a better life, adaptation, asking questions, awareness, basics of training, Beliefs, better choices, body, breaking points, caring, change, choices, ego, Energy

Learn to be more coachable.

Learn the basics of exercise in the gym. Learn to be more coachable - learn the rules so you know how to use them better in the future. This applies to most rules in life. Vv.

Learn the basics of exercise in the gym. Learn to be more coachable – learn the rules so you know how to use them better in the future. This applies to most rules in life.
Vv.

My gym experience has taught me a lot about people, about human nature. I love observing human behaviour in action, it fascinates me.

As most of you would agree, there is no doubt that people are different. We are all different and unique but we also are more alike than we like to think. We are all wired differently and that wiring lends itself to certain skills, environments and roles rather than other skills, environments and roles.

Some people find it very difficult to change. Some people need to learn to be more coachable, if they are to achieve their full potential and avoid some of the mistakes other people and previous generations have made.

There was this member of the gym I used to own for a number of years that was very stuck in his ways of training. I always tried questioning him on why he did things the way he did and he was very inflexible to learning something different. An alternative.

His reason: he had been training with weights for longer than me and he didn’t have anything to learn. Fair enough. I did not want to force him to stop doing harm to himself but I felt it was my role and duty of care to point out the potential risks he was putting himself and others in the gym, now and in to the future.

This a story about how too much of a good thing can be bad for you and relates to one particular exercise: the wide chin-up exercise.

Let’s call this individual “Dave”.

You see, he loved doing chin-ups. Some of you may know it as ‘pull-ups’. He loved it so much he did it every time he came to the gym for his ‘session’. He came to the gym about four times per week. He really loved doing very wide chin-ups and prided himself on lifting an additional 40kg dumbbell hanging from his waist for reps. He was certainly strong. He was very dedicated.

The one major drawback with his weight-training sessions was the fact that he loved doing chin-ups so much. Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a favourite exercise and this exercise is a great one.

Learn the rules of life. Learn the rules of training in the gym. Learn to be more coachable to manage your 'risk:benefit ratio' in life. Vv.

Learn the rules of life. Learn the rules of training in the gym. Learn to be more coachable to manage your ‘risk:benefit ratio’ in life.
Vv.

However, one should always be aware of doing that particular activity too often as it increases one’s risk of injury. And this is exactly what happened to our poor friend Dave. As we have all been told over the years – “too much of a good thing can be bad for you”.

I had a great chin-up bar. Matter-of-fact, I had another installed beside the original just because men had different size hands and preferred varying grips. It was a winner – for Dave and for every other enthusiast.

At the very start of his relationship with me, I gave him a piece of advice regarding his training regime that was rejected stubbornly every year for five years, before his accident.

Yes, he did have an accident.

My piece of advice was: don’t overdo an exercise.

I told him that he should probably cut back on the frequency of his chin-ups (doing it every day, every week for the whole year) to consider doing it in one workout every fortnight, that he should consider doing the many other exercise options available that would target the same muscles that chin-ups did but with minimal risk to his joints.

Minimising potential risks to his tendons and ligaments around the elbow joints. I basically tried to tell him to give his joints more rest and recovery, which in turn would probably see him spur on more muscle growth than what he was used to.

I suggested the traditional “Lat Pull-down” machine. A perfect alternative and there were a few ways of doing this exercise too.

That was unacceptable to him. Period!

He said that only ‘sissies’ did the exercise. I couldn’t believe he said that, calling everyone who ever did machine lat pull-downs a ‘sissy’, including me! I reminded him of some of the best backs built over time due partly to machine lat pull-downs. They used the machine lat pull-downs religiously!

He didn’t want to hear it. He was happy doing what he was doing and had been doing all his life. We went through this same conversation at least once every year. Me warning him about the excessive nature of his exercise choice of chin-ups and the damage he was potentially doing to his elbows further down the track.

Dave wasn’t open to other ideas, he did not want to be coached.

Anyway, in his fifth year of training in my gym, Dave went missing from the gym for about a month. I called up to see if he was ok like I did for anyone of the hundreds of members that I didn’t see for more than four weeks.

He returned to see me in the gym the next day.

Just like any activity, understand and always assess the risk of any exercise you do in the gym. Vv.

Just like any activity, understand and always assess the risk of any exercise you do in the gym.
Vv.

He wasn’t able to train in the gym, in particular he couldn’t use his arms without experiencing excruciating pain through the elbows. All pushing and pulling movements were no longer possible. He basically couldn’t train and he wasn’t coping with this lack of activity very well and didn’t know what to do.

Dave felt a little embarrassed and admitted it was one of the biggest training mistakes he had ever made – not listening to my little piece of advice over the previous five years. The high risk of injury I had made him aware of every year for five years had manifested and now he couldn’t do the exercise he loved to do but even worse, he also couldn’t train. Period!

He was a mess. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. He needed help.

I sat him down and let him rest his head on my shoulder. I said it was alright to cry. All grown men have a license to cry. He did just that.

I told him to forget about the past but to learn from it. I gave him two options to help him make his way back to where he was but I needed him to listen and let go of prior beliefs regarding training.

He needed to set new beliefs. He needed to understand and introduce a new paradigm. He needed to learn to be more coachable and unlearn some irrelevant old habits. He was going to have to accept the guy that looked back at him in the mirror now – not twenty years ago in his youth.

He needed to be agreeable. Kinder to himself. He needed to love himself more.

He did.

He learned to do this after almost twenty five years of training in the gym. Yes, he was training and gaining a lot of ‘experience’ but it was not getting him anywhere. He was just getting more and more experience of getting it wrong.

Not good. He trained mainly with his ego and did not leave it at the door each time he walked in to the gym. Does not get you anywhere and generally leads to disaster as his case showed.

I devised a plan of recovery for him and he got back the use of his arms, particularly his elbows. As the pain sub-sided and he started exercising after a little while, his whole demeanour and life improved.

As you know, ‘knowing is one thing, doing is another.’ A wise man once told me that ‘elephants don’t bite, mosquitoes do!”. It really does apply in this case and in many things in life, where too much of a good thing can be bad for you.

Dave did not take care of the mozzies (like the frequency of performing the exercise) and as a result, the compound effect of incorrect technique combined with unnecessary frequency leads to unwanted joint injury.

The message in this story could apply to all areas of life where too much of a good thing (chin-ups for Dave) can be bad for you. Dave learned the hard way and didn’t want to learn from other people’s experience. He didn’t allow himself to be coached. It takes courage to understand your faults but it takes even more courage to make changes to help prevent a huge mis-hap later.

Life is short. There are rules in the gym and gym training, just like there are rules of life. Learn the rules, so that in time you can have the wisdom to discern what is relevant and not.

Live life with quality and integrity and live it to the fullest. Know yourself and be true to yourself.

Have fun with your workouts and have fun with life.

 

Until next time,

In body re-engineering, fast improvements are the result of excellent feedback from excellent coaches. Here, constant examination of my physique by my coach (and 2 x World Natural Body Building Champion) allowed me to reach my peak performance and placing 2nd in Australian Titles. Learn to be more coachable to achieve your best in whatever area of life. Vv.

In body re-engineering, fast improvements are the result of excellent feedback from excellent coaches.
Here, constant examination of my physique by my coach (and 2 x World Natural Body Building Champion) allowed me to reach my peak performance and placing 2nd in Australian Titles.
Learn to be more coachable to achieve your best in whatever area of life.
Vv.

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a better life, adaptation, asking questions, awareness, beauty, Beliefs, better choices, breaking points, choices, decisions, Energy, examined life, game of life, life, love, parenthood, parenting, parenting skills, truths, you

How close is close enough?

Me and my children - carriers of my genes. A taste of immortality for me.

Me and my children – carriers of my genes. A taste of immortality for me.

I spend a lot of time with my two children in this phase of my life and I feel very blessed that I have the opportunity to do so. I will cherish these moments for the rest of my life and I thank God every single day.

Being a parent is quite interesting because most of society make it out to be a relationship where the parenting is ‘one way’ but I think otherwise. I feel, the child ‘parent’ you too, if you are aware enough to recognise it so. They teach and remind you of many things you let slip by the way-side. They help you improve your game as a parent, as a human being.

We play many games together, from racing cars to doll house; from twister to monopoly; from shops to painting; from horse-riding on dad to pillow fights; from dress-ups to leggos; from hide-and-seek to pretend classrooms and so many others. I just love my time with them and I love this role of being a dad.

You see, my son is quite innovative. He is a bit of a thinker. For example, today he created maizes that he drew up from self-created dots on clear pages. He then asked me to find my way through his newly created maize (indicating where the ‘start’ is and where I should try and ‘finish’).

The aim of the game is to get to the ‘finish’ line without drawing over an existing line. I came very close to a few of his maize lines but managed to get out of the maize. He applauded my effort but then asked me an interesting question, he said –

“Dad, how close is close enough?”

I have always told my children that it was important to not be afraid to ask questions rather than know all the answers (as there are countless storage devices or google these days). I also always remind them that it is even more important to ask the right questions.

And so he did.

My kids and I with Ruby the Dog. They just adore each other. Choose to spend time with your kids, not 'quality time'.

My kids and I with Ruby the Dog. They just adore each other.
Choose to spend time with your kids, not ‘quality time’.

I asked him what he meant, and he showed me where I had come very close to ‘touching’ two of his self-made maize lines on my way to the finish line and that I could be considered to have ‘not finished’ and lost. I told him that it was a matter for him and I to decide on how ‘close enough’ is defined and acceptable to both of us. He was happy with how close my drawing was to his line and said that close enough to not be close enough for him to win.

I still am very amazed at the question he asked because it could be applied to many other areas of life. The maizes he draws could represent the maizes (different paths) we are all taking in life. Are you able to accept a service that is 98% complete without getting angry and accepting that it was ‘close enough’.

Are you a ‘close enough is good enough’ person or are you do you expect nothing short of perfect? Are you able to forgive people if they fall short? Once, twice … repeatedly? What is your tolerance level? I know how it feels to come close enough to winning natural body-building contests, experiencing runner-up finishes quite a few times. To me, close enough was not good enough in those contests but that was how the results turned out.

Have you reflected on how close are your closest friends? Are they close enough for you to really get to know you? How close enough are your family relatives? Are the number of years in a relationship relevant or is it the actual number of hours of ‘face-to-face’ contact that brings you close? How do you define ‘close enough’ in a relationship to be able to trust them? How close is close enough for you?

What a thought-provoking question from my son and was the impetus for this blog message to you.

Work the muscles you don't 'see' in front of the mirror. It creates balance and symmetry and lowers your risks of injuries and potential postural problems amongst many other things. Vv.

Work the muscles you don’t ‘see’ in front of the mirror.
It creates balance and symmetry and lowers your risks of injuries and potential postural problems amongst many other things.
Vv.

Anyway, if you have children, YOU, as a mother or father – you’re given the responsibility to work with them and help guide and build them from strong values and principles. Guide them in the ‘way they should go’. I believe it is the single most important task we will ever have in our lifetime – our most important responsibility.

I strongly believe that no other accomplishment and no definition of ‘success’ will ever compensate for failure to help teach eternal truths to your children. No amount of success (as commonly defined in life as financial wealth and status) can ever compensate for the failure to invest in your most priceless off-spring, the generation currently around your knees.

So, choose well I say.

As the American – William James, the father of modern Psychology once stated when referring to time spent with children –

“The greatest use of life is to spend it with something that will outlast it.”

This is about as close enough to close as you could get to truth on this area of life. None of us will ever get out of life, alive, in this life anyway.

And truth, as we know is beauty. So, embrace beauty – embrace the beauty and truth of life. Embrace your children.

And remember, don’t just schedule ‘quality time’, there’s no such thing. You either make time or you don’t. Choose the former before it is too late.

The ‘empty nest’ comes way too soon.

All the very best in your decisions that contribute to your purpose in life.

 

Until next time,

With my children striking a 'front-double biceps' pose for the camera. Watch out these guns are loaded .... hope you're wearing your bullet-proof vests! Vv.

With my children striking a ‘front-double biceps’ pose for the camera.
Watch out these guns are loaded …. hope you’re wearing your bullet-proof vests!
Vv.

~~Life &; wellness COACH~~

~~Life &; wellness COACH~~

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a better life, adaptation, belief systems, Beliefs, breaking points, change

Breaking Points.

Education through a perception of the truth. All successful relationships have an acceptable level of trust between parties concerned. All relationships have their breaking points too. Here: coach-student relationship. Vv

Education through a perception of the truth. All successful relationships have an acceptable level of trust between parties concerned.
All relationships have their breaking points too.
Here: coach-student relationship.
Vv

Have you ever had to work out what your ‘breaking points’ are? Have you ever been forced to choose between life and death? How would you behave in a home robbery? What are your breaking points – what would you not do, no matter what?

As we progress through life, at some point we are tested. Tested on the various areas in life – physically, emotionally, socially, financially, intellectually and so forth. Friendships reach breaking points, family relationships discover their breaking points and tolerance levels. We all get tested. No one is immune to this process of discovering their breaking points. I’m sure you could tell a few stories about these moments when your breaking points were tested.

Think about it for a second. Would you lie to save your kids’ lives? Would you conceal the truth to win a better business deal? To sell your car or your house? Would you ‘back-stab’ your friend or work colleague to get a promotion? How people interpret Right and Wrong is dependent on people’s or a group of peoples’ perception of what is the truth.

So, in essence from a social-behavioural viewpoint, TRUTH is the set of principles that people live by, regardless of what they might say they believe. We all know and have seen there are different truths – subjective, operational, hypothetical and intellectual – and then there is factual data. How true a belief is depends on the level of perception one is at. All levels of truth as we know it however, are examples of truth dependent and contingent on a given set of parameters.

This even applies to our exalted ‘scientific truth’ which is also defined and constrained by conditions and contexts, that they are subject to dispute and error. So, essentially, you are best advised not to believe everything you read, see or hear without at least asking the question ‘why?’ and seeking factual data.

The world seems to be getting ever increasingly filled with more and more laws and regulations. At the most simplest view, all of life is based on some assumption of principle. It is quite obvious now, that everything in nature is based on principles – irrefutable laws showing that all of life is in fact part of a greater design strategy.

Despite the ever increasing dependence on newer regulations, I think there is a finiteness to how reliable this is and every will be. There can never be sufficient rules and regulations, laws and auditors or inspectors to cover or check everything. Everything, whether it be in businesses and organizations or families. To pursue this end would see life get even more complicated and will prove too costly.

Building muscle has some truths that have evolved through application of principles over 100 years. Every one's perception of the truth is constrained by the lenses he views the world through.

Building muscle has some truths that have evolved through application of principles over 100 years.
Every one’s perception of the truth is constrained by the lenses he views the world through.

We see and read about this every day – people getting away with unprincipled behaviour simply because the person found a ‘loop-hole’ in the law, rule or regulation. We see this played out on the sporting field and we see it playing out in board rooms of organizations as well as on the office floors. We even see unthoughtful, unprincipled behaviour displayed quite regularly within families. This really pushes individuals to their breaking points as trust, above all things is eroded.

On a bigger scale, recent Global Financial Crisis and other events prove that there are many unprincipled people who thrive in a system based mainly on principle.

The answer to this problem seems to be: more rules and regulations to curb unprincipled behaviour in one are, within a specific scope. Inevitably, barriers that prevent trading would be dismantled for certain activities and players to remain competitive.

What’s needed more of and not just in business and the big cities are Principles and People of Principles. We need more of it in every corner of society. This is a precious commodity in today’s world. This begins in every home, where I believe little children must be taught that dangerous behaviours are ‘wrong’, but as they grow older, discernment should replace moralism.

Principles that would not waiver, even when tested. Especially in this world where organizations and industries are left to ‘self-regulate’ and ‘self-monitor’. Where individuals are given ‘free-reign’ to exercise their own discretion, without being supervised or because of cost-cutting measures.

We have all known or do know some people who operate with two sets of principles. Sometimes they don’t admit that they do until it is too late. Having two sets of principles – one for work and one for home, for example just does not end well. This applies to both the individual, organization or country-levels. It will always end with a catastrophe where many people get hurt. We see this playing out by parents who have double-standards when it comes to the treatment of their children favouring some over others.

Nothing in life happens by ‘chance’, there is no such thing as ‘coincidence’. I believe this so. So, it follows that, on the whole, the most efficient organizations are the most principled ones. I believe this applies to individuals too – in organizations and in families.

Muscle is like life, it relies on two principles: 1) Simplicity 2) Continuity Like life, muscle building is about principles and the adherence to them. Not doing so does not works against you. Vvv

Muscle is like life, it relies on two principles:
1) Simplicity
2) Continuity
Like life, muscle building is about principles and the adherence to them.
Not doing so works against you.
Vvv

Every successful, long-term relationship whether it is with yourself or others (individuals or organizations) comes down to trust. It costs much less to trust than it is to comply with rules and regulations. It is sad that in many individuals, their lack of ‘spiritual truth’ leads to a dimness in moral vision and blindness to the truth. This is a major problem for society.

We’ve all heard that people need to ‘earn’ our trust before it is given. A very important point as for trust to work, you need to have principles and an awareness of your breaking points. I believe these principles only evolve from your belief systems or set of beliefs.

This is why ‘knowing yourself better’ is paramount to allowing you to constantly make changes to your set of beliefs that are applicable to you. You also have to consider where you are in life and your relationships with either family, friends and business colleagues – I refer to these as the context and parameters within which your particular perception of the truth holds true.

Know your breaking points and constantly be on guard when assessing whether or not sticking with them makes you a person of principle in today’s world.

One thing is certain – everything in life changes. Everything is constantly evolving. You are not the same person you were ten years ago. Gee, you are not the same person you were just a day ago. Nothing stays the same and that goes for your breaking points too. If there is one thing we can all learn from nature and from evolution theory is that it is not the smartest nor the strongest that ultimately survive. It is the one that adapts the fastest.

Progress and growth in life (and muscle building) comes from adaptation, but remember, sacrificing your principles to achieve this outcome does not always end well. It almost never does.

Know your breaking points. You can start this process by becoming more aware of YOU. Accepting responsibility for the truth of one’s life. This takes a lot of courage which leads ultimately to love and hopefully, forgiveness too.

All the best!

Until next time,

The philosophy you follow heavily influences whether you achieve your goals in life or not.

The philosophy you follow heavily influences whether you achieve your goals in life or not.

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