Developing A Good Philosophy: Lord of the Rings style

     Currently, I started trying to re-read a little philosophy, but not just any ordinary philosophy.  The philosophy of J.R.R. Tolkien.  You know, the guy who wrote about goblins, orcs, elves, hobbits, talking trees, etc.  Yes, that guy.

No way in hell would I want to be in a war in Middle-Earth with that coming for me. I'd rather get blown up in 'Nam.

      But really, there is a book I read by Peter Kreeft properly titled  The Philosophy of Tolkien : The Worldview Behind the Lord of the Rings.  So if you are a Lord of the Rings fan, there is no doubt you need to check it out.  Since, this week has been crazy, aka starting to wake up at 5a.m. and get home around 8-9p.m. (so thank your strength coach because a lot have been doing this for years) I just wanted to share a great quote from the book and how it got my thoughts going on building a philosophy of strength and conditioning or athletic development (as I have grown to prefer).

     “Philosophy is not confined to philosophers, thank God.  Everyone has a philosophy.  As Cicero famously said, you have no choice between having a philosophy and not having  one,  only between having a good one and  having a bad one.  And not to admit that you have a philosophy at all is to have a bad one.  For it is one that does not know itself.  So how could it know anything else, especially us?”  I love this quote because even though I think there is a lot of “gray” areas with things, I do think that there are good and bad philosophies of getting people and/or athletes better.  I am still young in the field but seeing some people’s philosophies on lifting for normal clients and athletic development just blows my mind.  How?  Because I was once one of those people who thought my way was awesome (bodybuilding or typical college football strength program).  Funny how it is probably the worst method for staying injury proof and being athletic.   The only thing bodybuilding philosophy has going for it, is that it can have good methods of simply building muscle mass.  But I think I am right when I say that for the other 99% of human beings not involved with ACTUALLY being in a bodybuilding competition, they should stay away from a highly advanced professional bodybuilder program (most drug enhanced anyway).  When I first got to Endeavor Sports Performance I just knew that what we were doing was different from most facilities or training philosophies.  What makes the philosophy superior?  I think that it is because there is always a continuous pursuit to know more and learn.  It is a humbleness to realize that while what we believe what we are doing is superior it is also acknowledging you need to always strive for more knowledge and application to back up why you do what you do and if need be, improve upon it.  It seems the more you observe philosophies that stand the test of time are from the people who are continually searching for the truth, so why would you follow a philosophy of athletic development model where they believe that their way is simply good now and forever.  The truth is, that we will never know everything but there is always a continual search for that truth or better method for your facility, environment, and clientele.  If you had to give your philosophy a grade what would it be?  Or are you not passing with flying colors.  Cue in Gandalf the Gray!

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