7/31/17 - Intro Session: Not Seeing the Whole Field
Think about the defensive arrangement of a baseball team on the field. Everyone is looking towards home plate. Obviously the pitcher is directing his attention there, but you’ll also notice that the third baseman, centerfielder, and even the shortstop have their eyeballs trained in the same direction. It’s a slightly different vantage point, but same limited focus, nonetheless. As a catcher, I used to have unique perspective of the game. Depending on who you ask, it’s a position for the brightest mind on the field or the dumbest. Regardless, with the position comes a unique view of the game. It’s the only position with a complete perspective of the field of play.
When I sit down to do an ‘Intro Session’ with a prospective student, I feel the same exact unique opportunity. Everyone, and I mean everyone, who I’ve sat down with to discuss their fitness journey, the gym, and their subsequent participation in it, has brought with them a certain view of the playing field. Call it their version of looking in to home plate. The self-talk ensues:
Training here is heavy, fast, and intimidating.
The training is good, just don’t do the heavy weights. That’s a recipe for extra bulk.
CrossFit, whatever that is, works. Just don’t get killed.
This is three and a half times as much as most gyms.
No pain, no gain. Forget your comfort zone, these guys whip people into shape.
From my vantage (behind home plate looking out), I enjoy seeing the potpourri of expectations and perceptions come in. I get the distinct advantage of seeing that this experience isn’t going to go at all like these people think it is. It will likely include some of their expectations, but they can’t see the whole field. I can.
What’s the actionable take away here? Well, we can’t expect folks to magically understand the unknown in perfect context. What we can do is realize how common it is to bring your perspective with you wherever you go. Some call this idea the participative universe. M.J. Wheatley in his Leadership and the New Science explains:
“[The participative universe is]… a place where the act of looking for certain information evokes the information we went looking for — and simultaneously eliminates our opportunity to observe other information… we create not only the present with our observations, but the past as well. It is the existence of observers who notice what is going on that imparts reality to everything. When we choose to experiment for one aspect, we lose our ability to see any others. Every act of measurement loses more information than it gains, closing the box irretrievably and forever on other potentials.”
Sure, we have broken down the limited expectations for what a gym experience could be for those who come see us countless times before and will continue do so into the future, but let this be a lesson. When you show up with your cup full, you’ll have a hard time getting a good pour of whatever’s available for you when you arrive.
5 Power Cleans (185/ 125)
-Rest 3 min-