The Parent Who Cried "Wolf"

  • Fatherhood: The parent who cried “wolf”
  • Fitness: Accurately assessing effort
  • Focus: The double-edged sword of ADHD/VAST
  • A book, a quote, a dad joke

Fatherhood: The parent who yelled “wolf”

I advocate for a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative feedback. For parents. For coaches. For everyone. Here’s why: people need to feel successful. And kids, as it turns out, are people. If feedback is overwhelmingly negative, most of us will start ignoring it. It’s like a grown-up version of the boy who cried wolf. We begin to mistrust it — and the person doling it out.

So, positive feedback is essential, clearly. However, platitudes and other generic feedback entirely miss the mark. Instead, there are a few key criteria to delivering positive feedback that lands:

  • It’s (mostly) in-the-moment
  • It is specific
  • It is detailed
  • It is, above all, accurate and honest
  • It provides them with greater insight about what they were already doing well

Fitness: What RPE looks and feels like in action

RPE (rate of perceived exertion) is about accurately appraising how hard you’re working — and how much is left in the tank. Mike Tuchscherer is one of my favourite thinkers on the topic of powerlifting and has contributed quite a bit to the concept of RPE. Here’s how he breaks it down:

10: Maximal, no reps left in the tank

9: Last rep is tough but still one rep left in the tank

8: Weight is too heavy to maintain fast bar speed but isn’t a struggle; 2–4 reps left

7: Weight moves quickly when maximal force is applied to the weight; “speed weight”

6: Light speed work; moves quickly with moderate force

5: Most warm-up weights

4: Recovery; usually 20 plus rep sets; not hard but intended to flush the muscle

An RPE below four isn’t important

Pilot program

Thanks to everyone who’s reached out about the pilot exercise program. We are now full-up.

I’ve got everyone underway and am already tuning things to help our crew to make fitness work in their own lives — whatever shape they may take.

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Focus: The double-edged sword of ADHD/VAST

Having a different kind of brain is neither a superpower or a weakness on its own. There are simply some things that we do more easily and some things that we do less easily compared to neurotypical folks. Understanding that the advantages and challenges are often linked can be helpful in knowing where to invest your energies.

For example, doing things repetitively – or by rote — is unnatural and plays havoc with our working memory challenges. However, the ADHD/VAST tendency to re-navigate each repetition anew leads to incredible pattern recognition skills.

We are more sensitive to deficits in sleep, movement, and nature. However, addressing these needs consistently leads to some pretty great health markers.

Our emotions can be big and distracting. However, leveraging emotions as prompts to create new and adaptive habits is an incredible tool — and one we are oddly good at. Let me know if this is something you want to hear more about.


“Quotable quotes are coins rubbed smooth by circulation.”

― Louis Menand

Dad joke

Knock knock

Who’s there?


Cash who?

No thanks. I prefer peanuts.

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