Jiro Ono is one of THE best sushi masters of all time.
He owns a Michelin three-starred restaurant in Japan called Sukiyabashi Jiro, and he has dedicated his entire life to the art of making sushi. Think you want to learn from the master? Have patience, my friend! Jiro's apprentices dedicate months at a time to learning each teeny tiny part of the sushi-making process -- how to wring a towel, how to wield a knife, how to scale a fish.....one apprentice took ten years to learn how to cook an egg!
Getting good at something takes practice. But not just repitition. Deliberate practice. And there's a difference.
Deliberate practice is purposeful and systematic with the goal of getting better. Repitition can be mindless and automatic.....unfocused.
Coasting on auto-pilot is the enemy of deliberate practice. And all too often, we assume that because we doing something over and over and over again, we're getting better at it. In reality? We are simply reinforcing a habit....rather than improving it.
I'm a shitty driver. I know this about myself. In fact, just the other day, I was called a "fucking moron!" by a passing driver as I was trying to parallel park downtown. I reverse down busy streets if I've missed my turn. I totally dismiss the four-way stop sign rules (your turn, your turn, your turn......oh fuck it, I want to go). And I once totalled my mom's car. In a parking lot.
I drive every single day. Excellent practice, right? Not a chance. I'm just as shitty a driver today, as I was 10 years ago. Because I don't deliberately practice, with the intention of getting better.
Same thing goes for sex. You could have sex three times a week for a year, and still only be "ok" at it by Christmas, if you're doing the same one-two punch routine every time you hit the sheets.
Practice does not necessarily mean progress.
And guys, people are having' a heyday with their fitness, practicing their hearts out, without any real progress.
Want to level up? Here's the secret:
If we are ever going to improve upon ourselves, we need to be open and willing to take note of our shortcomings. We need proof of where we stand (I could do 10 push-ups yesterday. Today I did 11!).
And ideally, we need someone else to give us the skinny on where we're at.....because let's be honest, when no one's watching, we tend to bend the truth in our own favour.
Having a coach in your life (whether it be your boyfriend, your best friend, your personal trainer, or your 4-year old daughter), is essential to making progress....not only because a coach will help you find ways to improve, but because they will hold you accountable to delivering your A-game every day. There's no cheating when someone is looking over your shoulder.
What I love about my job is pushing people to new levels. It's witnessing 5 more lbs on the bar, 5 seconds longer in that squat hold, and a comment like, "thanks for the workout today....if it were up to me, I wouldn't have been here."
And I witnessed it over and over again at Fit Fest yesterday....an incredibly inspiring group of people who were willing to try something new, rather than just "same-old same-old" it all the way home.
What does your fitness game look like? Is it time to shake things up? Is it time to bring some intentionality to your routine? Is it time to take an honest look at where you're at, and level up?
If the answer is yes, I offer my humble opinion.
Seek feedback. And look for someone to be your personal Jiro Ono.