What maketh man?

  • Fatherhood: What maketh man?
  • Fitness: On posture
  • Focus: When in doubt, feed the system
  • A book, a quote, a dad joke

Fatherhood: What maketh man?

When I created Dad Strength, I had zero plans to wade into masculine territory. "Let the culture wars rage on elsewhere," I felt. However... the problem with that is when you don't take up any space on an issue, you leave that space to whatever the defaults are. Or as Howard Zinn said, "You can't be neutral on a moving train." And it turns out that the masculinity train is travelling through some dark territory* and I am very much thinking about what our kids will experience.

So, what does it mean to be a man? Is it a simple binary? Is it a continuum — with T-pilled alpha-sigma “real men” on one side and cucked beta soyjaks on the other? Is it confusing that some people believe in both of these ideas at the same time?

I’d be curious to hear what you think about what masculinity is — and how we should move forward collectively.

Fitness: On posture

How are you presenting yourself, young man? What does the world see in your posture? You probably have some idea of where your body is supposed to be. Where is it right now, though? Is it ramrod straight like an old-time soldier? Or does it look like it’s been brought to you by the letter C? And honestly, does it matter?

I reached out to Paul Allain, a Professor of Theatre and Performance who specializes in physical actor training. “When a performer wants to show that they are confident, they open up their chest.” Allain says. “The chest leads them as they move.“ Here, Allain isn’t speaking in terms of rigid, Victorian posture. Instead, he sees the positions as more fluid — and as opening up the individual to experience. There is a confidence to this. A openness. It stands in stark contrast to someone who chronically carries a lot of stress. In these cases, Allain says, “their posture becomes closed off, which impacts their breathing and even their voice.”

Here’s where things get interesting for me, as an exercise guy: whatever your posture happens to be when you engage in resistance training… That’s the posture that you’ll be strengthening. Carry yourself accordingly.

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Focus: When in doubt, feed the system

If you ever notice yourself grinding away at work and not getting much out of it — I’m talking an A for effort and a C for performance here — then pause. In this moment, you are free to stop ice-skating uphill and, instead, invest in the future via health practices. Go for a walk. Take a movement break. Eat something nutrient-dense. Sometimes, a few minutes is enough to make a profound change. So, when in doubt, feed the system.


“It seems there is only one model for today’s ‘man of action’, and that is Shock and Awe. Overwhelming force deployed suddenly and overwhelmingly. A theatrical performance with no audience as such, only a houseful of victims. The lions eat the circus and then tweet about it. Ask no questions, tell only lies, and double down, triple down, quadruple down. The ineffably stupid ‘move fast and break things’ that has so much to answer for in our time. Our new ‘Innovation Hub’ has an asinine three-word slogan: ‘Grow Ignite Disrupt’. It would make just as much sense to have ‘Paper Scissors Stone’ for a motto. And rather more to have ‘Smash Grab Run’.”

From In Florida by Michael Hofmann [London Review of Books] [CW: DeSantis]

Dad joke

I’m making a documentary series on flying right now. We’re currently filming the pilot.

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