Rites of passage, strength training for flexibility, dumb your phone down

  • Fatherhood: Rites of passage
  • Fitness: Strength training for flexibility
  • Focus: How to dumb your phone down
  • A book, a quote, a dad joke

Fatherhood: Rites of passage

There’s a question that gets asked in different circles — youth work, academia, men’s work — about rites of passage. We’ve moved away from these types of rituals in North America. It’s tough to imagine sending adolescents out to hunt lions, like the Masai. If anything, we’ve become quite risk-averse. I feel it too. I don’t know what age, for example, I will send my son alone out on public transit but I can tell you that’s it’s not right now. There’s a clear gap.

The question being posed is this: are creating problems for young people by not giving them the opportunity to experience transformative experiences? Especially since these involve some element of danger. You can’t Nerf transformation.

Here are the four elements of rites of passage according to addictions expert, Christina Grof:

  • An essential shift in attitude from the people doing the initiating. They must look and act differently toward the initiate
  • The spiritual needs of the youth are addressed
  • The initiate attains a non-ordinary state of consciousness. This can be through fasting, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, drumming, etc.
  • The ritual incorporates psychological symbolism of death and rebirth

Fitness: Strength training for flexibility

There is a tendency to compartmentalize fitness. Strength development looks one way. Flexibility looks another.

The truth is that training strength through a full range of motion is more than adequate for most people. Consider expansive overhead positions, like hangs and snatches. And then deep positions like squats and split-squats. If you’re really feeling froggy, combine the two.

When muscles contract, they shorten, creating greater stretch in any given position.

Two caveats:

  • Full range is best expressed via lighter assistance exercises and a slight buffer is advisable for your heaviest exercises
  • Some activities absolutely require greater range than strength training can offer. For example if you a gymnast or simple want to perform the full splits. Here, more specialized flexibility training is required.

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Focus: How to dumb your phone down

On our most recent Dad Strength call, one of our dads shared this video on how to turn your smartphone into a dumb phone. I’m going to give it a try.


“I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”

— Joseph Campbell

Dad joke

Did you know that the Mortal Kombat theme is based on a traditional church song from Finland?

That’s right. It’s a Finnish hymn.

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