Today is my b-day. I’m 31. And, I’ve got a list 31 Things I’ve learned that I’d like to share. This list is pretty mixed up and not organized by importance/rank.
(By the way, if you didn’t see my 30 Things I Want to Share post, you can check it out here.)
- I’ve always held a great deal of automatic-respect for my “elders.” But in the last year I have had to accept that sometimes older doesn’t mean wiser. Apparently some people just stay stupid well into their 50’s and 60’s. It’s too bad, hopefully my stupidity is lessening as I age.
- The most moderate approach to training wins, in the end. The foundation of SAPT rests on moderation as THE way for greatest gains and success.
- I find that people who have NEVER worked in a service industry are quite likely to disrespect those of us who do. Believe it or not, and putting passion aside, we don’t do this entirely for altruistic reasons; we’re adults who have bills to pay, children to provide for, and financial goals to accomplish.
- Invest in some low- to zero-drop shoes (the drop refers to the heel height). Be it Converse Chuck Taylors, New Balance Minimus, Vibram FiveFingers, or the anything similar. They’re fantastic and, over time, you’ll realize how important foot health is to the rest of your body!
- A sincere “Thank You” goes a long way.
- If you work in strength and conditioning, you already know this… if you don’t I’ll tell you: we’re a fiery and passionate group.
- Focus on having fun at work and home and you’ll find your quality of life increases.
- Contrary to popular belief with certain people I know, I do not have a golden horseshoe stuck up my ass. Rather, I agree with Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers, “Luck is the residue of design.”
- Unilateral movements are critically important to everyone’s training plan. It doesn’t matter if your goals are for performance or health. They’ll help you achieve both.
10. Bilateral movements are still killer though. A well-known strength coach labeled them as unnecessary a couple years back. Sorry, but you’re wrong.
11. Don’t worship false idols. Occasionally, I’ll speak with SAPT’s new coaches about the high regard with which they hold certain popular industry members. Now, I’ll admit they choose excellent individuals to with whom to become enamored. But, I think if you are too wrapped up in hanging on every word of another professional, you will effectively stifle your own professional development and creativity. Here’s a cool article from Wired magazine about this exact topic as related to Steve Jobs, Microsoft, and the like from 2006.
12. Most recently popularized by CrossFitters, and sadomasochists everywhere, throwing up from a training session is NOT the sign of a successful session. Rather, it is the sign that you have effectively pushed your body too hard. So hard that it has to resort to dramatic measures in an attempt to get your brain to cease and desist.
If you want to put together an excellent portable training kit that doesn’t weigh much or take up much space, I suggest the following: suspension straps, furniture sliders, jump rope, a couple resistance bands.
14. If you want to put together an even more excellent portable training kit that ignores the convenience of low-weight and spatial concerns, then add in these tools, too: prowler, about 200-400lbs in iron plates, a couple kettle bells, two sandbags, and –what the heck – throw in a barbell, too.
15. The health and fitness industry has some serious flaws with how easy it is to call oneself a Fitness Professional of any form (personal trainer, group fitness instructor, strength coach, etc.). I think this reduces the entire industry to a much lower level.
16. If you can find a real fitness professional, that person, and their knowledge base, is worth their weight in gold!
17. Addressing soft-tissue quality is very important for overall body balance and health.
18. If you would like to know what helps SAPT coaches push the limits on creativity, effectiveness, and research, it is my decision to position our work environment from the following point of view: “The ultimate freedom for creative groups is the freedom to experiment with new ideas. Some skeptics insist that innovation is expensive. In the long run innovation is cheap. Mediocrity is expensive – and autonomy can be the antidote.” – Tom Kelley, IDEO
19. Spend MORE time learning the right things to ingest than you do learning what new exercises to try.
20. Branching off from the above, do yourself a couple favors and WATCH Food, Inc. and Supersize Me (they’re both on Netflix) and READ The China Study.
21. I really enjoy hanging out at home with my family on the weekends.
22. You know what else goes a long way? Asking someone how they’re doing and actually being interested when the other person tells you.
23. Always try to enjoy “the process.” I’ve talked about this before with regards to training, but even a day at work… why complain? Enjoy the process of what you are working towards and being a part of something bigger than yourself.
24. Take the time to have good conversations. I love talking to my interns about training nuances. They continually surprise me with the quality of their questions.
25. The head strength coach at Mason just showed me video of an athlete training that makes me feel like I’ve never worked with anyone special. WOW, mind blown. So, stay humble. There is ALWAYS someone, somewhere who is smarter, stronger, faster, and more successful.
26. “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard for resources currently controlled.” – Howard Stevenson, Harvard Business School. This statement is true and explains a lot about me.
27. Some people LOVE lifting weights (I know I do), be sure you don’t allow yourself to neglect the cardiovascular training that will help to keep your hearth healthy for years to come.
28. Some people LOVE doing long duration cardiovascular exercise, be sure you pick up some weights a couple times a week to ensure your bones don’t crumble with age.
29. Keep healthy emergency food with you at all times. If you don’t eat it, no big deal. But at least it’s there if you need something.
30. Turning 31 is not nearly as much fun as turning 21. My husband, Ryan, will not be throwing me a surprise party tonight like he did when I turned 21, no one will be buying me drinks or teaching me how to Salsa dance, and I’m not hung-over from my longtime friend’s 21st birthday that was celebrated the night before mine 10-years ago. It’s fun to remember those times and look forward to spending this birthday with my daughter, husband, and celebrating what the next 10-years holds for all of us.
31. “…Just do what needs to be done,
Never take advantage of power.
But never glory in them.
But never boast.
But never be proud.
Because this is the natural way…” – Tao Te Ching