Good Morning Everyone!
What I've Been Thinking About...
As I am working my way through a book titled The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense, I came across an observation from a British prison psychiatrist: "Is it not the case that we live in an age of emotional incontinence, when they who emote the most are believed to feel the most". After I read this I was reminded of something I read years ago from Margaret Thatcher that went something like this: "Power is like being a lady... if you have to tell people you are, you aren't."
In the case of Thatcher, her quote perfectly sums up coaching and/or parenting. If you have to tell your kids or athletes that you are in charge of them, then you are not in charge! I had a conversation with a mom this week at a park and we were talking about communicating with our strongly opinionated, and smart, three year olds. If we want them to do the right things and act in a certain, we realized that life gets easier if you explain to them the why. It is not just about saying "do this because I told you so". I have seen this play out for many years in the world of coaching and it never seems to work over the long haul. The best method, in my opinion, is to tell them how we handle things. Explain to them why we do things the way we do, why it is important to do the right thing and hope they come to understand what you are saying. Coaching, parenting, leading, they all seem to circle back to the same guiding principles.
Fitness Tip of the Week
"How Much Can You Bench" question part II...
Like mentioned previously, this question dominated my younger years and it eventually led to some shoulder discomfort that still lingers today. The mistake I made during my youth, and unfortunately still to this day with other things, deals with frequency and duration.
Most injuries occur because of the idea of too much, too soon. Often times we don't give our bodies enough time to adapt to new stressors placed on the body. We rush into things and potentially leave ourselves vulnerable. It happens with lifting. It happens with running. It happens with a whole lot of things in life. It is that thought of "If some is good, more is better." Unfortunately with our physical well-being, this idea does not seem to work. So my advice is this: tread lightly when you partake in a new action and gradually nudge yourself to do a little better, be a little better, and feel a little better while doing it!
If you want more on this topic, check out Chris Fluck Podcast EP 55: Avoiding Injury & Healing a Cranky Shoulder
What I've Been Listening To...
This past week I listened to two podcasts with legends in their given sport. These men were wrestling icon Dan Gable and Mixed Martial Artist Georges St. Pierre.
Gable was an Olympic champ and one of the greatest coaches of all-time. His approach to training was to outwork them all. This mindset was planted at a young age as his coach told him to "Win with humility, lose with dignity, but damn it don't lose!" He took that advice seriously as he only lost one match in high school and college combined! In addition to this, he was motivated by a tragic life event. His older sister, who was 19 at the time, was murdered in their home. Thirty minutes after the family received the news Dan told his parents, "I know who did it." They called the authorities and that individual was arrested and confessed to the murder. A few weeks prior, the murderer, who also lived in the neighborhood, said something to Dan that set off a red flag in his mind but never mentioned it to anyone. This guilt drove him to work like a madman in everything that he did, and still does today in his 70's!
The career of Georges St. Pierre has some similar qualities in their approach to training but the mindset of GSP wasn't necessarily to keep grinding away. It was, in theory, to live to see another day. He never wanted to receive irreparable damage and retired from the sport at the peak of his career. He believes that every athlete should retire at their peak, because, after all, it is all downhill from there. Often times we see athletes hanging on for a few more years and you begin to ask why? Either way, these men were both very insightful and I love listening to the best of the best discuss their training and mental preparation for everything they do in life.
A few times in my adult life I have been a little sad to read about the passing of someone I never met. One was a few years ago with Chris Cornell. Another was the passing of Earl Simmons aka DMX. The music that men like this put out had a little something extra in it. That something extra was pain. It was hurt. You can hear it in their voice. It was raw! That is what made them great at what they did. It was also potentially at the route of their problems in their personal lives.
I get frustrated sometimes when I read or hear others say disrespectful things about those who suffer mentally or with addiction. I would venture to say that there is not one person in the world who wakes up and decides that they aspire to be an addict or live in a depressed state. Something happens in these peoples lives that sends them down an undesirable path. This path is deep and it is dark. Once in it, it is not easy to escape. Some do, and some do not. To those struggling, keep fighting the good fight and I hope you all can come out of this dark state alive and well!
Quote of the Week
“Emotions, particularly anger, are like fire. They can cook your food and keep you warm, or they can burn your house down.” -- Cus D'Amato
I hope you all have an awesome week!