Thursday, September 30, 2010

Courage Performance and Politics?

Well, not really, but I thought I'd share a little on a great talk I went to last night.  Today being a rest day for me, I was able to sit a think a little about the evening and how much I really enjoyed this talk.  As part of the Oakland/Peninsula/Marin Lecture Series, David Brooks was in town to talk a bit about his experience as a political writer.  

I have to admit, when I first met David, I honestly did not know that he was "famous".  I had coached and trained his son for over a couple years, and when then he came in to train.  I just went ahead and did my thing as I always do.  I quickly learned however, that David was in fact a very well-liked writer in my circle of friends and clients.  So, I read a couple of his articles, and, well, continued to train him like I would any of my clients.  I soon moved, and learned that he was coming out to my new neck of the woods to do a few talks, and I asked if I could come over and join the throngs of people coming out to listen to him.  

And here's why I like David.  He is unassuming, quiet, has a constant slight, shy smile that he keeps about him; he is instantly likable.  As one of the two "conservatives" for the New York Times, he says he was brought on to bring in a new perspective, but from an angle that democrats would understand.  To touch a bit on his personality, from a personal standpoint, David is dedicated.  He came in with a goal to get back into shape after spending so much sedentary time writing his book, and he got after it with impressive gusto.  In his silent, analytical way, he made impressively quick gains in all the major lifts, while attacking metcons with only a little complaint.  If his travel schedule hadn't broken up the programming, I am sure those gains would have been through the roof.   A fun client to have, and of course, yet another reason it was a little tough to leave, I had so many of them!  But back to his lecture.

He spoke a bit about where he came from, about how he got to the place he is today and then, spent a good deal of time talking about the leaders of our country and how they are as people.  This blended smoothly into him sharing a bit about his opinions towards how this country is being run and how he thinks it will be over the next couple years and why.  The entire lecture was led in his quiet, humorous way, and the crowd was sucked in immediately.  He made us laugh, a lot.  And I mean genuinely made us all laugh with his exaggerated views on the typical Californian rich guy, middle-aged soccer moms and politicians.   

Now I have no real interest in going into great detail about his thoughts and mine in relation to politics, I do not want this site to venture in that direction, ever.  But what I do want to touch on is the thing that makes David Brooks a well-read public figure in my opinion.  It is the way he approaches his work.  He talked so much about how these people were, as people.  He humanizes everyone, and I think that is something that is so often forgotten when people talk about others.  He shared his insight into who Bush and Obama are as people, one on one, and there was something comforting about realizing that these guys are just men, like any one of us.  They have their expertise, they have there skills, just like I have mine.  What David achieves, is not bringing these leaders down to our level, or us up to their level, he just brings us all together no matter what level we are at.  I have nothing but respect for this.  And through this very objective style of talk, and his down-to-earth personality, he is able to almost sneak in his opinions and personal ideas before people really know what's going on.  

David Brooks helped to confirm something that I strongly live by.  That it is always beneficial to try to get to know people more then just on the surface.  Every single person out there has some interesting, exciting aspect about them, and if you actually take a moment and pay attention to the people you are around, you will open yourself up to learning just that much more.

If you don't already, read some of his work below.  And, be sure to check out his third book coming out next Spring, it's all about the human subconscious.  I am very excited to check that one out!

In other news, tomorrow I am back to the strength with a good, hard run in the am, and my last round of 5/3/1 for squats and bench with Lindsey in the pm.  Next week brings a de-loading week, and I am planning some fun stuff for then, and the month of October.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

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