No Fear

Death to Dadbod: The No Fear Lie

Danial Hooper Death to Dadbod

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” -Mandela

Do you remember the No Fear stickers? Dude-bros who drove a Chevy had the little kid peeing on a Ford symbol. 

These were the “No Fear” eyes.

Image result for no fear gif

Tough, huh? Is the cartoon face of fearlessness? 

When I see someone say “No Fear” my mind instantly goes to the dude-bro. Not because the urinating child or over expressive eyebrows, but because every dude-bro is a fraud. Those were the guys who secretly drank Zima and now talk about how millennial men aren’t real men. As if their chinstrap beard and Tap-Out shirt are somehow better than a man-bun and eco-friendly decisions. 


If you ignore fear,
You’re going to fail. 


We’re an evolving species, too grown to embrace cartoons. Now, we embrace the people who’ve turned themselves into cartoons. Instagram filters and catchy quotes about never giving up and never being afraid… as if that’s a real thing… and they still have overdrawn eyebrows. Instead of peeing on the rival team, they’re aiming at their audience and spreading the No Fear Lie.


Ahem, the No Fear Lie: You cannot be successful/happy/fulfilled if you’re afraid. Fear isn’t the enemy, it’s an illusion. A minor distraction. Fearlessness is bravery.


Bravery isn’t the absence of fear, it’s quivering in your pantaloons and still walking forward. Don’t believe the lie. 


Fear is good! Excuses are good! If you need a day off, take a freakin’ day off. Go through the season you’re in. Don’t demonize yourself because you’re not someone else. If you’re afraid of something (anything) that means you care. Our nerves are attached to our hearts. 


If you have fear… then you’re a real human being. Congrats. As for those people who shout No Fear as they jump off the cliff, don’t even wait around to hear them splash. 


Move forward.

Not ignoring fear, but acknowledging it. Label it. Call it for what it is. 

Today, I felt fear. Not the normal stuff. I wouldn’t call it crippling. More like a healthy fear of inexperience. 

I was afraid to do Handstand Push-ups. 

Correction: I AM afraid to do Handstand Push-ups.

It’s been 3 years since I’ve done one. My shoulder has felt better than it has in years. Do I really want to risk it? I’ve worked really hard to get where I’m at, what’s going to happen the first time I flip myself over?


I had a choice to make; try them and (likely) fail or scale to a different movement. My prideful soul doesn’t like scaling, but fear clouded my judgement. I was alone, in my backyard, staring at the wall, wishing the decision would be made for me. This is when my big brother would have come in and told me to go for it. Or when my wife would have said something sweet and encouraged me. Instead, I was a prisoner in my own thoughts. Overthinking how terrible it would be to injure myself. How Death to Dadbod’s need me to be healthy. Could I emotionally handle gaining weight after ANOTHER shoulder surgery?


Deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. I was formulating complex storylines in my head like I was planning for my next novel. 


There was no major epiphany. No divine intervention. I just took a breath, and stepped forward. All those risks were real. The fear was legit. I just looked at the wall and decided I was willing to fail. The juice was worth the squeeze. I would be careful and protect myself, but I’m going to try.


My first try 

Step forward.

Plant hands into ground.

Swing feet into the air until heels hit the wall. 

Keep arms straight for three seconds.

Arms shake. I fart, and begin laughing. 

Arms give out.

Crash down on top of my head. 

Body crumbles to the ground like a slinky. 

Take a moment. Laugh at myself while I’m on the ground. I’m covered in wet grass and grateful no one was here to witness it.

Now, I know I can do it. Just as long as my gas has passed.

Let’s get to it, eh?


The Workout

20 Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunges

10 Wall Climbs

30 Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunges

10 Strict Handstand Push-ups

40 Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunges

40 Handstand Walk Steps


My Scaling

20 Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunges

6 Wall Climbs

30 Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunges

6 Strict Handstand Push-ups

40 Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunges

40 Bear Crawls



Listen, I’m an idiot. No disputing it here. But even in my fart-fueled confidence, I know better than to try 10 Strict HSPU or 40 Handstand Walk Steps. 


Another Note

I don’t have an Abmat, which would come in handy as I attempt a few HSPUs. Instead, I walked into my garage and looked for an Abmat substitute, finding only a full-roll paper towel. Is it good enough? Only one way to find out.


3… 2… 1… Go!

20 Front Rack Walking Lunges.

I’m using my trusty 25 lb Dumbbells for the lunges. This is a difficult movement, but I’m using the benefits of perspective. This may be hard, but it’s darn sure easier than all the other movements. I finish the 20 and head to the wall.


6 Wall Climbs.

Good Lord. These things suck. My first rep made me lose my breath and somehow make my tummy sore. With a name like “Wall Climb” this movement should be fun, kinda like Spiderman. But no, this is joyless and exhausting. It’s not a movie I want to see.

Sidebar: Definitely watched the Spiderman cartoon movie on Netflix about 10 times in the last month. Mostly by myself.

So good.

One more thing about the Wall Climbs: They take a long time. I’m not an overly tall man, just barely over 6’4, but I felt like I was walking my legs up to my roof. 


30 Front Rack Walking Lunges.

Not too much different than the 20 reppers. If anything, I’m out of breath. 



I’m listening to Tool. They’re a rock band. If you know them, you probably love them. Their new song, Fear Inoculum, is actually what got me started on the whole “No Fear Lie.” Fun fact.


Rep 1: I kipped, lost balance at the top and had to come off the wall. 

Take 3 steps away and reset.

Rep 2, 3, and 4: Kipped, again. This time the rep was smooth.

Another needed reset.

Rep 5: Rep is a loose term here. It was a half rep. A “re” if you will.

30 seconds to collect my thoughts.

Rep 6: Powerful. The best rep of the bunch. I might want to do more of these in the future. 


40 Front Rack Lunges.

Butt, quads, and undergirth are all burning. I’m feeling my tooshie tighten. It’s a cramp. Is it? I’m cramping. Am I? Every rep is a will he/won’t he in which I keep pushing through, despite my body’s rejection.


40 Bear Crawls

I would rather eat 40 Bear Claws than do these. Or how about drink 40 White Claws? I would rather eat 40 bear claws, drink 40 White Claws, and wrestle an actual bear… rather than do 40 Bear Crawls.

Still, I did them.


It looked similar to this.

Time: 11:15


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Tune in next week for another Death to Dadbod.

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Danial Hooper Editor
Word Wizard/Lead Brewmaster/First Contact Seeker
I’m the family lab rat, if your family is a group of mad scientists. I mask my weaknesses by being funny and telling stories. Basically, I write posts for the blog, type up some emails, help where asked, and cry when Taz makes us run. My novels are available on Amazon. Something’s got to pay my daughters’ dance fees. I have four kids, three cats, and one wife. I love all of them dearly.