This is a stream of thought post aimed not only at Tony Gentilcore’s post maybe a few months ago (I’m very good at timing.) but also just towards people’s general thoughts on how far down the rabbit hole we really need to go with regards to the fitness and strength and conditioning industry.
While I can’t argue the validity of what someone wants to learn, I feel I have a unique enough of an ability and background to take a step back and view things with a bird’s eye view to offer an opinion. When this question is asked, it was initially referring to my industry’s coaches and trainer’s standards of improving from an intellectual level. Mike Boyle calls it the curse of knowledge, in which a person may know so much information, it will hinder them from helping or addressing the specific issue at hand. Others call it missing the forest for the trees. While I can’t argue for anyone else, I know I can only argue for my own logistics and intellectual curiosity.
So, How Far Down the Rabbit Hole Am I Willing to Go?
I want to go as far as it takes me. This is where journeys begin, friendships are made and lost (because it does happen), and while the seemingly elitism and esoteric topics are brought about, who is the one labeling it as elitism? Regarding the topic of improving human performance, I’m not satisfied with finishing only one side of the Rubik’s cube.
n=1 or …?
- Sometimes improvement does involve helping an athlete or client become adherent through various “activation” related techniques. No doubt.
- Other times you need to present a regimented exercise plan.
- And other times you just need to chat about the latest happenings on SportsCenter to keep someone happy.
But nothing says results like actually achieving an increase in performance or losing body fat by utilizing one of the correct physiological methods in doing so (because you assessed, and weren’t guessing for either/or).
I’m interested in learning all of the aspects of human performance.
Some have asked me why I’m on such a “mission”, others understand my reasons completely. One thought I’ve had is on the topic of a cliche statement… “There are no dumb questions.” I would have to disagree, because I know I’ve asked dumb questions all the time. In the past, these dumb questions of mine reflect a lack of insight, a lack of forward thinking, and a lack of seeing 2 or 3 steps forward that upon further deliberation I was able to figure out on my own. This is one of the beauties of having a brain – figuring things out.
Anyway, by asking the questions to myself, and then figuring them out on my own, I’m more likely to stumble upon a better question – “better” can be defined because the second question that comes about is presented as a result of a knowledge limitation, as opposed to a logistical and laziness related limitation. Do you think Isaac Newton had Google to figure out an answer he didn’t know? While a metaphorical question and in jest, I can confidently say that he didn’t have access to the internet back then. A better question that seems to go hand in hand with “How far down the rabbit hole do I want to go?” is “What’s next?” It isn’t the simple fact of “going down the rabbit hole” for rabbit’s hole sake. Rather, I know that my own genuine intellectual and rationale curiosity towards understanding topics at a deep level is what truly drives me. When I see friends grabbing a Master’s degree, sticking to a job that they dislike, staying in a relationship just to stay in a relationship, or any of the above, it seems to me that it is a fear based or reactive-based decision, and not a deep-seated curiosity for learning, helping, or growing more. And I’ve talked about it with these friends as well, just to clarify.
While I can’t speak for anyone on anyone’s behalf really, I believe that a genuine intellectual and rationale curiosity is what should drive an individual towards improvement. This is not the case all the time, as fear and pain can be great motivators, but with regards to my own acquisitions of knowledge, this is where I’m coming from. I can certainly develop arguments around the successes and greatness of legends in our recent history – Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Tim Ferriss, among any innumerable amount of individuals, and with that I have to say that these individuals didn’t stop at any obstacle that was in their path, not so much an introspection question such as “When should I stop learning how to get better?” which is essentially what the first question relates to.
While even more esoteric and introspective in nature, I believe a great question to ask yourself from time to time is “What is stopping me?”
Then aim to remove that limitation in as best of a way as possible. As always,
Keep it funky.