Two Rules…In The Gym…In Life

Seems like it has been a while since I have shared anything with you, wonderful people.  It seems like the world keeps on spinning and spinning into more and more fights.  We go from one crisis to another.  One shouting match to another, and if we are lucky we find ourselves throwing some weight around just to escape the madness.

We squat, deadlift, burpee…well maybe we just squat and deadlift.  We push some sleds and we find our time in solitude.  The times to just be.  It is just you and the task at hand.  You have a challenge in front of you and you can conquer it.  It does not matter what you think about the election this year or all the other tragedies that seem to be playing out around us.  It’s you and a challenge.

But the gym is life and life is the gym…

A couple years ago, I attended a certification class and on day one the instructor stood at the front of the class and told us he only has two rules:

  1. Don’t be an A-hole
  2. Mind Your Surroundings

Somewhere in there was a secret third unspoken rule about giving 100%.  But for the most part, it was those two rules.  We would get ready to push a sled…he would give us a warning about where the ground might be slippery and if we fell…we were reminded of rule number 2.

If we got out of control and disrespected someone or got in someone’s space…we were reminded of rule number 1.

We trained hard, we asked the questions that needed to be asked, and we grew as people and coaches.  It was two basic rules and having a big heart.  That was what training was about for those couple of days.  Sure we talked about programming, warm-ups and mobility.  But most of the time was spent dealing with those two simple rules.  When someone was struggling, we paid attention (rule #2) and we helped them out as best as we could (rule #1).

And after I finished the class, the rules came with me.  The rules leave the gym and help me in my daily life.  Before I open my mouth, engage in a discussion or react to a situation, I think about the rules. In my office when it comes to dealing with people and challenges, I am reminded of the rules.

And they really are simple rules.  Look around you, mind your surroundings.  Be aware!  And then quite simply…don’t be an a-hole.  It’s really not hard.

And yet…here we are today and our leaders and the people that we are supposed to look up to the most cannot play by these simple rules.  We wonder why things appear to be getting worse.  We wonder why it seems that generations are lost and confused.

It appears that we cannot follow a simple set of two rules.  We don’t care about our surroundings and believe that we have a right to be an ass.  We start to think that the other person doesn’t matter because they are different or think differently than we do.  So instead of having a civil conversation where learning and growth can take place…we yell and scream and call on our “followers” to join in on our charge.

It’s time we return to the gym and do the hard work.  It’s time that we stop being lazy and try our best to follow some simple rules on how to treat people.  It’s time.