My New Children’s Book: The Boy with the Faster Brain
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00:40 – Thank you so much for listening and for subscribing!
12:35 – Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits.
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TRANSCRIPT via Descript and then corrected.. somewhat mostly:
[00:00:40] Peter: Hey guys. Peter Shankman, the host of Faster Than Normal. How you doing today? I wanna do a podcast on the new book; the children’s book I wrote, that’s coming out pretty soon, but as I was thinking about specifically how to do it in, in such a way that it wasn’t just basically a podcast about my brand new book that read like an Ad. I was brainstorming ways on how to talk about it and that sent me down a rabbit hole of thinking about what it was like to be when I was a kid. And I thought about a couple of specific instances and, and as I thought about them, I wrote them down and um, I just wanna share them with you today. This won’t be a long podcast, but there’s a reason, there’s a method to my madness here.
So I’m just back from boxing. I did an hour, uh, again at the gym. I’m going probably like three or four times a week now and I just love it. I, it is, it is like no other sport. It’s, it’s, for me, it’s better than running. It’s better than triathlon. It, it’s just an hour of, of, of me one on one of the coach. And I realized why I love it so much. Not only cause I get to hit things and, and the more things I hit, the less people I have to hit. But there’s a, a bigger reason for that. And I think as ADHD people we can relate to this. Boxing is finite and it’s why I love skydiving the same way. When I’m boxing, the gym operates on bell system. There is a three. There is a bell that rings at the start of three minutes, at the end of three minutes, and at the end of a one minute break. No matter what I’m doing, no matter what I’m, I’m, no matter how much pain I’m in, no matter how much out, out of breath I am, whether I’m getting hit, whatever the case may be. I know that there’s going to be a bell and that bell is going to give me a one minute respite, or in some cases the end of my workout.
And I was thinking back, I remember in high school, I guess freshman year of high school, sophomore year of high school, I got, I got mugged and. I guess my Dad decided that it might be smart. I mean, I lived in New York City, it was understandable. My Dad decided to be smart to send me to a gym, to, to learn self-defense and lift weights and, and, and get bulked up. And, um, there weren’t many weightlifting gyms. Um, I think it was the mid eighties, so it was like the era of, uh, Jack Lalaine or, or. Cardio Jazzer size or whatever, there weren’t a lot of gyms and, and even fewer gyms that that allowed kids. But my parents found a gym, like an old school gym with, you know, weights and, and problem was, it wasn’t a trainer like Mick from Rocky, which is what I was hoping for. It was some. Juiced up. I don’t wanna say Guido cause that’s an offensive term, but you get, you get the idea of of of what I mean that’s what I remember and I, I certainly meant no offense by that, but it was, it was definitely a guy with an accent that probably from Brooklyn, or Queens, and everything we did for the week or two that I went there before I quit was, yeah, hit harder, kick some ass. No one’s, no one’s gonna mess with you and it was the exact opposite of what I was hoping for at a gym. And I, you know, obviously didn’t last long there. I, I hated it. And, uh, I wasn’t that kind of kid. I wasn’t the kid who wanted to go get jacked up and, and, and, and, and, you know, I just wanted to, to put on a few pounds or shed a few pounds and build a few pounds of muscle. It was total opposite what I needed.
And I was thinking about that because growing up, everything I ever tried like that. I mean, I remember going to a gym with my Dad when I was like 10, lasted a couple weeks there. And I remember going, you know, I, I to be on diets and I’d try this and that. Nothing really took. Wasn’t until my late twenties when I discovered running and running took because sort of now that I think about the same reason as boxing, running at a start point and an end point. Right, I’m running five miles. Well, that meant I’d run five miles and when those five miles were over, I would stop running .
Um, and I think that’s a big thing that when you’re ADHD especially when look, when you’re a kid, I mean, I can tell you about my daughter; no matter what I make her do. . It has to be, how long do I have to do it? Jessa did you get your reading done tonight? Every, every night she’s supposed to do 30 minutes of reading. Right. So there’s, you know, and, and she loves, she’s a great reader, but she, and she loves when she gets into a good book, but she doesn’t like reading as a concept. And so there’ll be times when it’s like, Jessa, did says, you do 30 minutes of reading. Uh, no, I’m gonna start, can I, can I only do 20? No, do 30. And then she’ll set an iPad timer. And I swear to you the, the, the, the millisecond that thing dings, she’s. Doesn’t matter if she’s in the middle of a word. Doesn’t matter if she’s about to find out who the killer is. Ding, okay, I’m done. Did 30 minutes. In her mind. It’s about those 30 minutes.
Now all kids are like that. But I think the problem I had with exercise as a whole growing up, it was not my thing. I I, I’ve said this before, I, I ran by pressing X on a joystick and then college, I ran to the store for cigarettes and that was about it. Um, I think that what I learned. or what I didn’t have then that I have now in like boxing and running is the premise of a finite time, a finite workout. You know, a lot of times we try and figure out, okay, I’m gonna go to the gym and I’m gonna exercise every single day and I’m gonna do this and that. And we don’t put a start putting an end point to it. And because of that, in our mind, we’re five minutes in, and it’s never going to end. Well. If it’s never gonna end, I might as well quit right now because there’s no way I could do this forever. And one of the things that I’ve found, About boxing. It ends after three minutes, it’s over for a minute and you can breathe.
So perhaps one of the ways we talk to our kids about ways of getting the dopamine and the serotonin and the adrenaline that we need; is we introduce them to timed things right. I remember when I ran, when I, I started running last summer with my daughter, and of course she hated it until she started liking it. She got her first dopamine hit. She’s like, Ooh. But we started running in a half a block. In how much further do we have to go until we, you know, and we, I said, we’re gonna go to the end of this block and then we’re gonna turn, make a left to go three blocks down and then three blocks back up, and then we’re gonna come home. And as soon as I said that, she stopped complaining because she could envision in her mind, how long she had to do. Right? Three blocks. Three blocks. Turn around. Three blocks. Three blocks. And I think that’s something that not only is good for our kids with ADHD, but good for us as well. It’s why we all set timers. Okay, I’m gonna work for 55 minutes. I’m gonna spend five minutes standing up, go to the bathroom doing deep stretches, and then work for another 55 minutes. It’s why I do when I on a plane, I know that I have 14 hours to write this book. , I’ll break that into six hours and then break the, you know, we’re seven hours break, seven hours, two and a half hours, whatever.
I don’t think we give enough appreciation to time, even though time’s a manmade, manmade construct. The premise of breaking things into smaller bits of time is very, very beneficial for someone with ADHD or a faster brain or any form of neurodiversity because it allows us to not be frightened by a massive thing, right? We’re not frightened of a, oh my God, I have to do an hour of exercise. I know that when I go to the gym, I’m gonna be working out nonstop for an hour, but I know that every three minutes I get 60 seconds off, and by the end of that hour, I’m sweating my ass off and I’m dying but, I get 60 seconds off and that gets me through the next three minutes and the three minutes after that, and then three minutes after that and all of a sudden it’s an hour and I’m told to take off my wraps and my gloves, my wraps, and go home. So let’s think about that. Let’s think about assigning time values to things that might help us get through a lot of stuff.
So that’s probably a good lead in to this book. I wrote a book called The Boy with the Faster Brain, and it’s, it’s a fiction book that’s autobiographical. How about that? It’s about Peter, a 10 year old, very hyperactive kid who gets a lot of notes home. Every day, gets a note home from the teacher about how he made jokes in class, how he interrupted the class, how he did all these things. Peter gets in a lot of trouble. Peter, doesn’t mean to get in a lot of trouble. Because what Peter discovers is that when he tells those jokes and his class laughs, he gets this jolt of bolt of lightning, this jolt of electricity in his brain and it allows him to focus. Of course, he usually has to focus on walking himself down to the principal’s office to get in trouble.
I wrote this book because I don’t ever want one another kid to grow up going through in school and even as an adult. For years going through what I went through as a kid and an adult, I don’t ever want anyone to go through that again, and if this book helps even one kid understand that they shouldn’t hide their differences, but embrace them, then I’ve done my job.
The book is launching on the 21st, but for listeners, it’s launching earlier and I’m putting a link down below. [awaiting link and code] And I am very excited about it. I’m excited because it’s my first non-business book. No, it’s my second non-business book, Faster Than Normal being my first one, but this one, it’s for kids. It’s my first children’s book and I am, I’m just really psyched about that. I hope it helps a lot of people, including you and including your children.
It’s my, also my first self-published book, and so I can do a lot with it. So you guys want me to come and speak to your school? Want me to come and speak to your company? Company? Sure. Buy some books. We’ll work something out. Um, I can give them away, I can donate them to schools. I can do whatever I want. It’s my book. And what I found also is that I’m starting to get a lot of calls lately from corporations. Hey, can you come in and talk about neurodiversity in the workplace? I, gave a keynote to. Google last week I have Morgan Stanley coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m in talks with several other large companies to come in and talk about, um, not customer experience but neurodiversity in the workplace. And so if that’s something that I can help you guys out with as well, shoot me a note. I have several keynotes on it and I’d love to do more about it. And we can work something out where you buy some books, donate them to a school or something, and I’ll come and speak. I’m excited!
The Boy with the Faster Brain. I really hope it changes some lives. I really do.
So as always, thank you for listening. I love you guys. I’m greatly appreciative. My email is [email protected]. I answer all my questions. Any I answer all my emails personally. Ask, email, tell me what’s up, and let’s chat. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your excitement. All the emails you’ve sent me about the Boy with the Faster Brain, I am really stoked as well. And I’ll see you next week.
And . Again, I wanna give a huge shout out to Skylight. [LINK WAS NOT READY AT THE TIME OF THIS RELEASE- SHALL BE UPDATED AT WWW.FASTERTHANNORMAL.COM] This frame and this calendar that hangs on the wall has changed my life with Jessa, it makes life so much easier. It has a short chart and has meal planning, and it cus custom lists weather, you can get a mobile app for it. It has share access. You can invite your spouse or your ex-spouse or your co-parenting partner kids, close friends, anyone you want. Um, you can color code. My daughter is pink. I am red. You can ch change the views and you can, the coolest thing is you can take all your photos and turn them into a screensaver when you’re not using the calendar. Just random photos of like, me, Jessa, and my dog show up. So it’s pretty cool. Uh, the, the link will [eventually – it was an early release] be below skylightframe.com. The um, uh, coupon code is below as well. And, uh, yeah, I am really, really excited to work with you guys and see what you’re doing with the frame. Send me some photos. I’ll send it over to them. We’ll get you on Instagram, but yeah, it’s gonna be good. The, the Frame, the book, The Boy with the Faster Brain, the podcast, I owe you guys a lot for being here. And don’t ever think I’m not grateful cause I really am. Love you guys. Talk to you next week!
Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at shankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week!