Forward Thinking


As many of you know, Steve Jobs (CEO and co-founder of Apple) passed away earlier this week. While I'm not going to pretend that I closely followed his career or that I know more about him than any of the local magazines or newspapers can tell you, I will say it's obvious he was a brilliant inventor, played a major role in expediting our plunge into the digital age, revolutionized the music industry, and was overall Head Ninja in the technology sector. And, although I've never been too "big" on most graduation speeches (I honestly don't remember a thing from mine) Jobs's commencement speech to the Stanford graduates of 2005 was pretty incredible. I think anyone, college-aged or not, can learn something from it and apply it to their life:

Here are a few other Jobs quotes I stumbled across through a quick Google search:

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” (taken from the speech in the video)

It's clear that, judging from his products and quotes, Jobs was a very forward-thinking person. Regardless of your views on Apple products or on Jobs as a person, there's no denying that he accomplished what he set out to do by always thinking multiple steps ahead. He was light years ahead of society when it came to technology, and a possessed a creative force that most of us would only dream of. And, as a result, put a ding in the digital universe, just as he said he wanted to do.

Anyway, this got me thinking: those with forward thinking mindsets in the training realm are always the most successful.

Always train for what you want to happen one year, five years, and even ten years from now, but not necessarily for what you want to happen immediately. In the future, when you're older, do you want to be strong, healthy, and be able to play a Thanksgiving game of flag football with your kids without pulling a groin? Or able to go on a hike with your church group without becoming winded? OR, do you want to be injured, overweight, and hardly able to walk the stairs to your office without gasping for air?

You might be able to get away with it now, but sooner or later bad training and eating habits are going to catch up with you.

Some of the athletes at SAPT get very frustrated when I don't let them move up in weight because their form simply wasn't good enough. Given that they're paying me to improve their performance in a sport, my first and foremost goal is to do my absolute best to keep them injury free. And, if their form isn't as close to perfect as they can get, then sorry, but you may not be the Don Juan you think you are. Stay put right there until you can move it WELL. Can I prevent them from walking in front of a bus or getting scissor kicked to the face by Jack Bauer if they step in his way of killing terrorists? No, but I can at least do my part with what I'm given.

Some of the guys have become very impatient when I don't let them back squat. Well, you have to earn the right to back squat and say, using one of many examples, you have anterior shoulder instability, it's highly unlikely that I'll give you that exercise! Even if you can get away with it now and push through some slight discomfort, I want to play no role whatsoever in contributing to the chronic shoulder pain you may experience down the road.

Along a somewhat-similar line, it blows me a way when some of the baseball guys or volleyball girls in our area show up at SAPT 6-weeks out from the season and say, "Uh, yeah, I really want to make varsity this year so you gotta get my sprint time down and/or vertical improved."

What?! Lol. Umm, hate to break it to you but you should have gotten started, oh, I don't know, maybe last year when your previous season ended? (Don't mistake me, I'm not talking about early sport specialization here....more just the mindset of doing SOMETHING year round, even if it's going snowboard in the winter and remaining in a solid strength and conditioning program year round to keep you moving well).

Anyway, forward thinking. That's the point of all this. Think of where you want to be five years from now and then trace back the steps that are required to get you there, starting with today. Is what you're doing right NOW going to put you one step further?