Taking in the Whole Picture

Today’s post is a bit of a stream of consciousness ramble.  It’s fairly abstract.  It’s just a concept that’s really important to me as a coach (to both of us, Will just happens to be writing this post).  Because wellbeing and performance are not separate, and are not merely the precipitate of a hundred decisions… They are much more, and much more valuable than that! 

So with that said, when you think of your training, or your life overall, what do you see? 

Often, people are drawn into specifics.  Drawn into seeing amazing data, concepts, or aspects of what we do and who we are. What’s our resting pulse, our blood pressure, our vision, our mood status, our financial status, our marital status…  This seems to be something we all do.  It’s nice.  It feels like it helps each of us gain comfort, and feel better knowing that we “control” X area.

What do you see in the image below?


Lots of dots right?  True.  I’ve zoomed in on my white board to take this picture.  I’ve done what is so easy to do when thinking about health, athletic performance or athlete development.  I’ve taken a snap shot of a moment, or of some interesting material, but I’m not providing a context or relevance.  I’m just focusing on a few things.

So again, what do you see here?

Yep… Still lots of dots.  This could be a specific diet strategy, or a test, or a training strategy… Maybe it’s a representation of how you sleep or rest each day, or could it represent your check book ledger or 401K balance? 

Ok, here is the same picture zoomed out.

It’s a person!  A whole person!  Yes, the way this started, you’re “forced” to see the parts.  Your forced into seeing the minutia and focusing on it – not what might be there… if you could see or choose to see a bigger image.

Seeing the whole is huge, it’s way too often missed in today’s age of biohacking.  Look, I’m all for monitoring a variety of physical and psychological variables, and I love to get into reviewing HRV and resting heart rate data relative to an athlete’s psychological and emotional well-being and physical performance.    I love to apply solid metrics as a way to better understand an athlete’s response, and their ability improve.

I’m just amazed at how often the concept of physiological, psychological and spiritual integration is viewed as soft and left behind once we start zooming in on metrics.  Metrics are great, but they just represent little parts of YOU.  They provide clues, but YOU are still the key.  You as a whole, integrated, amazing YOU!

We are comprised of billions of cells – of dot’s if I go back to the pic’s above.  And those cells work in an amazingly complex and integrated fashion.  Developing our self as a person who is well and who is an athlete is about fostering that integration of cells.  It’s about helping all of your cells positively move in the direction you are dreaming of going.

Pay attention to your parts, the cells or the dot’s if you will… they can and do provide some interesting information that can be valuable, but always remember, those cells create a whole… and it’s the whole you have to think about first!