dirtbag climber:
1. I can’t remember the last time I showered.
2. I party all night.
3. I forget to brush my teeth.
4. I sleep on the couch, floor and sometimes a nice bed.
5. I don’t care what I’m wearing and don’t change clothes for days.
6. I don’t know what day it is.
7. Eating becomes about survival. Eat fast and as long as it has calories, I don’t care what it tastes like.
8. No time for socializing. Like going on a sending mission, climbing or doing anything outside means maximizing every minute.
9. All my money goes to gear I never thought I needed – much of which my non-partaking friends would never understand. And the talk of such gear with those that do know, are of foreign and uninteresting nomenclature to the non-partaking friends.
10. I feel like I’m stoned. All the time.
So there you have it. Phase 1 of my adventures in fatherhood.