The fitness racket is a long con with no real finish line. You just spend your life trying to find ways to trick yourself into busting your ass, trying to convince yourself that you don’t need a third cheeseburger, or trying to sell yourself on new and creative ways to burn it off after you ate it anyway. Eventually, if you’re devoted enough, you’ll manage to look quite dapper in your casket as you’re lowered down, just to disappoint the worms that were counting on your cheeseburger intake for their own cheat meals.

Basic fitness is just about staying healthy and prolonging your life – but as you strive to add more miles to your run, more plates to your bench, or more reps to your maxes, it’s not about prolonging anything anymore. Pushing from 350 to 375 on the bench isn’t about longevity, it’s about a strange juxtaposition of narcissism and masochism, overlayed in such a way that you somehow start to derive self-worth from the pain. Look at me, you say in your head, I’m a god damned animal.

But then something happens. You lose your job. You break your arm. You get married. You have a baby. Good or bad, life has a habit of getting in the way of fitness – and because fitness is, as I said earlier, a long con, chances are good that it’ll happen again and again. As anyone that follows me on social media may have noticed from my constant posting… for me, the latest challenge has been daddy-duty.

Writing an article about parenting can be surprisingly divisive. As a new parent, I still have strong recollections about skipping past articles about being a new dad, occasionally thinking, “well that looks interesting, but I don’t actually care.” Seasoned parents that have already proven their mettle by keeping their kids alive for years aren’t all that interested in what a new dad has to say either: it’s like being a Staff Sergeant and reading about the Marine Corps from the perspective of a Private.