Golf is a really hard game. The driving range is an impossible place to visit without seeing people swinging and playing a sport that is really good at making one feel silly, because the ball is just sitting there, waiting to be hit, but the success rate is laughably low.
Know when it gets even lower? When someone who read somewhere what to do in a golf swing starts giving advice.
A famous quote from Ben Hogan (who if you know who that is please tell me because we can be friends) comes from a story I’d like to think is true (most golf stories aren’t, but lets for sure say this one is because it is too good).
It is said that a member at the course Ben would practice at asked Ben for weeks to give him a lesson. You see, Ben Hogan is widely acclaimed as the greatest ball striker in the history of the sport. Why haven’t you heard of him? Well, first, its golf. And second, he was in his prime in the 50’s and 60’s. If you want a full history lesson like I said, lets talk. But stay with me.
Ben didn’t give lessons. He was a golfer. He didn’t teach. When you are an athlete you are not in the mentality of a coach.
So after saying no for weeks, Ben finally said, “Ok, meet me at the range at 7 am the next morning.”
7 am rolls around, and the member was excited, he was at the range, right on time, as was Ben. Ben walked up with two large bags of golf balls and said, “Hit at least this many balls every day for the next year and then we can have our next lesson.” And Ben walked away.
“Wait, but what am I supposed to do? How do I do what you do?”
Ben turned around and said, “If you want those answers, it’s in the dirt.” Meaning, if he wanted to be good, he had to dig it out himself.
Dirt, what a perfect metaphor for worthy pursuits.
I like to think the dirt was more than just digging it out. I think of it as boring. Day after day, digging.
I think of it as complicated and experiential. Depending on where you dig, you don’t know what you will find. You may even find digging a new hole leads to expanding what you know about your foundation, that which you are standing on.
Many can come along and tell you a better way, promise you a faster way to your goal. But it will take time and effort on your part, regardless of the method of your dig. And if you never stick to one site very long, think you’ll discover much? Think the depth of what you find will be worth anything?
Ben Hogan was notoriously short, and cold. But lets bring this back to modern day and CrossFit. Most of those who are trying to get fit are on their own dig, and desperate for some help.
Many of you who take my classes (I hope) know I don’t over coach. I loathe over coaching. Over coaching is the enemy of a flow state, the enemy of performance.
My dad also taught me this way. I played golf cross handed (the wrong way) for months upon learning the game. Many others wondered why he wasn’t fixing me. He was a teacher, after all. My dad said, “if he wants to learn, he will ask me. Otherwise just let him have fun.”
This is the approach I believe is crucial to our success as a gym, and your success with health and wellness and fitness across a lifetime.
A few caveats:
I promise to always keep you safe.
I promise to have answers to questions that you aren’t sure about within the health and fitness world.
I promise to push you if you want to be pushed, but I also promise to let you dig out your own experience, as I would never want to take that away from you.
I promise to try and sneak in movements and words and cues that may give you a new tool for your dig.
Please, if you want to know something, ask! Its the easiest invitation for me and our great coaches to know what is on your mind. What are you trying to find beneath you? What have you found but are missing?
Please, don’t think that bouncing around and listening to anything is better than nothing. I promise you its not. Know what I do when someone gives me unsolicited advice? Be it business, fitness, golf, whatever? I appreciate they are trying to help, so I listen, and I’m thankful, but then I move on and stick to what speaks to me. What my own journey through the dirt in this profession I’ve chosen has taught me.
I challenge you to do the same. If you are receiving unsolicited advice, it is probably coming from somewhere from someone who is well intentioned, but perhaps doesn’t have your journey in mind. One who has been fooled into thinking that the dig can be made exponentially easier with some trick or new found method.
Just show up, every day, and dig. Eat the right foods. Do the warm up. Listen to your coach as they are trying to make your dig that day as meaningful and beneficial as possible. Recover right. Rest. And then do it again. You’d be surprised how far you can get. How much you will own if you stick to that recipe.
It’s in the dirt. I’m here to provide you with ground to stand on, and a shovel. Lets find some cool stuff in there