conditioning. flexibility. strength. endurance. power.
the English language, from time to time, amazes me. i have been talking to many people lately about training, and it keeps coming back to allegory. if all you want is to work out, to “tone up” and maybe gain/loose some weight, than you can have it – you can take pills (that probably wont work) and “exercise” and be the exact same person you are today- except perhaps a few pounds lighter. or you can allow the lessons to move in you. make the choice. allow the work to slip past mechanical movement and into every corner of your being… just look at the language we use, conditioning. flexibility. strength. endurance. power. these are not simply physical traits. one can argue that the physical manifestation of these things is a reflection of our inner nature. a nature we cultivate every minute of every day.
a good coach must be a student of relationships. of the subtle interconnectedness of things. sleep, diet, strength, relaxation, determination, stress, risk, reward. as a student we must listen, examine and learn. we must be ruthless in our assessments. scientific in our approach. to deal with the situations as they are and not as we wish them to be. to find our signposts of collapse, and our driving force. to read them. to know them. to own them.
is it any surprise then, that the strongest coaches find themselves equally comfortable discussing philosophy as they do sport? that they, so often, see them as one in the same? that they find the edges, the spaces within us where we need growth the most. it is allegory. it is doing the physical work with the openness, the understanding of the mental and even spiritual implications. this is training at its deepest. this is taking a look at ourselves and asking “where am i, in relation to where i need to be”. this is looking at a problem and formulating a plan. this is the relentless pursuit of effectiveness, in any field.
there are many individuals out there who exemplify this trait, a few i have met, many i have read, i am hopeful that there are even more to be found.
for the students.
for the teachers.