360º Courage

  • Fatherhood: 360º courage
  • Fitness: My favourite deadlift drill
  • Focus: When distracted, try this…
  • A book, a quote, a dad joke

Fatherhood: 360º courage

I was surprised to find myself on TV last week talking about masculinity in the context of hockey culture and self-care. You can watch the segment here for the full context. The theme I keep coming back to is this: if courage is a masculine trait, that sometimes means applying it through dealing with tough emotions. This is a more complete version of courage — something that extends in all directions.

When a signal comes in about something that doesn’t feel right — whether it’s internal or external, structural or cultural — be open to it, respect it, and respond to it. Swiftly. Calmly. Compassionately. And the better we get at doing this — the less intense the course-correction needs to be. That’s the kind of courage that benefits us all.

Fitness: My favourite deadlift drill

First of all, I should clarify that I my team at Bang is far more likely to program a rack-pull (pulling from blocks or pins) than a conventional deadlift for most people. Raising things even a few inches really improves the risk-to-reward ratio. Either way, this drill works wonders:

Grab something squishy to stand on. We use Airex, the Rolls Royce of pads (no commission, just my opinion) but even a yoga mat will do — as long as you have something tactile enough to work with. Stand on the squishy implement, grab a loaded bar from your usual position but then, rather than trying to stand, use the bar to drive your feet through into the squishy thing and into the floor beneath it. Move smoothly and until the plates juuuust leave the ground. 1 cm is enough — and probably ideal. The concept here is to shift your mental frame from trying to lift the bar to pushing into the ground, which is closer to the actual physics of the whole thing. It is not easier but it is better.

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Focus: When distracted, try this

I’ve been running a small experiment that I want to share with you. It’s for use during periods of deliberate focus and concentration… reading, deep work, etc. After you notice that you’ve been distracted, you can plug this in:

2 options:

  • If you’re already pretty good at focusing: insert a one-step sequence, e.g. “Back to it.” and do just that.

  • If focus has traditionally been a struggle, the recipe is spicer: think about a time or situation where you have wished for more focus and experience the emotional discomfort. And then insert your one-step behaviour (as above). The idea here is that the emotional tension is resolved by immediate action.

What I'm reading

Alarm c(l)ock
ED (erectile dysfunction) can signal risk for heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline — 2-5 years prior to the onset of symptoms.

Here’s an ED survey.

Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit

Check out our book list

Submit your own recommendations here


“The chief deficiency I see in the skeptical movement is its polarization: Us vs. Them — the sense that we have a monopoly on the truth; that those other people who believe in all these stupid doctrines are morons; that if you're sensible, you'll listen to us; and if not, to hell with you. This is nonconstructive. It does not get our message across. It condemns us to permanent minority status.”

From The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

Dad joke

The price of helium balloons has doubled over the past year alone. That's the cost of inflation for you.

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