"I lost my innocence over intolerance - All the indignities heaped on the black man - We went to church they all prayed for the white man - The cops and the preachers - Were most of 'em in the Klan - What's a kid s'posed to think when the adults - Are all such hypocrites impossibly smug..."
I work for a very conservative organization, but harbor a great deal of left-leaning (some would even say leftist) thought...rare to find in this organization. Not so much the left-leaning as much as thought. The most frightening part is I used to harbor many of the Manichaean light v. darkness, good v. evil, black v. white, sheep v. goats, go to hell, go directly to hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200 opinions of my immediate co-workers.
And, frustratingly, I try to remind them there is an entire world beyond filled with people who (gasp!) have the ability to think for themselves & make rational, conscious decisions about their lives without the express written consent of their pastor or the guidance of Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Oh, yeah, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution still are valid.
Thinking for ones' self is a good thing. It makes coaching much more entertaining when the athlete has an idea of what they think needs to be trained.
As a guy who likes to solve problems, or at least look into the possible root causes of them, you learn early on to ask the why at least five times. If you can get a person to explain the why to the why to the why to the why to the why of a problem, the odds are really good you'll either find out what the problem truly is...or the person you're asking will become so frustrated they pour your coffee in your lap. The frustrated ones are usually addled by religious dogma, prejudice, or philosophical restraint that cause them to completely refuse to change their mind in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Naturally, this is also true in the athletic world, with VO2max still held forth as the determinant of athletic performance, lactic acid as an evil, and stretching completely good. Fortunately, there are still researchers who like to prick those big balloons, in spite of the shrieking at the pop by the nekulturny.
"You got powerbook potentates - Pointedly obviate - Every opinion - They have about anything - Even if they don't know $#!+ - Stay in the limelight - Got your own website - Got all the answers, ain't got a lick of sense - Practicing psychiatry without a license..."
First you get the doctor in Middle America who gets shot at church because he's performing medical procedures permitted in many states as a result of Roe v. Wade, which leads to a screaming fit about the government financing things in which they fervently disagree. As a person who will never need to undergo such a procedure I shouldn't have a dog in the fight...makes it a lot easier for me to look at the economic and sociological root causes, reinforced by research and statistics. Wow. Who would have thought. But you might as well forget about presenting cold, hard facts when you're dealing with a shrieking co-worker. I wonder if she watches Bill O'Reilly, too?
I've talked about the divide between what is said and what is followed by many folks . Telling someone who has a hard time losing weight they can benefit from changing their diet, avoiding certain fast food restaurants and engaging in a regular exercise routine is one thing...listening to them tell you why they can't do it is another.
"So you got overfed - Talking heads on television - Ignoring the obvious with pained expressions - Ask the ones that sell the d*mn guns - By the truckload every day - Fast as they can make 'em - What's a kid s'posed to think - When the adults - Refuse all accountability - When they $&#* up..."
The cherry on top of this sundae of silliness had to be the e-mail sent out from one of my senior shipmates, which contained a press release from my big boss, the POTUS. I guess the month of June has been established as LGBT Pride Month. For those of you who are not familiar with the acronyms, that has to do with what my co-workers would call sexual deviants or perverts. Since I, on the other hand, know quite a few deviants and none of them were of the strictly non-hetero nature, then lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender will have to do.
A close friend and mentor told me that until the advent of the 20th century (1895, when Oscar Wilde was placed on trial) there was no joining together of one's identity with one's sexual activity. After that, if you engaged in buggery you were a bugger.
Today's piece o' advice: Think about the things you believe and ascribe to within your lifestyle, your training and your goals. Make certain that it's what you believe and not what someone has necessarily shoved down your throat. Heaven knows, history, culture and science are continually changing. We never step into the same river twice.