BLUF – Denying yourself the chance to constantly learn is the denial of your optimal self.
This is a recycled article I wrote during my USMC Command and Staff College classes days (2015), where we discussed the differences between Training, Education, and Knowledge. Naturally I zoned out of the actual conversation in class and frantically wrote down notes on how I would discuss this topic. The following uses the context of fitness to frame my thoughts, of which I believe is an area that can easily depict the difference between the three.
Training – A specified time to learn a new skill. This phase of fitness is dominant for newcomers, although everyone at some point (if you are smart, that is) will undergo as well. Reiterating my focus of Technique, Volume, Intensity, this is where athletes will first develop the muscle memory to perform a given movement. Only through focusing on quality and efficiency will this phase yield positive results. I tend to see this as a specific time frame, because training allows athletes to focus on an activity as opposed to trying to master of everything. If viewed correctly, fitness can be seen as an infinite spectrum of skills and situations for one to experience. This spectrum has ups and downs, and athletes should be prepared for these motions and realize there is you won’t PR every single sessions. If the athlete tries to move too quickly through this phase, they will develop inefficient patterns that will not yield their true potential. If available to you, a physical coach who can watch your movement patterns will be the best aid to you. If you don’t have a physical coach available, services such as Coach’s Eye are available so that you can immediate feedback on what you are well and what needs more practice. As the Coach Burgener says, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” And another quote I learned from the UK’s Royal Air Force: “Steady Makes The Day.”
Education – An in-depth understanding of why certain actions are preferred over others. This phase of fitness is where I’m geeking out right now, and I believe the best coaches stay in for the long run. Life-long students never stop seeking out new ideas that challenge the established norm. This drive isn’t designed to discredit anyone, but rather to find what is the truth amongst the noise (which is essentially 99% of the interwebs). An educated person also has an uncanny ability to be non-emotional when it comes to debates. For instance, unless you haven’t tried CrossFit (or any other area of study) for a discernible amount of time yet feel the need to write an diatribe of why it sucks…it’s kind of hard to listen to your opinion. This isn’t to say a veteran powerlifter, olympic weightlifter, or yogi is wrong. But to be so closed minded as to what is the basis of someone’s chosen practice that you wouldn’t try to experience something in it’s true form (read: be part of the community and have a good coach to further explain the community), your singular experience is probably jaded at best. Perhaps I’ve actually matured over time (shocking, I know), but I’m not so quick to judge anything anymore. I’ve chosen to develop an understanding of information and data prior to passing judgement, if at all. Note that I state above “actions are preferred”, not “actions that are right”.
Knowledge – An understanding of information and practice that can be communicated well with others. This would be the “fully evolved” version of myself that I present here on Project Rise. You’ll have opinions and information presented by myself (maybe others?), but in the end it is up to the reader to make up their mind whether or not I am full of shit or not. Have I once stated “I AM THE LAW” in my best Judge Dredd voice claiming I am the only beacon of leadership in this constantly crowded shore of the interwebs? Nope. That’s because we are mere humans along for the ride of our individual and collective journeys of life. Another knowledge nugget dropped on me during school: Do you know what separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom? Nope, it is not opposable thumbs or having the desire to perform the action of pro-creating without the creation part (wait, what?). What makes us human is our ability to develop individual thought and transcribe knowledge and pass it on to the rest of humanity. That current of thought is called knowledge, won’t you take a dip?! Humanity is a community, and what better human trait to emulate to pass on ideas to others you care about so they won’t make the same mistakes you made?