My Dad has three daughters. No sons.
He loves the outdoors, especially the view of it from his bike. He had a decision to make when the three of us came along. Conscious or unconscious, I’m not sure which, he would have to choose whether to teach us what a father commonly teaches his son. He could coach our soccer, gaelic football, and camogie teams, teach us how to pump up a bike tyre, to set up a tent, climb bales of hay, drive a car, or else he could hand us a Barbie and send us over our mothers way.
He chose to dismantle the gender barrier. He taught us it all.
He showed us the beauty of the outdoors and the best way to view it, through sport. To see grass from a footballers perspective, to see the countryside from a bikes saddle, the sand on the beach from your place bobbing among the waves, the sky from a hilltop, the stars from a makeshift tent up the back garden, the birds from the trees we climbed. We saw the world from the shoulders of a 6ft-something tall man, and when we got too big for that view, he took us off and sat us on our own two feet. But our perspective had changed, we were different and we would do anything to get that view of the world back.
My older sister chose zoology, she would save the animals, save the outdoors and therefore keep safe the world we saw as a child all those years ago. The younger sibling, chose tourism, she didn’t know what she wanted to do, all she knew was that the outdoors combined with travel held the key. And I, I chose journalism, adventure journalism. My Dad never laughed at my choice, he never questioned it. If I could see the world via surfboard, while sky-diving, or hopping on a ski lift, then I think he knew that I would get the best view of all.
It is obvious now amongst my age group that not enough fathers’ did this for their kids or maybe they did and the daughters just chose a different path. But we are growing in number, and a domino effect is beginning to take hold. The more young girls who see the one’s before them choose this track, the more that will follow in their footsteps.I feel that bit more alive than those that have never run, biked, or swum a long distance. Than those that have never toppled off a skateboard, a surfboard, or a snowboard. Than those that have not jumped off a cliff, scootered down a driveway and across the road, climbed a tree, a hill, a mountain. I bet you all have amazing lives, but if you haven’t felt a surge of adrenaline rush through your veins, then perhaps you should, even if its just in an attempt to prove me wrong.
Go on, I dare you.
Enter my world: