Before We Go

Compilations always make for a difficult introduction. Whereas Doctor Watson could always talk with Sherlock Holmes about the recent weather or cases too sensitive to discuss, the introduction here needs to remind the reader that the material contained within this book comes from blog posts and articles from all over the internet.

For someone who loves strength and conditioning, this formula has worked in the past. I never fly without a copy of John McCallum’s classic work, The Keys to Progress, and, like all compilations, the material repeats itself, conflicts with itself and repeats itself (did I say that?).

Anther favorite, Powerlifting Basics, Texas-Style: The Adventures of Lope Delk by Paul Kelso, is as much fun today as the first time I read it in 1996. Annually, I reread both and still laugh at the gym antics, the protein tablets and the training mistake stories that have been with me most of my life.

Yet in both cases, the materials conflict and repeat themselves. My motto as an administrator was “Repetition is the Mother of Implementation,” so perhaps one should consider the repetitive points to be illuminating rather than annoying.

This is my second attempt at a compilation. No one was more surprised than me at the success of the first one, Never Let Go. Originally, we planned a vanity publishing of perhaps 500 copies. In a three-day period a few years ago, Kindle readers downloaded 17,000 copies of the electronic version, and the book sells more every year since its first publication in 2009.

My other works, especially Intervention and Can You Go? provide the systematic approach I use for training both elite athletes and humanity in general. The process is fairly linear from the particular goal to the knowledge base and equipment available. From there, we just fill in the appropriate steps and put our energy into showing up and finishing the process.

I love systematic approaches to things. It’s the basis of both geometry and theology where one’s givens establish so much of the process of getting to the next step in the process, the “to prove.”

In sports, the givens are often genetics and geography as where you were born and what tools you received at birth often influence the completion of the goal as much as expert coaching.

This book, like Never Let Go, is systemic education. Systemic education is how one generally learns religion, joins an elite cadre or cheers for a team.  You don’t join the Marine Corps by filling out some forms and taking an online exam. You have to go to boot camp and be dipped in the waters of being a Marine. It’s the ultimate in learn-by-doing.

There’s a time and place for step-by-step instruction. There’s also a time to find out if the water is cold by jumping in. Right or wrong, in strength and conditioning I’ve been jumping in with both feet since 1965. And, I’m wrong a lot.

As I review the suggestions, the ideas and the material in this book, I can see the story behind so many of the insights. I learned hard lessons, some have ended in surgeries that have required up to two years of rehab, so, ideally, the reader doesn’t have to repeat all my mistakes.

Please…please!…feel free to make some mistakes. Life lessons rarely come during languid hours on a beach with a favorite cocktail in hand. Oscar Wilde had it right: “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”

I have a lot of experience!

So, enjoy. Learn. Don’t be offended if I seem like I am ranting. Sometimes, I bark a lot, but like my dog, Sirius Black, I don’t bite.

Well, not very hard any way…

Dan John

Click here to learn more about my new book, Before We Go
Dan John Before We Go

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