Saturday, October 27, 2007
In Japanese, there is a proverb "初心忘れべからず" (shoshin wasurebekarazu) which means "One should not forget the beginner's mind." The phrase can be interpreted in many different ways, but I take it to mean:
1) Remain humble, no matter how far you have come, and...
2) Approach your craft with a curious and open mind
Since creating the Squat Rx videos, I've fielded a lot of criticisms - some of them coming from people with backgrounds in exercise physiology who quote studies claiming squats do not recruit the hamstrings... I wish people such as these would spend more time in the squat racks and less at their keyboards, but their comments have helped me take myself a little less seriously and tested my humility.
After cooling off a bit, I took time to contact Coach Mark Rippetoe, the author of Starting Strength, who was very generous with his time and knowledge. Speaking with an expert like Coach Rippetoe about coaching and lifting was a humbling experience, and I mean this in the best possible way - I realized that, even after spending the last 20 years squatting, studying, and coaching, there is so much more to learn, even with things as seemingly simple as coaching cues and drills.
The best in any field seem to know how to maintain their "beginner's mind" and my conversation with Coach Rippetoe was evidence of that. He asked me a number of questions about my experiences with swimming and kettlebells and it was clear that, here was a man, who loved his craft and never tired of asking questions and seeking answers. Coach was very happy to hear my feedback on a recent article he had done for the CrossFit Journal, and even sent me an NSCA article that he had published about strength training for fencers, asking for feedback.
I've been overwhelmed with the attention and opportunities that Squat Rx have given me and I look forward to continuing the series. The Japanese proverb, "One should not forget the beginner's mind" will be included as part of its mission statement.
Posted by Boris at 10:30 PM