Cross-Training to Serve the Main Thing
Committing to anything, when done properly, always comes with additional ancillary commitments and sacrifices in order to truly excel. I didn’t realize in the beginning of my jiu-jitsu ‘career’ just how important other non-jiu-jitsu activities would be for my progression through the art. Prior to embarking on this journey, I was very active on a consistent basis in team sports, running, and weightlifting. There was a groove and routine which worked for me and kept me at a fitness level I was happy with. After my first couple years of training jiu-jitsu, I began to discover how some students progressed much faster than others and wanted to uncover the reasons why, so I could apply them to my own overall program. While there are many factors contributing to the speed of progression we won’t discuss here (frequency of training, ability to retain information, natural physical abilities, etc.), the idea of cross-training to serve the main goal became apparent early on.
In jiu-jitsu, I found three areas of massive importance that I could cross-train to achieve and maintain proficiency in: flexibility, full-body cardio-vascular stamina, and overall strength without having to be muscularly bulky. Enter yoga, swimming, and bodyweight exercises that focus on high repetition and strength-building – all great cross-training for the jiu-jitsu practitioner and as it turns out very healthy habits as I have yet to figure out how to reverse the aging process.
These cross-training efforts were amazing for me by themselves, but also kept my mind tangentially focused on my greater goal when not actually directly focused on it. They also provided incredible advantages on the mat which ultimately translated into a faster progression through the art.
We’ve all made commitments in business; joining a new company, accepting a different or bigger role, developing a new product line, or perhaps starting a new business altogether. Now think of what sort of ‘cross-training’ could be done to aid in the achieving of the goals associated with those commitments? What activities would be good for you in their own right, but also serve the greater good of the main goal? What choices or sacrifices would you have to make accordingly. It could be as easy as allocating a portion of the time you spend reading, to subjects more pertinent to the greater goal you are looking to serve. Perhaps there is more formal education that may not be required but can help you with very relevant subject matter expertise. Maybe you’ve never had a mentor before but there is someone who with relatively little time and effort could provide invaluable guidance. There may be groups to invest time in like Vistage or YPO which could pay significant dividends sharpening your skills as an entrepreneur.
What’s important is 1) recognizing the significant impact your ancillary activities can have on the main goal, 2) choosing the correct activities to focus on, and 3) having the courage to pursue accordingly, given the sacrifice that always accompanies deciding how to spend that which is most valuable: time.