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Learning to Read and Reading to Learn

By Alia | In Rest Day | on October 27, 2013


It’s kind of a mouthful and a hard concept to grasp. At least it was for me the first time I heard it. It’s a very simple set of words with a world of very relatable meaning behind it. The basic concept is this; when we are young, we learn to read. Having learned to read we can then go on to enable ourselves to learn new things. Almost like the “teach a man to fish” adage. I find this to be very useful when attempting to learn a new skill in the gym. I first heard it from Carl Paoli of Gymnastics WOD. I understood the meaning but realizing the beauty of this short statement took some time.

My realization started with my observations of some athletes we have in the gym. I will Use Paul K. as a great example. Paul is a morning class regular. He is always continuing to hone and learn new skills. After a physically demanding WOD he will take time to rest and proceed to pick a jump rope up and work on his double unders. I’ve watched him ask for help from others and he has even asked myself. A common theme I hear from the advisor to him is that they learned from someone else in the gym. “So and so says to do this” or “So and so had me try this, maybe it can help you”. I think this is amazing. We all learn from each other and are able to pass the knowledge unto someone else using our own words. Maybe a drill you’ve been doing isn’t quite helping you reach your goals. Well, don’t get discouraged, three are plenty of variations of drills to help you. Hearing from someone else who has encountered these hurdles is always a great help too.

You coming into the gym and making the effort to learn a new skill is learning to read. We are always learning. Knowing what you want to learn, such a new skill means you can’t be afraid to read. Reading could in fact be actually reading, or asking a trainer and even watching others. Take it a step further. Watch videos or have someone take a video of you. Read yourself! As an example It was a long time before I was able to string any kind of jump rope. One day I decided to sit down and Google every double under video I could find. Then I took to recording myself. It was then that I understood the little adjustments I could make and try to imitate the people I saw in other videos. Yes, of course practice was involved but I felt watching myself and trying to emulate others helped a lot too. Next thing I knew, along came the consecutive dubs.

Use the tools we have, phones, ipads and most electronic devices with a camera. We are always learning to read so don’t be afraid to use what you already know and add to enhancing your skills by reading to learn. Everyone around you is a great resource, don’t be afraid to just reach out. It will help you get rid of your goats and mabe improve on some skills you already have.

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