It’s interesting that in this day and age we still look at athletic accolades in any sport like they were brought upon with will or heart. As if will itself guided an inhuman response to the increased performance of this individual. Sadly though we are also being berated with fallen heroes in this respect, such as the influx of PED’s in the cycling world, the fight community, both in MMA as well as boxing. It almost seems like what we used to look at in wonder in the athletic world, now seems to be replaced by Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s). As if Will or heart just isn’t enough anymore; anything that will take the athlete one inch further, make them a half a second faster, and so forth. It almost puts this next BLOG in the right place though when I ask, was it heart or cardio?
Let’s understand that I’m not attacking this generation of athletes regardless of the scandals that have surrounded them. Whether you look at baseball, Tour de France, or the myriad of weightlifting athletes or countries banned from Olympic competition this past year. I’m just trying to prove my point, that although we’d like to see the underdog come out on top with the will to beat his record time or the enhanced opponent in front of him/her, the reality is that at any stage of an athlete’s career, it will be his properly conditioned body that will take him further.
Cardio comes from the Greek word ‘Kardiac.’ Another way of reading this is “heart” in English. That’s right, maybe it’s not the valiant effort that pushed certain athletes over the pinnacle rather it was their conditioned heart that helped them. Now please don’t mistake me when I generalize cardio, by thinking that all athletes should be running on the treadmill or riding a stationary bike or any other apparatus you can think of. I am saying that every athlete should take their conditioning, sport specific of course, very seriously; it can be the deciding factor at the right moment in their careers.
So let me digress for a moment. I’ve been privy to conversations with coaches in the past that have let me know that their teams’ failures are because of the lack of heart on the ice or pitch. Or recently a coach mentioned that someday he was going to try these exhaustive exercises he’s prescribed to his athletes and see how tough they really are! Well, one coach is running his athletes into the ground as punishment for losing and not having the hearts to win which contradicts the science behind recovery and in season maintenance training. While the other is throwing together exercises that he thinks might improve his athlete’s conditioning without forethought or even asking why? These are examples of people that should stick to the sport specific aspects they actually are really good at, such as drills and techniques for their particular sport, and let the professionals step in and teach the strength and conditioning factors involved in said sports.
There is one caveat though and I include myself in this boat, there are a lot of strength and conditioning coaches that lack the understanding of how to properly condition athletes in many sports. I add myself in here because there was a time early in my career as a strength coach I was trying to find my bearings and allowed certain influences dictate my philosophy on what conditioning truly should be. As time passed I realized that I took for granted what I’d learned in school and later realized that the basic pillars of understanding training in all of its aspects were right in front of me; energy systems! Sometimes we focus so much on the newest and latest that we forget the basics. Mike Robertson once said recently in his Physical Preparation podcast, “you have to learn Bompa before you learn Issurin.”
A truer statement could not have been said better. I learned the hard way that to truly better these athletes and improve my performance as a coach, I needed to go back to the basics. Therefore I needed to understand that if you want to condition your athletes to the best of your abilities, you need to:
1. Breakdown the sport they play
2. Breakdown their position
3. Breakdown their playing time
4. Finally; understand the energy systems involved in that sport
That’s correct, The most important factor is understanding the energy systems involved in that sport. Here is a question to most MMA coaches, and I don’t want to pick on you specifically, but I feel that this is an ongoing problem. To simplify, in MMA, you stand, kick, punch, grapple, and groundwork, correct? Then why in the world do you persist in training HIIT or circuits on a constant basis? MMA coaches, if your fighter loses, it’s not because he lacked heart. He might not even lack the skills needed, but he did lack the right conditioning (cardio). So, I guess, in this respect, he did lack heart.
I’m 45 years old and I’ve recently just walked back into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after a 4-month break and I’m positive that a 20-year-old kid off the street in shorts and a t-shirt will give me a run for my money on the mats just because my conditioning isn’t there. So when someone says to me, I got no heart, they’re correct, but give me a little time strength and conditioning, combined with BJJ practice, and the kid in shorts and a t-shirt better pack a lunch.
When confronted with the question, “was it heart or cardio?” I have to say yes, to both as they are synonymous. PED’s aside, you take two athletes competing for the same accolade, both in perfect conditions, perfect skill levels, in a perfect environment I might say the winner showed more heart or let’s call it will. The rest of us though, need to up our conditioning, but we need to train smart and understand our sport. Because if there’s one thing that truly sucks, is injuries and in most sports, this happens in lieu of bad conditioning coaching.
My friends, if you take your training seriously and would like advice on how to up your game, feel free to contact me; firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to help you get to the next level of your sport. Until next time;
Stay healthy my friends, and work that heart muscle!
Seriously? Do you use ELEIKO bars in your gym? That is the question I was recently asked by a young man that was considering training with me. I turned to him and asked if his current coach was going to take him to the Olympics to represent Canada in the 70Kg weight class. He looked at me dumbfounded as if he didn’t understand the question, and then he replied in a rather aggressive manner, “that’s a weird question, of course not!” So then why do you need ELEIKO bars? I agree that yes the ELEIKO brand is by far the Rolls Royce of weightlifting when it comes to bars, and yes they are quite expensive per unit. But if you go through some historical data, you’ll read stories out of Russia, a powerhouse in the weightlifting community; had generally one, maybe two bars in their gyms and lifters used to race to win the bar. Yet they produced champions, and continued to for decades to come.
I’m writing this blog because the young man ended up at a Crossfit gym that had more ELEIKOS than I did, but no champions to name, and it was the third time that someone’s asked me this during my career, so I felt it was time to be cathartic and let the world know that there are a myriad of things that will get you to where you want, and equipment may be the last thing on the list if at all on there. Let’s start with genetics, and NO, it’s not necessarily just how strong you are rather a combination of flexibility in the right places, torso to leg height ratios. The femur to tibial lengths, acetabular depths help. And let me hit you with the fact we dare not speak of in this day and age; certain cultures have these assets in spades! I’m going to leave it there just in case this overly sensitive society decides to throw stones at me for discrimination.
Ok now let’s start at the years of training experience; I asked this young man how long was he at his gym? He said, he’d been training for roughly 2 years. I asked how many phases did he see in those “2 years,” and he had no idea what I meant by this. I asked what periodization was he working with, what sort of volume was he doing weekly, as well as tonnage, and again he looked at me like I had a third eye on my forehead. So from this part of the conversation you can ascertain that there was no rhyme or reason to his training, and sadly a major factor that was much more important than the quality of the bars they wanted to use was missing; programming… That’s right, how do you think you’re going to make it to even a city or local meet if you don’t have a proper program to follow! His age may have been in his low to mid twenties, but his training age was definitely less than 2 years, yet the ELEIKO bar was the priority? Hmmm…
Last but not least I asked him where he was being coached since it was obvious he didn’t work with a proper program. He replied, “we’re coaching each other”… Wow! So to back track the why behind this blog, it’s mainly because I’ve had this conversation a few times now over the years with college students. They’ve heard of me from here and there and when training has come up, this is a subject they want to talk about, and it’s starting to get old. To be honest I’ve never had the privilege to take a young athlete to a competition but mainly because weightlifting isn’t the most popular sport. It offers no monetary future and in this country an athlete will usually pay his own way to go across Canada to hit up a provincial meet, let alone a national meet with the slightest hopes of representing our national team internationally.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve added weightlifting within my sport programs whether for rugby, football, hockey and soccer or any other power sports requiring this type of training. I find that the neural adaptations are fantastic when added to the right phase of their programs and have seen great success in most if not all of my past and present youth athletes. But just because they are presented in increments to the athlete of a different discipline, they still have to be taught well. These young men and women have looked to me for the right type of coaching and guidance, and NO they did not walk into any of my past spaces with their buddies to train each other; sorry, but there’s a Goodlife down the street! They’ve come for the programming, because it is the essential ingredient to the success of these athletes.
In the midst of our conversation I already knew that the kid wasn’t going to train with me, but I decided why leave him hanging to fail later and offered free advice for an hour of my time at no charge. I watched him warm up, and he asked me where he should start, I told him I’m not his coach so start where ever he usually did. When the work commenced I will only say that his snatch looked like he was humping a bar, the bar did not travel up his thighs and yes I just said hump. For those of you who don’t know what that means, let’s just say the bar bounced forward about a foot from his hips which means he’ll plateau sooner than later as far as lifting more is concerned. Also he deadlifted his cleans, That’s right, deadlifted, which means his feet positioning was all wrong, he didn’t pull or push his knees during bar travel, and he was one lift away from a lower back injury since there was no real extension in his body before the catch. Oh and, he couldn’t snatch or clean, rather the whole time he was doing powers of each, which means that in all the that time spent training, he never actually learned the snatch or the clean.
At the end of the session, I gave him the pointers he needed, sent him towards some great resources, Tommy Kono, Bob Takano, R.A.Roman, and of course Catalyst Athletics Olympic Weightlifting by Greg Everrett (the fullest resource around in my opinion), etc. I finished the hour with one last dig, “sorry kid, but the ELEIKO bar is the least of your worries.” I know I should be more professional, but I couldn’t help myself, and word around town is, he’s not doing much weightlifting anymore. I hope I wasn’t the deterrent, it wasn’t what I wanted but I was tired of the same ridiculous question. Let me be blunt, if you’re a shitty driver, a lamborghini won’t make you a better driver, it actually may kill you.
Therefore take your time, learn, and continue learning more after you’re done learning, as you’re never done learning. I personally went out of my way to get a coach to help me fix what I learned on videos first and trained for 3 months with him. I later took what I had learned and continued in my gym, trained day in and day out and played with programming so that I can then hone my skills incase a young athlete wanted to walk through my doors someday and ask me to specifically train him on the lifts. I pride myself on technique because it is the only way you will progress safely; the two key words here being progress and safely. Now to answer every other kid interested in training the lifts with me; I use YORK barbells from johnedeals.com right here in Calgary.
I support local business and I do it because in my opinion he carries the best bars. They are American made steel bars proven time and again for over 50 years. They come warranted by YORK Barbell, and they have great competitive prices against ELEIKO, ROGUE, WERKSAN, Pendlay, etc. I’ll take YORK Barbell over a run of the mill Chinese bar saturating the markets today, so that I can trust what my clients work with. Also, I run a business that is still growing organically, so every penny counts. So I chose the best bang for my buck and with it, I’ve produced great little college athletes that can go forward and succeed in their discipline possibly enough for some of them to get a nice ride in secondary education. And that my friends makes me very proud. The next time you ask a coach, Do you use ELEIKO bars in your gym? Ask yourself instead, where are you in your training? What do you aim to achieve from your training? And can the coach in front of you get you there safely? Anything else is a broke down Lamborghini that drives like shit. (excuse the expletives today)
It’s interesting to see how the world has changed, and more so how we’ve achieved such a digital impact in our lives. When asked, “why train clients online?” The answer is really a no brainer. We now live in the digital era, if we’re not on our phones, our ipads, or in front of the television, I feel we may be lost. Unplugging seems foreign to us since our lives are carried in a smart device in our pockets every day, and everything we need to find is at our fingertips. These days we can find reputable courses online, I know, I’m finishing one through Joel Jamieson on Bioforce Coaching Conditioning, and then finishing my Precision Nutrition Level 1 coach, and after that I will do my NSCA-CPT. Online training just seems like the viable step forward.
These of course are just examples of what’s offered to trainers let alone what’s out there for different demographics or disciplines. The days of sitting in class to continue your education are slowly starting to become less and less. Now hold on! I’m not saying that they will disappear entirely, I think that there is a large need for classes, just on the experience alone. I’m just saying that we are witness to a new era which takes advantage of this wonderful digital era. It’s fantastic to see the exponential amount of data that can be taught online. I don’t have to go buy a cookbook on italian cooking when I can find a recipe in seconds on my phone. Also a major factor that has helped both the buyers and sellers is drastic price drops due to the lack of overhead.
When considering that the average personal training session costs $65 – $85, in comparison to online training which averages between $150 – $350/month. This avenue just seems the logical direction for clients when considering training especially in this day’s economy. Remember though that when it comes to training there is always a value that’s put on the table. Just because I train clients online does not mean that all they get is a program for the month and see ya later! Absolutely not.
There are nuances to creating the online experience, The program has to fit their assessment, there are quarterly milestones to meet, their daily work and life schedule needs to be considered for stresses. I have to know how they eat on the regular, I need to know if they had a surgical procedure, or if they’re weekend warriors and had an accident and modifications are need to be placed in their program. I have to have video links in place for each exercise, I also need to have a program description and notes so that they understand how to work single sets, supersets, tri sets, etc. I also need to place a weekly communication system with all of my clients so that they can let me know what they’re experiencing throughout the program, positive or negative.
Remember that any type of training out there is simply answering questions or solving a problem. “I am a hunter and I run out of steam on my hunts.” “my son made the Colts as a linebacker, and the coach mentioned he needs to improve his speed and power for the season.” “I am a mom of 3, I have a membership at big box gym, and I want to learn how to use the weights…” My favourite of course is,”I want a trainer but I can’t afford afford $70/session!” As you can see, you can plug me in as an answer in each of these individuals lives as their online trainer. And to be honest these are true examples of past clients.
The truth about these clients lies deeper than just the superficial need though. I don’t just get plugged into their lives as a service because they just need a trainer. The hunter wants to feel strong for his family again, he wants to feel confident in his 40’s in front of a mirror. The linebacker needs confidence and sport specific aggression, he wants to be mentally tough and be able to take hits mentally and physically. The mom wants to lose weight, she wants to get strong and sexy, and she wants to outlast her 3 boys at play time. And of course my favourite was the odd student I get, she wants to keep things affordable and learn how to train.
That’s right, just on the comparison above and value proposition for services, online training became popular with me because the online training experience could be just as valuable as the personal training experience at a fraction of the cost. Of course there’s more to it then just cost, you also have to consider your schedules. I have a certain hour window that I work in due to the fact that I want to spend time with my family, especially my little monster man before he goes to bed. Therefore there are times that my clients won’t be able to see me, aside the odd exception if it’s just an assessment. Or better yet how about when my clients or even I go on a vacation. If I go, then I reach out to the trainer my clients and I trust, if the clients go on vacation, they’re on their own.
Finally my favourite which is attached to value, is the individualization of programming and support. We don’t build cookie cutters! We build templates though and that’s because it helps us program much more efficiently and in a timely fashion. If you can build a program within 15mins then you’re doing great; don’t forget that’s one client, now add 20 more and look at the time you’ve spent programming. As a trainer I like the idea that I can solve problems, I don’t just count reps, I try to understand my client from within so that their program not only improves their lives but also compliments it.
To say that I care about each client individually is an understatement; I love my clients. I get to know their families, see their kids grow up, I experience the highs and lows. And when a bad economy says goodbye to some, they extend their hellos via social media to congratulate me on the birth of my son. They are no longer my clients, rather they are my friends, with an open invite to their cabin in British Columbia. It’s that little device in your pocket that connects you to the world, old friends, lost loves, science, history, recipes, education, etc. Online training is here to stay, it brings people together, it educates, which is my number one goal, and you get to keep me in your pocket at all times. So, why train clients online? The cost is minimal, and the value and benefits are endless. If you’re curious about online training and have lots of questions for me, feel free to contact me
email@example.com or go to my contact page.
Until we meet in the matrix;
Stay healthy my friends…
Your Coach, Franco Gomez
Trainers; Sales or Science…
So I find that this is a subject that gets beaten way too much, but unfortunately for you guys it’s one that’s close to my heart. I’m very passionate about what I do for a living, I don’t put up with bull***t from clients that want something but forget that work is involved. Ask my clients and the ones that have been with me for years will tell you that I don’t mince words, I don’t allow cheating, and I never let you talk more then work.
I want results for my clients and I’m not fluffy so I understand that there is a certain amount of work that needs to get done, there is an amount of weight that needs to get pushed or pulled, and there is an aerobic threshold that needs to be surpassed when conditioning in certain classes. Furthermore there is a scientific approach to the way I train personally, online, athletically or in fitness classes, so NO, I don’t put up with B.S. in my company… As you can see there is not much salesmanship there.
There is only passion, science, and a true caring for my clients and that is why I’m proud to say they’ve stuck with me through thick and thin; a better community I couldn’t ask for.
In my tenure as a trainer I’ve seen guys walk up to people in the middle of treadmill sprints just to sell them personal training. I’ve seen trainers do beginning and ending group hugs, without the clients knowing that the trainer had literally set up his bootcamp exactly how the guy 2 spaces down did because he lacked knowledge in training. I’ve even seen a trainer turn on youtube to copy a program 5 minutes prior to his class arriving; their class being completely full… These guys could sell a rust bucket with holes in the desert and not even pull off a sweat during the lie. So I ask you at what point do you invest in the science over the sale?
I’m writing this particular blog today because I’m happy to say that there are so many knowledgeable coaches in the world having been around for decades and starting to post their work on social media. These are individuals that continuously push the envelope of education and never stop debunking the salesmen out there. At the end of this blog I’m going to add the names of a few of the trainers I recommend picking up some of their literature and reading or simply following them on social media. You will be impressed with the amount of education offered on a daily basis.
I can leave you with one simple question, do you prefer sales or science? It’s simple question in the sense that sales means you may be getting duped into buying training that’s a lemon. It may all be HIIT training and everyday something different because some idiot told them that muscle confusion and high intensity will help their clients lose weight. Well unfortunately training is a bit more complex than that, just as their clients are. I understand when it comes to classes it’s hard to periodize our clients, or is it? I’ve figured out ways to produce success via the same principles taught to me in school, and through continuing education so it’s not that hard actually it just takes a little dedication.
Ok so now you see why I’m a terrible salesman when it comes to training; I’m tough, I care about my clients safety, I care about their goals through scientifically proven methods, and I’m passionate about this industry and where it’s headed, so salesmen beware. If you ever have a question about training, look me up and I may be able to answer it. In the meantime, here are a number of great trainers or authors to look up..
Mike Robertson, Eric Cressey, Brett Contreras, Tony Gentilcore, Mike Boyle, Charlie Weingroff, Calvin Dietz, Dr. Stuart McGill, Joel Jamieson, Tudor Bompa, Greg Everett, Dr. Quinn Henoch, Max Aita, Chad Wesley Smith, Kelly Starrett, Dan John… and the list goes on and on and on.
Educate yourself, so that you can educate others…
Your Coach, Franco Gomez
Become Like Water…
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” Bruce Lee
It’s been about 12 years since I stepped foot on a mat, whether it was for Brazilian jujitsu, Japanese jujitsu or Muay Thai training. Now in that time I never really count the once in awhile here and there because that’s not real training, nor a distinct dedication to the arts. In 2004 I left Perth Australia with a heavy heart, a lot of training under my belt, a few competitions and some lifelong friends. She was a beautiful country with truly blessed experiences that brought me back to where I felt the most comfortable and confident in; on the mat.
I think of the above quote and I realize that interpretations can be made from many directions, but I choose to compare it to my own journey. Life is about transitions, going with the flow, not stifling your creativity or listening to those that will stop your growth. We’re a river that gets veered by rocks and trees and all other types of obstacles in life. Sometimes we hit a dam and our lives become pooled, stagnant and the flow simply stops; but our passion like a wave can get stronger, the river rises and we break those dams.
Needless to say I’ve been training a year now in full contact karate doing Renbukai under Kyoshi Verlin Koch. Our school is also affiliated to Koryu Uchinadi, a functional style of karate with it’s style more focused on self defence. Now here’s the part that you hear so much slack for on the internet; I also do ‘online’ BJJ training due to my life’s time constraints… Like I said, never let the naysayers get you down, and just keep flowing in the direction that brings happiness to your life. Martial Arts makes me happy, and some day I’d like to create a fantastic venue where strength and conditioning is paired with martial arts, but first my river needs to keep flowing, keep learning it’s route and creating new routes.
I need to keep learning the martial arts I love, keep learning self defence, just keep learning. It’s so enriching to become inspired again, understanding positions, techniques, movement. Transitioning movements from exercise to a specific sport I love. I’m 43 years old and I’m willing to start from square one and pour myself back into the same journey I was in 12 years ago. Funny how rivers fork like a parallel universe and yet we can find that path once again; never say never.
If someday I have children, the purest advice I can give them is never stop learning. Never close your mind to a subject. Don’t let a peer reviewed article tell you it’s the way, there may be ten saying otherwise. Be the journey you want to be, be the inspiration you need to be; become like water my friends…
Recently this past weekend I was privy to doing my Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Certification Level 1 and 2, and being amongst my peers was not only fun but very inspirational. I looked around the room with such admiration at the variety of education and backgrounds all coming together to learn what it takes to help people move better, move often, and just simply move. As most of those who know me, know that my motto is ‘Performance is for Life.’ I always iterate that performance is not just at the elite level but rather in all walks of life! What people don’t understand in this day and age though is that performance at all levels will fail you if you’re not moving properly.
I want you to close your eyes and imagine yourself in a long white smock as you’re building your first Robot! Think of it’s brain as a computer and it’s body is a steel mechanism of moving parts. This robot is run electrically through the wiring from signals sent from the computer to move the robot’s joints and parts. The computer sends signals to keep the joints oiled and lubricated so that the robot learns to move freely with out obstructions, creaking, or the steel body binding. The computer learns motor patterns so that the robot can move efficiently, and effectively within its tasks. But more importantly, the robot now begins to understand movement as it’s artificial intelligence continues to learn all the patterns necessary to strive in this world.
Ok now take that robot which you just took the time to teach movement within the span of it’s short life, and sit him in a chair for 8 to 10 hours a day. Now you’re noticing the robot is a little slower at moving and there’s a little more steel sounding movements due to the oil in the joints drying up and collecting dust. The robot’s body isn’t looking very shiny anymore, and instead starting to collect the odd rusty specs of dust here and there. Also because of the lack of usage you find that for some reason the wiring from the computer isn’t firing signals fast enough or none at all and the steel in the joints are starting to bind a little so the robot isn’t moving very efficiently throughout it’s daily tasks.
You wonder and study the problems and you try rewiring, and you reset the computer and nothing seems to be happening; you’ve broken the robot… The human body spent the first half of it’s existence or more moving. As you’ve heard before we were hunters, gatherers, warriors, etc. and for this last third of human history we’ve become more and more sedentary. Our careers demand hours and hours of sitting around in front of the computer typing, mouse surfing, reading and all other wonderful things that our borne of our jobs. We are now that broken robot but the difference is we are slowly learning how to reset that computer, we are learning mobility drills, flexibility exercises, myofascial release, and so many other fantastic techniques that are putting us back together. Unfortunately in this society We just have to want to move more then wanting to move at any cost!
Lately we’ve been living in the world of low attention spans and high regard for social media and all the poisonous fruit that comes off that tree. Things like 30 day challenges that push the metabolic envelope to sickness, promises of beautiful bodies at the cost of your health and general mobility and let’s not get started on the nutrition fads; that’s a Blog in itself! I was once asked by a very important man from a company I was working at if I just took down people’s goals and built programs for them to work on. I just gave him a blank stare and told him that goals are secondary to me if the people can’t move properly. I need to see how they move and find out what weaknesses lie within and why. I need to see people’s asymmetries and distinguish what sort of corrective exercises need to be applied and how, I also need to assess their strengths so that I can formulate a few of their goals into a program as well to compliment the fixes needed to move better.
This is why I felt that the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was an important tool to add to my arsenal, and this is why I still feel that those 7 simple movements in the screen can tell so much about a person and what lies within. This past weekend working with friends and colleagues just reaffirmed that I’m on the right path. Clients don’t need to lose 50lbs tomorrow, they need to lose 50lbs intelligently through a program that incorporates their strengths, considers their asymmetrical issues, compliments their weaknesses but still is able to challenge them physically. I always say, ‘do the exercise right and not only will it be harder but will also make you stronger.’ The fitness world is starting to follow in the elite footsteps and move towards function and specificity, and I believe that the the Functional Movement Screen is a great starting block in assessing a client, so that they can get to their goals in healthy fashion. Well friends, I hope I was able to open your eyes like mine were this past weekend; and now for my next assessment; stay functional (healthy) my friends…
Are you tough enough?
In the past I introduced this Blog with the Smart Principle; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. The truth is I’ve noticed with certain clients just want to jump in the water with both feet never testing it, never asking questions, never considering the consequences of what a hardcore attitude might do to your body or your mind. On the other hand I have those that want more than they’ve put in and start to wonder if the training is even worth it. As trainers this can become quite frustrating considering that we lay out guidelines, support, education, and the training. There’s an old African proverb that says, “Never test the depth of the water with both feet.” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007)
In Kouzes and Posner’s The Leadership Challenge it talks about experimenting and risk taking, but I’ll get to that in a moment. First I’d like to start by asking you that simple question, “How’s that new years resolution working out for you?” I’m guessing that there are a high percentage of you that have fell off the wagon, or have become too busy, or never really saw the results they assumed they would achieve in such a short period, and finally you’re just bored of the same routine since January. So back to Kouzes and Posner, where they state that to create a climate in which the norm is to experiment and take risks, it is essential for leaders to:
Generate small wins
Learn from experience
Generating small wins is an excellent way to begin tracking your performance and goals in your every day life, whether family, work, fitness, etc. Again, this is where SMART can come into play, and helping you refine those small wins; setting milestones is a small step-by-step process for progression. Unfortunately we live in a society that caters to the, “Go big or go home,” with that said 90% are sitting at home! Remember that achieving those small wins will result in success.
Learning from our experience is crucial to our mental toughness, our resilience to obstacles, and to our eventual success in any of our goals set. As humans we are programmed to learn from childhood on until the imminent. Unfortunately taking another shot at society, we often find ourselves being lazy and letting someone else take over the reigns; let them learn it, let them do it. Well now they’ve just become your boss, beat you in a race, or achieved their fitness goals before you! My question to you is, “will you quit because you were beaten? Will you quit because you never reached those goals?’ You have to ask yourself , did you learn anything? Are you mentally tough enough to persevere? Do you lack the fortitude to continue?” I say you are, I say you can learn to be; you are smarter and you can become tougher just by taking that small step forward you never did before. You can pick yourself up and continue, because it is instilled in us the will to live, to move, to run, to jump, to love; so what’s holding you back? You have a resolution to continue, one small win at a time. Track your progress people, you will have something to work for always.
Stay Healthy My Friends…