Becoming a dad means you now have a sidekick for life — or at least for the 940 Saturdays between when they’re born and when they go to college. “Lifelong dance partner” is one of the greatest perks your kid has to offer, and you should absolutely take advantage of that for as long as you can. If you need further inspiration, look to these dads who have bonded with their kids through record-breaking or otherwise jaw-dropping feats of strength, athleticism, and adventure. Extreme togetherness!
Ain’t No Mountain High EnoughDr. David Larson started taking his daughter, Samantha, hiking at 12 (they scaled a little peak called Kilimanjaro), and was with her when she deferred her freshman year at Stanford to become the then-youngest person ever to summit Everest. The pair was first father-daughter team to complete the rest of the 7 highest summits on each continent, cementing Dr. Larson’s status as a raiser of badass daughters and guy who took these tips to crazy extremes.
Son Of A SailorAn old salt named David Hays felt compelled to repay the sea that made him, so he grabbed his son, Daniel, and his orange-and-white cat, “Tiger,” bought a 25-foot cutter-rigged English sloop, and sailed their asses from New London, CT through the Panama Canal, around Cape Horn, and back again. It’s like a real life Life Of Pi, except when they make it to the end you actually know what the hell just happened.
They Just Felt Like Running [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3kqJa_aiKE expand=1] Since 1977, Dick Hoyt has pushed and pulled his quadriplegic son, Rick, through more than 1,000 races, including 6 Ironmans, a 3,700-mile duathlon across the country, and most famously 32 Boston Marathons. In 2013, Team Hoyt was immortalized in bronze near the start in Hopkinton, MA as a reminder for all who pass by to think twice before bragging about 30 minutes of farmer’s market stroller pushing.
A Road Trip To The End Of The Earth [vimeo https://vimeo.com/112414517 expand=1] National Geographic “Adventurer Of The Year” Mike Libecki refused to let a minor thing like fatherhood hinder his quest to complete 100 expeditions by his 100th birthday. Instead, he gave his 10-year-old daughter the greatest excuse ever to miss 3 weeks of school: a 30-day sailing-skiing journey across the Antarctic Peninsula in 2014. Some guys really will go to the ends of the earth for their kids.
Hey … Dad? You Wanna Hit Some Bombs? [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G2AnNdjBu4 expand=1] Fathers and sons playing baseball is a tradition dating back to knickers and badass turn-of-the-century moustaches, and many ballplayers have begat successful big leaguers. However, only 2 father-son pairs have ever played together in a Major League game, and only one of those homered in the same game. Most amazingly, they did it back-to-back. Naturally, dad was first. Taught the kid everything he knows…
Crossing The Land Of The Writhing SonJapan: the only place where it’s totally reasonable to find an 8-year-old riding the subway by themselves or on a tandem bike with their dads riding clear across the country. Charles Scott took 3 months off from his job to do the latter with his 8-year-old son, Sho, and yet the part of the trip that surprised him most was the number of temper tantrums Sho threw. You stay weird, Japan.
What’s Cooler Than Being Cool? [youtube https://youtu.be/5oi_cLW1u1g expand=1] Again, there’s teaching your kid to fish, and then there’s watching them set an ice fishing world record while being interviewed on the anniversary of their previous record-breaking catch. Seriously, Gary Wiese, way to take advantage of those 940 Saturdays.
Squash The CompetitionTo set the set the Guinness World Record for longest squash marathon, New Zealand’s James Meyer and his father Brett got to the gym at 5 AM on a Saturday and didn’t leave for an insane 36 hours. They smashed the previous record by 3 hours and raised $18,000 for the Child Cancer Foundation along the way, but most importantly they stuck it to the Aussies, who lasted a mere 35 hours.