This past week I have enjoyed many opportunities to continually educate myself. It is one of my favorite things to do. I love when I find a good seminar or book that stimulates my thought process and encourages me to question what I am doing. Sometimes I see an area of change or I receive affirmation and contentment in where I am at.
This week I have been watching renowned strength coaches Mike Robertson and Joe Kenn as they gave their Elite Athlete Development Seminar and it has not disappointed. Along with the seminar I have been reading: Juggernaut 2.0 by Chad Wesley Smith, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and listening to a sermon series by Dan Mohler. Not to mention I have been able to spend some quality time with my wife. I guess you can say it’s been a pretty great week. All these have stimulated a whole slew of thoughts. In no particular order below are a few of the highlights:
- Whatever you get your identity from is what will own you. I am not saying you will be controlled like a marionette or owned like a pet; however, a large part, if not all of your actions and thoughts will be driven by your identity. For instance, someone who gets their identity from a relationship with a significant other will be consumed by that person. One could even say they are near obsessive. It’s very important to consider your identity when trying to make life changes. If the changes we want to make are not in tune with our respective identity we’re going to face a real uphill battle. To that same extent figuring out where our identity is placed is a great lesson in self awareness, and can help us on the path of making changes for the better.
- Mastering body awareness with the core and foundational patterns comes before everything else. This thought has been a bit of a paradigm shift. I’ll admit it’s a wordy sentence, but I hope it won’t diminish the significance of such a thought. I used to think the top priority was to get people moving and mobile. While these are important if we can’t even control our breathing, our core, or activate our glutes many mobilities won’t be executed well. From there, we need to learn and even master the foundational patterns with just our bodyweight, and this will significantly increase an individual’s body awareness. In turn mobilities and correctives become easier and more effective, as well as any other endeavor we may desire to pursue. To an extent, correct movement is corrective, but it must be mastered with body weight before even worrying about pushing it to the limit. Boring? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely. While simple, this path is often the less traveled, and definitely not the easiest.
- The most entertaining voice is usually the one that gets heard the most. Take for instance Donald Trump, regardless of your stance on the issue he is so polarizing and says some of the craziest things that it’s hard not to be entertained. And now look at how far he has come. In health and fitness look no further than icons like Jillian Michaels or Dr. Oz, while I can’t say I agree with all of what they do, so many people know of these names because of the entertainment value. I know a lot of us are frustrated as to why these people are heard while we just watch from the side lines, and quite frankly it’s because they are the most entertaining. If you have a message you want people to hear, you need to find a way to present it in an entertaining manner, and don’t be afraid of a little push back. Just don’t try to be something you’re not.
- Olympic athletes are seriously driven. Talk about identity, many of these athletes live below the poverty line, and yet their dedication to the sport is such it’s the reason they are at the games. To that extent I love the olympics, but it’s hard not to watch without thinking how much our culture’s competitiveness is one of the drivers behind athlete’s winning at all costs. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s sad to see how many of these athletes, when they lose the sport they lose who they are. I think this may be one of the reasons Michael Phelps keeps coming back.
- Nothing like a change of scenery to kick start productivity and focus. Several times this week I have ventured with my wife to a coffee shop in order to sit down and focus on tasks we’ve placed before ourselves. In fact I’m writing this post at a local joint as we speak. Shout out to Newport Coffee house. It’s always refreshing to be somewhere else, get that change of scenery and be able to just sit down and focus. It’s too easy to get distracted when I’m comfortable regardless of what I’m trying to accomplish. I think this holds true for working out too. If you find your workouts are taking a while try to step out of your comfort zone a bit. Maybe go outside or get a group together. You might find yourself not just having a good workout but also enjoying yourself a bit more too.
Well those were some of my key thoughts from this past week. Before I go I want leave you with this quote; “The day I stop learning is the day I stop growing”.