I say that tongue in cheek. I use every experience I have, whether good or bad or otherwise. Every experience in life teaches us something. Even a bad hotel room or a bad relationship or a bad whatever. It is all useful to forming our lives.
That being said, now I contemplate things that I put money into because I was intensely interested and wanted to know more. Actually, there are some training that I absolutely didn’t know what would come of them that have given me so much back.
When I was in the Army, I can’t think of much of my training that I didn’t end up using a lot. It seems all of it was important to me. Some of it I cannot even tell you about. But there are some, I’m very proud to say I used a lot!
-Army Infantry Drill Instructor Academy
-All my Army leadership courses: PLDC, BNCOC, ANCOC
-Air Assault prep and parallel courses
-Small Arms Maintenance Course
But in civilian life, things are not as cut and dried. Here are some courses that have played a role in my life:
-Yoga Teacher Training
-Rocket Teacher Training
-Ashtanga Immersion Course*
-Thai Yoga Massage Training
-CrossFit Level I Trainer Course
-Olympic Weightlifting Trainer Course*
-Gymnastics Movement Course
I put asterisks by a few courses. I could probably put them by all of them. So technically, I’m not a stay-on-the-path Ashtangi. I don’t practice the Primary Series 6-days a week. I’m a Rocket Yogi (aka a Bad Man of Ashtanga). I don’t stick to the Mysore style of giving one pose at a time until you master it. I like to jump ahead. But my intent is still all about Ashtanga. I am still strict with my poses, my breath, bandhas, and drishti. But you can be strict and laugh and listen to rap music at the same time. So I’m a rebel. The Ashtanga practice and training that I started with are still with me. I know the poses better than most because I’ve studied them. I’ve read many books on Ashtanga and understand the theory and practice. I’m by no means a guru. But I have a greater knowledge than most. One reason is that I enjoy other aspects of life. I enjoy other practices. I incorporate a lot into my life so Ashtanga isn’t my core. But it is truly essential to my Rocket yoga and what I teach.
I also put an asterisk by Olympic weightlifting training I received. One of my problems is that I don’t follow anyone by their word alone. I search for myself. Its true for what’s preached from the pulpit too. I don’t have to agree with a preacher or teacher. I can search for myself to see what I believe for myself. So, when I attended the CrossFit seminar on the Olympic lifts, I embraced it wholly. I brain-washed myself by watching CF Oly videos for hours a day. I believed and did what I was told. But not long after, my self-study began. I started watching California Strength videos totally fascinated by the sound of the bar as it crashed against their hips. I saw how fast they dropped under the bar and loved the violence and laughter they displayed. It went from serious as a heart attack CrossFit style to playful, Donny Shankle, rip the head off the lion style. I fell hook, line, and sinker into the Attitude Nation movement of break bars and kill PRs. Nearly every piece of advice I’d give to a lifter differs from what I learned in the CF seminar. But I still value what I had learned. I know what the other side sees and I understand its history. It was necessary and needed. And now I move on. I have my own style. So there wasn’t any waste of time or money. I know what I know.
Everything in life teaches us something. None of it is a waste. I remember how foolish I was in my first semester of college taking a writing class. I was talking with another student saying how much I wanted out of elective classes to learn what was most important to my profession. But to be honest, I probably use more from the writing class today than I did elsewhere. Its all useful, but you never know how much you’re going to use that art or music appreciation class. It all is valuable to our lives. Embrace all of it.
I use all of my training.