Saturday, April 9, 2011

Observations of a Legend

Last weekend I was visiting family in the bay area, and whenever I go on a trip I always look for a facility or coach to meet with and learn from. Through Facebook someone suggested to look up Dan John as he recently relocated back to San Francisco area. Now if you don't know who Dan John is, immediately drop everything your doing (unless it's carrying a baby or something fragile) and go buy, then read, his book Never Let Go. Dan has been a athlete, coach, teacher, fitness professional since the late 1960's. His philosophy of training was far ahead of his time when bodybuilding and nautilus were trendy. He based workouts on movements and getting athletes stronger because he knew that was the right way to do it.

I emailed him hoping to maybe to come to where he trains ask a couple questions and maybe see him coach a little. Nope. Instead he invited me to train with him and a group of about 10 the next morning. There was no way I was going to pass it up and fortunately my mom, who had the rental car, is the best mom in the world and read a book at a coffee shop while I worked out on her vacation. Thanks Mom!

One of the first things I noticed is Dan has the energy of a 12 year old kid still. Before we worked out he literally was rolling on the ground talking about how fun it is to roll around. You had me at hello... For the next hour and a half we did series of movements, based around movement quality. The great part about this group led by Dan was that ideas, cues, and experiences were bounced off each other making for great learning experience. Also some corny jokes and funny stories kept it the mood fun and engaging. My favorite joke from Dan while performing an overhead press.... "What did the kettlebell say to the other kettlebell? I'm imPRESSED." Corny, but it's all in the delivery.

I could get into some cues or new exercises I learned but I don't think that's where the value was in this experience. The group itself is what I took most out it. It was your staff meeting, mastermind group, or whatever else you want to name it. They were the essence of coaching and learning. Dan was the tribe leader but everyone else chipped in making suggestions, corrections, or a bad one line joke that made everyone smile.

My suggestion is to find 2-3 friends, coaches, or other athletes you like being around and train once a week. Try new things, talk about what you see and what they see. It gives more insight into coaching, teaching, and learning. That was deep practice at it's best!

Thanks Dan and others in that group for letting me be apart of it for one day!

The Other Side:
Recently I found a new hip hop artist/musician I loved named Childish Gambino. Then I found out it was the actor/comedian/writer/everything else Donald Glover from the show Community. He is pretty much my new idol..... check out his website and music.

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