WHAT IS COACHING TO CODING?
We face an ever-swelling tidal wave of "input" each day. We become stuck, stymied, and exasperated when circumstances don't go the way we planned. And we do our best, yet often fail, to maintain composure when our coffee spills or the hard drive crashes first thing in the morning.
Coaching to Coding is designed to be a wellspring you can always return to, in the midst of the chaos, for trustworthy information on life strategy.
Life strategy, you ask? Yes - big picture principles you can apply to your day-to-day, as you wander along and try to figure out this thing called "life."
I can't promise (in fact I refuse to promise) a bunch of gushy optimism, nor anything resembling Buzzfeed-esque articles that will only throw gasoline on the fire of our rapidly-shrinking attention spans. But I can promise the honest observations, questions pondered, and lessons learned of a guy who's navigating these waters alongside you.
If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I'm a lifelong learner. But, I wasn't always this way.
In high school, I graduated as valedictorian, and was extremely arrogant. I thought I knew everything. That I was smarter than most people. That I had it all figured out.
Not so much.
I went to college as an engineering and math major, and received a 37% on my first engineering exam. (I don't know where you come from, but at Virginia Tech this was considered failing, and well below average.) My worldviews were challenged by my classmates and colleagues. I woke up to many realities. I was confronted with questions that I didn't know the answers to. I met many, many people who learned faster than I did and who knew more than me about a great many things.
I grew to understand that my ranking in high school didn't come about because I was smarter than others, but more so because I often chose to stay home and either study or read Lord of the Rings (for the third time) while my friends were out actually having a social life and playing sports year-round.
I learned that - at least for me personally - "doing well" in academia didn't guarantee me a single thing. If anything, what it did do was reinforce a paralyzing fear of failure, a crippling set of expectations to fulfill, and the erroneous notion that as long as I walked between the lines, I would excel.
WHAT'S WITH THE NAME OF THE WEBSITE?
My original career path was that of a strength and conditioning coach. I spent my days working hands-on with kids, athletes, and general fitness folks, helping them become stronger and generally suck less as human beings.
Then, through a series of events, I co-founded a software company and was thrown into the role of Chief Technology Officer. No, I don't think I could have ended up moving in a more difficult direction if I tried.
So I went from "coaching" to "coding".
Which leads to the content you can expect to find on this site:
- Strength training tips. If your physical health falls away, it will be very difficult for anything else not to falter.
- Big picture principles (as described earlier) to help you problem-solve the myriad complications you're bound to come across. After all, once you've boiled it down to its essence, coding is nothing more than an exercise in problem solving.
1. I'm a recovering strength coach snob
When you witness the work of another practitioner within your specific field of discipline, there are a few standard responses.
If they outclass you, and possess higher skill than you, you'll view them with either a) admiration, or b) envy. And the line between those two is very, very thin. In fact, often we view those who surpass us with a strange mixture of both.
If they possess lower skill than you, you'll view them through one of three lens: condescension, pity, or benevolence.
What does this have to do with me being a prior strength coach snob? Well, I was fortunate to be taught, very early in my career, the best practices in the realm of strength and conditioning. I was directed to the highest quality books and websites, and I had some extremely gifted mentors who instructed, refined, and guided me as I took my first steps as a personal trainer and (later on) as a strength coach.
The positive result was that, despite the high volume of poor and misguided information being directed toward fitness professionals on a daily basis, I learned a lot of the right information, and I learned much of it within my first year in the field. While I didn't have much experience yet
It's difficult not to judge others. And even when we think we've reached the point where we're inclusive of everyone else's worldviews and practices, we tend to, at that very point, become condescending toward those who are "narrow-minded" and noninclusive. Which doesn't make us any better off than those who overtly judge others - so the open-minded folks often end up doing the very thing they forbid in others.
And just when we think we've reached the point where we're inclusive and tolerant of other people's ways of doing things, we, at that very point, tend to become prideful of our new "enlightened" position, or, we may become disdainful of those who don't share our inclusive worldview. It's a vicious cycle.
We face an ever-swelling tidal wave of psychological input each day. We become stuck, stymied, and exasperated when circumstances don't go the way we planned. And we do our best, yet often fail, to maintain composure when our coffee spills or the hard drive crashes first thing in the morning.
Coaching to Coding is designed to be a wellspring you can always return to, in the midst of the chaos.
Not to help you escape life - that's what Instagram and Netflix are for - but to help you better engage it.
That being said, there are three primary spheres of content you can expect to find here:
You'll find three primary spheres of content on this site:
- Life strategy - big picture principles you can apply to your day to day, no matter your occupation.
- Strength training tips - both for fitness professionals and for those who exercise recreationally.
- A la carte - great books to read, quality coffee discussions, miscellaneous anecdotes.
1. Life Strategy - big picture principles you can apply to your day-to-day, no matter your occupation.
I consider myself a lifelong learner, and there are few things I love more than A) reading, and
B) discussing concepts, both abstract and concrete, with other people, so that we can grow together as a result.
My desire is that by posting them publicly, they can be a benefit and a resource to anyone stopping by.
2. Strength Training Tips
If you take care of your physical health, everything else will fall more easily into place.
There will be two sub-sections in this realm. One for "everybody," which encompasses anyone who values the care of their body and who desires trustworthy principles and methods to follow. The other is for "coaches," which is specifically geared toward strength coaches, personal trainers, physical therapists.... anyone who helps others to move and feel better.
As a child, I believed that one day I'd sprout into that entity called "adulthood" and, as a result, magically obtain all the answers to life's many problems and puzzles.
But at some point we realize that no one has all the answers, and everyone is just making things up as they go along. And we unearth the unfortunate reality that many adults are still children, albeit in larger bodies.
So, why did I create this site?
I'm a neurotic perfectionist and possess an often crippling fear of failure. This site is an effort to sublimate those tendencies, by putting myself out there without
Loving Jesus....social media...hiding what we don't want others to see....closest friends are atheists and folks of other religions.
Here in the West, the underpinning narrative of our culture tells us that nothing is more important than expressing and realizing our desires. Whereas in prior times and other cultures, within which one's identity is often rooted in duty (duty to family, to work, etc.), here in the West, our identity is not so much our duty, but our desires.
While being a Christian, I do believe that the Bible's account of things - creation, fall, redemption, and restoration - makes the most sense of the world. But at the heart of it, that's no less open-minded than anyone else's view.
I respectfully ask you to consider the reality that every one of us is narrow-minded, in the sense that all of us believe that our view is correct, and that other views are incorrect. There is simply no way around that.
[Even the view that "all views are correct," or the belief that "there is no way to determine absolute truth," are both not only logically inconsistent, but are also in and of themselves very specific, unprovable assumptions about the nature of things.]
So what is left to do?
What's left to do is to have discussions in the most reasonable and loving way possible.
How Can We Know Anything?
All people, whether they consider themselves secular or religious, hold many faith assumptions about how the world works, and believe things that cannot be empirically proven.
So what we have to do then, is take a critical look at the world and ask ourselves, just as science does with observable phenomenon: "what view best accounts for the way things are?" Or, "what view holds the most explanatory power of the way things operate?"
Why do we know, deep down, that some things are right and other things are wrong? Why do we have a sense that the world is not how it should be? Why are humans so obsessed with meaning and purpose? Why, do we (at least in the West) believe so strongly in the idea of universal human rights and dignity? Why do the things that promise to give us complete fulfillment always fail to deliver on their promise?