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DADult Life | June 20, 2018

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The Fatherhood of Christmas: The dads who raised £3,000 for GOSH

2017 London Santa_Dash Great Ormond Street Hospital Fatherhood of Christmas.254

We all have lazy days. In fact, I love nothing more than getting home from work, whacking on a tracksuit and having a chilled evening with the girls.

At the same time, my general level of motivation is charged up – Roma sees to that.

She’s why I took part in the RBC Race for the Kids in October, during which supporters were kind enough to help me raise just short of £500 for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

I’m over the moon to have a happy and healthy child and each day I feel grateful when I look into her eyes. A scare during pregnancy and a special care unit trip once she was born made me aware family life and parenthood isn’t always straightforward, so I wanted to try and do my bit to help others experiencing tough times.

GOSH stayed in touch after the Race for the Kids and pitched its Santa Dash to me, which was set for Sunday 3rd December at Clapham Common.

Why not, I thought! I’ll find some reinforcements and bring a group together this time around.

Bizarrely, I was remarkably confident for someone whose mates don’t have any children – something that took me into the blogging world in the first place. But, I’ve met plenty of dads on Instagram, I’ll be able to get them involved, I thought…

When I set out to bring a team together for the Fatherhood of Christmas back in October, I thought it would be a relatively easy sell. I naively believed people would bite my hand off to get a piece of the action.

I soon came to realise that proposing a 5k or 10k run on a frosty winter’s morning is probably not as inviting as going for a couple of cold ones. I was also concerned about pitching a Christmas event before Halloween had even happened, but at the same time, it was a case of sooner the better, lest it get too close to the race and people have no time to train.

Forgive me dropping a C-bomb on you so early, but it’s for a good cause. On Sunday 3rd December, @greatormondst is hosting the #LondonSantaDash fun run for the third year, proceeds from which will support the hospital’s children. I’m already signed up to run this festive edition, however, I’m looking for company – and that’s where you dads come in! Whether you’re a new dad, experienced, expectant or otherwise, I’ve created a team account, The Fatherhood of Christmas, in hope we can collectively help to do some good as a group, so I’d love you to join me! If it’s not for you, but you think someone you know could be interested, please share and tag away. Let’s FOC it up! Details are in the link in my bio 🎅 #DADultLife #WhatsTheFOC #FatherhoodofChristmas #GreatOrmondStreet

A post shared by Zen | DADultLife.com (@dadultlife) on

A few weeks passed by before any real progress was made, but then I had a breakthrough with none other than man like Sam, aka dadofmadlads.

In moments he joined the team and I was at least assured I wouldn’t be running around Clapham as a team of one.

Well, the day has been and gone and the final headcount on The Fatherhood of Christmas was seven, which I can safely say came as a pleasant surprise!

In addition to Sam, I also plucked Joel (dadvgirls) and Rob (this_father_life) from Instagram, while I collared Simmane and Luke from the monthly dads’ childcare group I go to, SaturPlay. Doing a bit of recruitment of his own, Simmane also drafted in conned his brother Patrick.

As it stands, we’ve collectively raised almost £3,000 between us, which is far more than I could have ever imagined! The target I set was £1,000!

Firstly, thank you so much to the lads for joining me on the team and getting involved. You embraced the day wholeheartedly and it was incredible to meet up, especially for such a good cause.

I was spoilt for choice on photos to use, but this is probably my favourite – because you’d never know most of us had met for the first time (in person at least) just 15 minutes before! Also love the photobomb, @dadofmadlads @mumofmadlads 😂 Yesterday, seven of us dads banded together to support @greatormondst hospital in the #LondonSantaDash and thus far we’ve raised almost £3,000! It’s far more than I expected and I’ve got nothing but respect and gratitude to you dads (@dadofmadlads @dadvgirls @this_father_life) for running and those of you that have been busy donating! Salute 👊🍾🎅🎅🎅🎅🎅🎅🎅🎉👏 Donations can still be made now (link in my bio) and I assure you that no amount is too small, whatever you can offer is making a difference to those who need it. Thanks to everyone that’s backed our efforts 🙌 #DADultLife #FatherhoodofChristmas #TheMagnificentSeven @instagram

A post shared by Zen | DADultLife.com (@dadultlife) on

And, also a thank you to everyone who has donated to the fund. Your contributions will make an incredible impact to GOSH patients. If you’re yet to make a donation and would like to, you can access the funding page here.

But just who are the members of The Fatherhood of Christmas? What lunatics dressed up as St Nick for a parkland run? Who decided they didn’t want to wear any clothes underneath their costume (Answer: Simmane)? I’ve fired a few questions at them to paint a better picture – I got the ball rolling.

Name / Instagram name: Zen (yes, really) / DADultLife

Father of: Roma (six months)

How do you pay for stuff?

I like to think of myself as a storyteller, but according to my CV I’m a journalist.

What’s on your Christmas list?

Cocktail kit (The commute is taking its toll).

Bakery book (An after effect of Great British Bake Off – I want to be a Paul Hollywood-Liam crossover, plus I’ll need something to soak up the cocktails).

Socks (Dad cliché, yes, but I actually need them – God, who am I?).

And what are the kids after from Father Christmas?

Think Roma has got her eyes on a PS4 bundle. You get that, Jenna?

Likes:

Cinema, popcorn and peanut M&Ms – not always at the same time, I’m not that greedy.

Dislikes:

Rudeness makes my blood boil. Perfect example: How hard is it to say thank you if someone holds a door open for you? I routinely snarl a “you’re welcome” when anyone does shit like that, which makes me feel a bit better.

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

Very tough call – supernerd over here. But, I’d probably have to go with superspeed – I’d be able to change Roma’s nappies before the overwhelming stench reaches my nose. Or telekinesis – it’d help with the rudeness problem and I’d mentally slam a lot of doors clean shut, thus bringing about my transition to supervillain.

How active are you?

Before Roma was born I’d exercise five to six times a week. Since Roma I’ve averaged at around twice a week.

What made you do the London Santa Dash?

After recognising parenting can have lows to the highs, I realised how challenging it must be for families with young children requiring special care. After doing the RBC Race for the Kids, moving onto the Santa Dash was a natural progression.

Reckon you’ll be more active now the run is out the way?

I’ll do what I can throughout the Christmas period to balance the excessive amount of eating I’ve already started. But new year is when I’ll hope to ramp things up a notch and get more of a routine in place. After doing my first 10K, I’m eager to push myself to take on some other challenges.

New year targets?

Keep making as many family memories as possible and get some more dad meets on the go!

Name / Instagram name: Patrick / Don’t have Instagram!

Father of: Rachel (22), Daniel (20) 😬😬

How do you pay for stuff?

IT contractor and selling my body parts – anyone in the market for a big toe?

What’s on your Christmas list?

What do you get the guy who has nothing? Nothing, don’t get his hopes up.

Pyjamas – one can never be too comfy, waiting for the office onesie (TM) to be invented.

And what are the kids after from Father Christmas?

They have recently sussed out he… sorry can’t burst your bubbles here. Branded goods – watch, camera, handbag (for Daniel).

Likes:

Is this turning into a dating website? Umm fish (pescatarian, like Rastafarian, but without the dreadlocks) peanut M&M’s, rum and coke, cheese; lots of cheese.

Dislikes:

People who think men should apologise for having a pulse.

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

Ability to fly. Scared of heights, but would get over that for the opportunity of cheaper holidays abroad!

How active are you?

Exercise between three to four times a week. When they were younger hardly at all. Started training again when they were eight and ten as I wanted to get THEM out of sitting in front of a TV/computer and doing something physical. Kept going from there.

What made you do the London Santa Dash?

Simmane conned me into it. Told me to either join him or pay up – I decided to go for the cheapskate option only to find you have to pay up anyway.

Reckon you’ll be more active now the run is out the way?

I run most weekends anyway and I am planning to continue training over the Christmas period in prep for next year. Hoping to push my mileage back up again.

New year targets?

I plan to push my fitness level up quite a bit.

Name / Instagram name: Luke / funtimeanslow

Father of: Scarlett 16 months’ old

How do you pay for stuff?

I’m a facilities manager, most people have to look that up as they normally have no clue what it is lol!

What’s on your Christmas list?

I’ve asked for a dash cam because you can’t trust some people on the road these days.

A few music albums.

I’ve asked for some clothes, shoes etc.

I did joke to a friend and said I wouldn’t mind Jennifer Lopez for Christmas but don’t think the missus would be too impressed!

And what are the kids after from Father Christmas?

Scarlett didn’t write us a list but we’ve got her a few new toys to play with as she is getting a bit old now for the ones we have at the moment

Likes:

Listening to music and playing keyboard.

Keeping fit, whether that be running, swimming or practicing martial arts.

Can I say eating?

Dislikes:

People that let you down last minute and give really poor excuses.

Definitely people who can’t seem to say the words thank you after doing them a favour.

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

I would LOVE to be able to use the Force and have a lightsabre (Yes, I was named after Luke Skywalker).

How active are you?

I was very active before my daughter was born. I used to train in martial arts, use the gym and swim constantly.

Now I do a lot less but I do so much walking as part of my job. Now and again I would go for a run.

What made you do the London Santa Dash?

I was asked by Zen who happened to arrange a team of runners to take part. I normally run the Teach First ‘Run the River’ each year but I was away. So I thought I’d give this a go instead!

Reckon you’ll be more active now the run is out the way?

Hopefully, I’ve managed to secure myself a running partner at work for the new year!

New year targets?

I don’t really make new year resolution or targets as I personally think that if you want to do or achieve something then you don’t need a new year to do it!

Name / Instagram name: Simmane / Not quite there yet

Father of: Ava (Four months’ old)

How do you pay for stuff?

Director of an IT recruitment business (or pimping off good folks in IT work if you ask Pat).

What’s on your Christmas list?

Just a Fred Perry gym bag.

And what are the kids after from Father Christmas?

Kids… Are you saying I’ve got more children…hmm…

A trike bike is what we’re getting Ava and a Jumperoo in January as I know they’ll go on sale and Ava’s not really know the difference in time of purchase.

Likes:

Time with family and friends.

Fun activities

Holidays

New experiences

My job – yep, I said it…

Being happy everyday

Dislikes:

None really. Lucky-go-happy type of person. Accepting that everyone’s different – I might not agree but try not to judge by my principles/standards.

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

Invincibility, so I’m guaranteed to see Ava grow and be there to support her through life.

How active are you?

I’m actively thinking 24/7. I do a short eight-minute run and ten-minute bike ride almost every weekday as I aim to make the train…

What made you do the London Santa Dash?

Zen told me about it, but in truth I mainly did it because I’m trying to get more involved with charitable things. So something for GOSH was a no brainer given my current life agenda, and me recently becoming a father.

Reckon you’ll be more active now the run is out the way?

Regretfully not, but I keep telling myself everyday when I look in mirror that I somehow need to find time to be more active.

New year targets?

Don’t really do the new year thing, simply aim to create a better tomorrow and have fun today.

Name / Instagram name: Robert/ this_father_life

Father of: Jovan (Four years) Ranen (four months) #ladsladslads

How do you pay for stuff?

I’m responsible for 4,000 people’s training and development at a global car brand. Otherwise known as UK commercial training manager.

What’s on your Christmas list?

I stupidly opened my mouth and suggested my wife and I buy a stocking full of presents for each other where no single item can be over £10… What was I thinking?!

I’d love some new wireless headphones!

And what are the kids after from Father Christmas?

Jovan wants… an antique chair… Seriously! What kind of kid is this?

If Ranen asked for anything at four months old, I’d be pretty fearful.

Likes:

Family all the way, food (eating, not cooking), writing/directing/producing and, of course, meeting amazing dads.

Dislikes:

When people compromise who they are for others.

Pop star hype.

Glitter.

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be a flyer, but I feel like that could be a combined superpower. Like if I could manipulate objects with my mind – that would be pretty spectacular.

How active are you?

Next question please….

What made you do the London Santa Dash?

Definitely for the cause. GOSH is incredible. All Zen had to do was talk me into the running part. He did a good job obviously.

Reckon you’ll be more active now the run is out the way?

Possibly, I’d love to but I’m not making any promises.

New year targets?

Prayerfully 2018 will see some awesome projects come to fruition for me. Watch this space (or my Instagram space this_father_life). Peace x

Name / Instagram name: Sam / dadofmadlads

Father of: Eden (Two), Xander (One)

How do you pay for stuff?

By enabling the world to manage data through world-class memory and storage solutions. Is that my corporate company vision I hear you ask? Of course it is. I basically sell memory.

What’s on your Christmas list?

I write to Santa every year asking for him to bring me a vintage Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. I am hopeful that 2017 is the year he will deliver!

And what are the kids after from Father Christmas?

Eden has asked for a triceratops bike, Hulk Smash foam hands, some Lego and a box of 100 Jaffa cakes! He saw them being sold in Home Bargains and took my comment “you can’t have them today Eden, but maybe Santa will bring you some if you’re a good boy” quite literally. They got added to his list that day and have remained there ever since!

Xander is only just one, so he has absolutely no idea what Christmas is. He’ll probably mostly excited about getting his hands on the packaging from Eden’s toys. And at least 65 of his Jaffa cakes!

Likes:

Most music, rare cars, craft beer, meat, sarcasm, pub quizzes, tattoo art.

Dislikes:

Rain, toothache, cold feet.

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

I would be recharge man. I would be able to charge my phone/laptop battery just by touching it.

How active are you? 

I am fairly active. I try to get to the gym at least a couple of times a week. I was sportier and used the gym more before the kids but they also keep my active by chasing them around!

What made you do the London Santa Dash?

When Zen approached me to see if I wanted to join his team I didn’t need any convincing. It’s a great event for a great cause and I was delighted to be a part of it and help raise funds for GOSH!

Reckon you’ll be more active now the run is out the way? 

Once Christmas is out of the way I’ll be committing to a lot more running in the new year for sure!

New year targets? 

I want to do more writing. I’ve written a couple of blogs recently and really enjoyed it. I will dedicate more time to writing in 2018.

Name / Instagram name: Joel / dadvgirls

Father of: Kaci (12) Grace (Ten) Sophie (Five) and baby bump (due in January).

How do you pay for stuff?

I film stuff and edit stuff.

What’s on your Christmas list?

A leather pouch thingy to hold all my cables, chargers headphones etc as I carry my laptop everywhere with me and all my cables get tangled in the bag. Geeky I know.

Oh and the new Super Nintendo with all the old games pre loaded!

And what are the kids after from Father Christmas?

Too much stuff to mention on here. But I think Santa will be bringing them an arcade-style basketball game with two hoops and score a board. Honest, it’s for the kids!

Likes:

Listening to podcasts, reading, cinema, buffalo chicken wings and making videos.

Dislikes:

Road rage, I don’t get it! Why do people think it’s acceptable to shout and swear at people for making a little mistake on the road?! If someone got in your way when your walking down the road chances are you would both say “sorry” But put those same people behind a wheel of a car and there shouting and swearing at each other. It’s madness!!!

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

To watch a film past 8pm and stay awake. It’s a super power most people are born with. I’ve half watched more films than I can remember. Even if we go to the cinema past 8pm, it’s just ends up being an expensive nap.

How active are you?

Right now I’m working out five days per week lifting weights. But that usually only lasts three months.

What made you do the London Santa Dash?

Sam (dadofmadlads) asked me to join the team! My daughter had a lot of health complications when she was younger and we visited GOSH many times so it meant a lot to me to be able to do the run.

Reckon you’ll be more active now the run is out the way?

I’m hoping to get back into CrossFit in the new year!

New year targets?

Get fit.

Start a family YouTube channel!

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