What's Missing vs. What's Not Maxed Out

  • Dad wisdom: What’s missing vs what’s not maxed out
  • Focus: Posture as a mindfulness practice
  • Fitness: When in doubt, unilateral exercise
  • Bonus stuff—including a dad joke

What's missing vs. what's not maxed out

“I just want to give my kids what I never had.” I’ve heard this expressed a hundred different ways. We all work hard to fill in the gaps, from words of love and affirmation to opportunities and experiences. One guy recently told me that he’s determined to help his kid learn to flip on skis because he wasn’t allowed to be a daredevil when he was growing up. It’s a pretty specific example. I can only assume that the kid is onboard

Here’s the thing: in our quest to provide our kids with what we were missing, we may need to differentiate between a minimalist and a maximalist approach. How much is enough? For both of you? Once you can answer that question, you can ask whether your kid(s) benefit from more and more and more. OR if, having reached sufficiency, you’ll both be best served by moving on to explore new and different things—maybe ones completely removed from your own experience.

These thoughts are inspired by our most recent call.

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Posture as a mindfulness practice

What do you think of when you hear the word posture? For me, it represents a default setting—what do you do when you consciously sit, run, squat, etc. in an optimal position. How do you do these things when you’re not paying attention? And what’s the gap between the two states?

Breathing is a great example. As soon as you begin to think about how you’re breathing, you are likely to shift away from autopilot and into conscious control. One state isn’t necessarily more correct than the other. However, the gap between the two demonstrates how different things can be. Noticing how you’re breathing when in autopilot is an entirely different skill. You almost have to sneak up on autopilot mode—like a mental ninja.

One of my favourite habits for the practice of focus is to check in with your posture. Where is your body in space? What is your breathing like? What sensations do you notice in your body? Can you sneak up on these states to catch them in the wild? And can you catch them as they transition back into autopilot?

When in doubt, unilateral exercise

If I could give you one simple piece for safe, effective resistance training, it would be to default to 1-arm and 1-leg (unilateral) exercises. Here are some of the reasons:

  • You don't need to chase perfect symmetry—merely to work with the less strong or less mobile side as the limiting factor
  • Unilateral exercise can more accurately assess and work with strength and symmetry gaps
  • The freedom of movement in unilateral exercises allows you to rotate each limb into the positions you feel and perform best in
  • Less weight is needed to create a training effect, which can be helpful in situations where you are recovering from an injury. E.g. Performing split-squats with 100 lb of loading will load your low-back less than 200 lb in a back squat


“In order to heal others, we first need to heal ourselves. And to heal ourselves, we need to know how to deal with ourselves.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

Dad joke

How do you organize a space party?

You planet.

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