Two very different things happened to me within the last week. The first is that I came upon and read Michael Blevins’ article/rant on where the responsibility of success or failure in training lies. Blevins made the point that many of the widely used training programs in the world are the result of hours, even years of research and experimentation, and thus none of them are inherently “bad” or “wrong”. The problem he sees with them is that they are all too often blindly followed and consecutively either held up as the golden standard or demonized as being without value by people who are incapable of either seeking out a mentor or learning to train themselves properly.
The second thing I experienced was heavy traffic, in part due to a recent storm and the resulting flash floods. It took me over an hour to travel about 7.5km on mostly straight roads – and based on Facebook, that wasn’t even a huge delay.
However annoying that one hour was, it was the reaction of people – mostly on social media – that caught my interest. As has been the case recently – perhaps through most of the country’s history – much of the blame was heaped on the government. People complained of unresolved garbage problems clogging the drainage systems, untouched proposals for improving infrastructure throughout the metropolis, and poorly maintained trains that could have kept hundreds out of the buses and flooded highways.
Now, I grant that there are some valid complaints there. I will, however, make a couple of points. First, while the government could theoretically try harder to clean the streets and unclog the drains, they didn’t put the trash there in the first place. Second, while government agencies are responsible for maintaining order on the road, they aren’t the bus drivers who maniacally cut through traffic and stop on a dime two lanes from the sidewalk to squeeze an extra five people onboard.
In other words, responsibility for the horrendous traffic in Metro Manila doesn’t lie solely on the government. If you’ve ever chucked a cigarette butt into the sewer or swerved into an intersection to save precious milliseconds at the cost of screwing over people you decided you’d never have to care about, then part of the problem is you.
You drive like an ass. You throw garbage anywhere you find convenient. You have a complete and utter disregard for every other human being sharing the city with you. Why aren’t you just as mad at yourself?
Now I understand that this is a bit beside Blevins’ main point of the value of finding a good coach. This is where I find the connection: poor gains from perfect adherence to one training program doesn’t automatically mean the program was bad. Similarly, if floods strand you on the national highway for over two hours, it doesn’t mean the people who built and maintain the highway automatically screwed up somehow. It could mean those things, and sometimes it does.
Frequently, however, you could – if you were willing – point the blame at someone else. And I guarantee that you won’t like it.
30x 4-way Jumping Jacks
5x Ring Pull-up
5x Double Clean and Press @ 2x25lbs
5x Side Lunge
4x Pistol (L) + 3x Pistol (R) per minute for 5min
3x Pistol (L) + 2x Pistol (R) with 25lbs per minute for 5min
3 total superset ladders
1-3x KB Clean and Press @ 55lbs
1-3x Pull-up @ 10kg vest
Max rounds in 20min