If you haven’t met Extremely Extreme Sports Dad, he can be described as a lanky 30-something energizer battery, permanently dressed in Climatech gear, perpetually on his Bluetooth headset, and always with around 4-5 children in tow.
When we last saw him, he’d morphed into a guy hell-bent on returning to New Zealand amidst a pandemic to bring his special LinkedIn-style of business to this fair land. And boy has he made an impact.
There is literally nothing new you can tell him about being locked down, oh no, he’s done one in 15 different countries, which raises questions about the spread of the virus, but never mind, there’s nothing you can tell him about mutations, variants, PPE or actually anything.
It’s his 16th lockdown and he’s so slick at it that he’s had to make a YouTube channel for his brave following of 667, each day logging his routine, which is like a bad mix of Moby’s daily routine combined with one of those people on instagram.
And he’s off, he’s up at 5:00am, there’s no rest for the wicked (that’s what it says on his t-shirt, except it’s paired with a picture of Alice Cooper even though he doesn’t listen to Alice Cooper), he’s in the kitchen getting his oats out of the fridge, waking the kids up for no good reason and at the same time making Mrs. Sports Dad her flat white in bed, in reality only so he can brag about that to his Teams participants.
Lucky them! They get to listen to him eating his breakfast while peering over his shoulder at a frankly perplexing virtual background image of himself sitting atop the Burj Khalifa, just like Tom Cruise did, except he did it in a business suit to prove that you can disrupt even in a fitted tan slack.
After a 90 minute meeting that could actually have been a three-sentence email, Sports Dad bolts for a “quick run” in between that meeting and free weights at the very end of his driveway so that the souls wandering past on their bubble walks can see the measure of him. He says hello to each and every one of them through lots of loud grunting and teeth gritting, just so they know how massively tough this workout is.
Later in the day, he’s lathering up a huge piece of meat with oil that he brought back from a country we’ve never heard of, while ZOOMing his young protégé, Tarquin, who is showing an interest in crypto currency; with Sports Dad there is literally nothing you can tell him about Bitcoin, it’s in his LinkedIn bio as exactly that “THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN TELL ME ABOUT BITCOIN BUT YOU CAN TRY ;)”
After reading TIME magazine in Latin, he stretches back in his occasional chair and wonders about this new lockdown, and while Jacinda as he calls her is doing a good job, he wonders if the business roundtables could pitch some ideas to her to help move the country in a better alert level, like 1.25, which he’s devised as one where Delta is halted through businessmen throwing around some ideas, perhaps even teaching others about variants, PPE, vectors, and the like.
He taps out a hasty post on his LinkedIn and like bullets in a tin bucket, his followers are clapping and hearting the post or commenting with “hear hear (sic), Sports Dad, sensible, measured talk is what we need.”
Feeling validated for being a really rather extraordinary human, he’s back in the kitchen “doing the cooking for mum tonight for brownie points” and thinking through his plan to eliminate Delta.
Another day is done and Sports Dad eases himself into the spa with one of those stemless glasses of red wine and his waterproof sports Kindle to read about that other great disrupter, Hannibal Barca.
It’s an uncertain world out there (as he keeps saying over and over in emails) but he nods in satisfaction that at least now New Zealand has a plan to exit lockdown.