AURORA | As the athletic director at Gateway High School, Brendan Netherton is used to being around athletes getting in shape.
Netherton and his family — wife Katie, 10-year-old daughter Melody, 4-year-old son Nolan and 1-year-old daughter Quinn — were scheduled to travel to Massachusetts during Gateway’s spring break to see a new baby in the family, but plans changed as coronavirus concerns escalated.
So Netherton, 36, found himself in his house in something of the “no man’s land” everybody else is experiencing and with a tendency towards gobbling up the unhealthy snacks that he found in his kitchen. The exact opposite of getting into shape.
“I was sitting on the couch and I look down and said ‘Oh boy, this could get bad,’” Netherton said. “The first move was to the kitchen and the easiest thing to grab is the kids’ snacks. Then you have a beer or whatever and it goes from there. I thought, ‘this could get really bad for me if I sit around.’”
Facing that slippery slope of couch-snacking and TV binge watching — on top of the mental difficulties of what looks to be a long period away from normalcy — the former football player at Mitchell High School in Colorado Springs and also at McPherson College in Kansas in the mid-2000s looked for a solution.
Friend Przemek Lott, who has a fitness background and played high school football at Cherokee Trail in Aurora, agreed to send Netherton daily workouts that he could do with the limited amount of equipment he had on-hand.
It was a way that Netherton could practice what he preached every day in the hallway of Gateway.
“If I’m going to be an athletic director professionally, I have to show my kids and be that example of what I’m always telling them, ‘Stop being lazy, get in the weight room or go for a run or do something,’” Netherton said.
Not only that, Netherton decided to chronicle his quest publicly with a video blog, which he has dubbed “Dad Bod of 3,” in honor of his physical appearance and his three children, who occasionally make cameos in his videos.
A week in, Netherton has recorded daily messages tinged with humor — including a booby-trapped cabinet in which he found a large bag of M&Ms at his eye level — and clips of his workouts in his garage using free weights and an exercise bike.
“I’m taking it one day at a time. If people want to take the workouts and try them, that’s great, or if they just want to watch me kill myself, that’s great, too,” Netherton said. “In this time, we really need to support each other and have something to laugh at or cry at or just have a routine with.”
So what would be satisfying to Netherton at the end?
“I really don’t believe in weight too much for health because I know a lot of skinny people with high blood pressure,” Netherton said. “This is more of a mental health thing. At the end of the day, if I keep my dad bod, but my heart is strong and I feel better mentally, I think it’s a win.”
Netherton is also somewhat hopeful that the spring prep sports season — currently on hiatus until April 18 at the earliest per the latest update from the Colorado High School Activities Association — might resume. He saw a lot of momentum and numbers in the Gateway athletic program before the break.
To follow Netherton’s progress, follow dad_bod_of_3 on Instagram or @bnet101 on Twitter or friend Netherton on Facebook.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports