“Nut Up or Shut Up”

Today’s post inspired by the writings of Keith Norris at Theory to Practice, Ken O’Neill at Trans-Evolutionary Fitness, Chris Guillebeau at The Art of Non-Conformity, and apparently Woody Harrelson from Zombieland.

For the past two semesters I helped as a research assistant in a social psychology lab at UVa. While I learned a lot about psychology research from the experience, the most important lesson I took away is that I am not ready to commit to a Ph.D. program right now. Too much time spent indoors, head buried in books, stressing over numbers and theories, and not enough hands-on application, performance, moving, interaction, etc. Perhaps in the future a more fitting opportunity will show itself, but for now I will not be applying to any Ph.D. programs.

That said, it’s now time to “nut up or shut up” as Woody Harrelson so eloquently states in Zombieland. What do I mean by that? Consider Chris Guillebeau’s article “How to Put Off Making Decisions About Your Life”. Rather than applying for another program (like I did for UPenn’s MAPP), I am actually going to get the ball rolling on a series of ideas and projects that have been brewing for quite some time now. Long work: check. Hard work: on deck.

So here’s what we got:

So the table is nice and full. I am looking forward to the PaleoFX12 Symposium in March in Austin, TX as well.

Lastly, I will leave you with a quote from Clifton Harski’s recent post “80/20” on his blog, Strong. Naturally:

I don’t like the minimal effective dose attitude at all. It annoys me. Why are we encouraging people to move as little as possible? We should be encouraging people to move as much as possible. I’m disinteresting in perpetuating a lazy, pathetic culture that wants easy minimal effort approaches to getting the things they want.

Thanks for reading,


Practical Instruction

I was reading an insightful post by Gray Cook recently: http://graycook.com/?p=791 It reminded me of teaching drum corps in many ways:

Practical activities employ functional patterns, but always offer a variety of daily twists that produce adaptability by offering a wide array of perception.

I am teaching a group of 150 members who rehearse 6-10 hours per day for 90 straight days. Despite all these hours of work, they only perform a 10-minute show. Thus, my task is to provide them with functional, practical instruction while also continuously challenging them with daily twists to enhance their ability to perceive.

Our collective opinion was that we talked more movement than we actually taught. We loved the sounds of our authoritative coaching voices.

Yes! I need to constantly remind myself of this. Here’s how a typical scenario might span out:

“Drumline, Play this part of the music.”

*The line plays it, 10 times in a row without any stopping for instruction or comment.*

“Okay, great. You just learned more about how to play that part correctly than I could ever tell you in words.”

This also reminds me of the “macro-micro-macro” approach from Chris Spealler on the CrossFit Journal: http://journal.crossfit.com/2010/09/cpc-macromicro.tpl

Romanov on Perception

Today I watched Dr. Nicholas Romanov discuss teaching vs. training.

Training is “developing physiological abilities,” or developing the systems for movement, whereas teaching is “developing perception,” or developing the movement itself.

Are you training or teaching? The answer probably depends on the athletes, students, class, discipline, rehearsal, movement, sport, game, song, weather, etc.

Dr. Romanov says, “I am not teaching people to think. I am teaching them to perceive. … This is a huge difference.” Stated similarly, Bruce Lee says, “Don’t think! Feel!”