Any Example Teaches a Lesson, For Good or Ill

Last week for Wellness Thursday I got to thinking about vacations, and exercise, and remembering to bring your knee braces and glucosamine. There was no great lesson to be learned, just another data point supporting my theory that vigorous, regular exercise is the heart of a healthy lifestyle.

Man running along the shore line
Running on the beach

Oddly enough, today is providing another data point, only it’s doing it in reverse.

Be an Example

Many, many moons ago, I had a karate teacher tell me that he never had a student who failed to teach him more than he ever taught the student. I’ve been an instructor of this and that, on and off, for many years, and that statement is flat bullhooey. A teacher gets lots of students who teach him nothing.

Concomitantly, a student can have an instructor who teaches him nothing, provided the student is not a teacher himself.

As a teacher, whatever learning situation I find myself in, I look to learn more than just the subject matter. I look to learn more about teaching, and here we come to the nub of it. No instructor is so bad that he can’t teach you anything at all, even if by way of the negative.

For instance, as long ago as those karate days of the late 80s, early 90s, I had an instructor who played favourites, in both directions. You could be his pet and get everything, or you could live in his doghouse, and get nothing. This was an absolutely priceless lesson for my karate teaching years.

I had my favourites (every teacher does), but nobody knew who they were. Hell, one time I was asked why I didn’t like Mike (yes that’s his real name, but there were about 5 Mikes in the club at the time, so I’m not giving anything away). Why didn’t I like Mike? Actually, Mike happened to be one of my favourites.

If you want to be a good teacher, have your favourites, but don’t let anyone know.

Lesson learned

As recently as last month I signed up for a one week podcasting course with one of the top names in the business. Man the guy was amazing, he had the uncanny ability to pack 30, maybe even 45 minutes, of knowledge into a 2-1/2 hour webinar. Plus, every time he opened his mouth he made this absolutely revolting “tch” noise.

Did I mention he’s a 7 figure podcasting guru? If I hadn’t dropped $5 on the course, I’d have quit after 5 minutes of, “Tch. Blah, blah blah. Tch. Blah, blah, blah. Tch. Blah, blah, something useful, blah. Tch.” Ad nauseum.

No, seriously, the constant repetition of that disgusting, tch’ing, lip smacking, gum sucking noise was making me physically ill. I had to quit watching the live webinars and listen to the recordings in small chunks, so I wouldn’t punch my monitor.

Where the hell was I?

Oh, yeah, on serving as a bad example. If you ever get into broadcasting, don’t be that guy. Have a good mic, with good filters to suppress the “P-Pops” and similar noises. Discipline yourself to remove extraneous noise, and if you’re going to teach, get to the frickin’ point.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a story about health and wellness, not a rant about idiots poisoning their own wells. Suffice to say, we’ve all had plenty of poor examples to learn from, so learn from them.

A Busy Week

It’s been a busy week casa StandUpRight. I’m back from vacation, work is crazy, the boys need herding, the house needs to be kept up, meals need to be made, yada, yada, yada.

On top of that, weather, life and family factors have intervened to interrupt my workout schedule, so I haven’t had a good sweat in almost a week. I can feel the stress and overwhelm building, and I know I’m having a harder time dealing with all the stuff that life is wont to throw my way.

If last week’s vacation was a data point on the benefits of exercise at the core of a healthy lifestyle, then this week is the opposite. I’m not sweating out the stress, so I’m not sleeping as well, and my coping mechanisms are strained.

Good thing I’ve got the weekend coming up. That kayak isn’t going to paddle itself, and even if it did, what good would that do me? I need to push hard and burn some calories, before this week of bad example has a chance to turn even worse.

So there you have it, a week of good, hard, healthy exercise with great outcomes, followed by a week of sloth with lousy outcomes. Which path are you going to choose? Because the choice truly is yours.