Since the About Me portion of this blog has been empty for a while now, I thought it was time to fill it up. Trying to write about something big and amorphous always sucks, but this was my initial stab: ***
My name is Will Belew. I am interested in living up-to-my-elbows, in letting the dirt of what I do get between my fingers and under my nails, and in keeping my daily practices honest to the bigger arcs of my life. I think creativity is just curiosity applied with care and intent, and I think all the other pursuits of life are layered on top of that creative function. I think the internet-era and all its trappings have made us wake up to the changeability of anything, for better and for worse.
I was trained as a classical musician, which is to say I learned to survive with the daily look-in-the-mirror that anyone with a regular practice knows, and that practice is today still my most significant rudder. About two years ago, I turned my scope toward the fitness industry, intrigued by how my life-long curiosity with physical improvement might be studiously optimized and professionally applied. Once fully immersed in the strange but wonderful world of barbells and sweat and Lululemon, I realized that lessons from the conservatory practice room applied just as fittingly with physical culture. I realized that the two worlds overlapped in some of their most central aspects, namely in how they both rely on the power of the coach, how they both demand personal integrity, and how they are both hell-bent on improvement. This blog is about that confluence.
First, to coach or be coached is an amazing way to interact. It is something that I hope everyone has a chance to experience, often. Most musicians don’t even realize how powerful a force their teacher is or was until much later, and most people who personal train are really just looking for that relationship to shape their progressive experience. I love thinking about how we might coach better, how we might be coached more effectively, and how compassionate coaching is one of our most human functions.
Second, for all the noise that today’s media environment allows, there is still an appreciation of quality, especially in the music and fitness industries (and elsewhere, too, I’m sure). Without discounting the importance of professionalism or networking (blogging...), by far the most important determiner of success in these two fields is how well you do what you say you’re going to do. And while I love that appreciation of both pursuits happens most substantially inside the listener or coachee/athlete (did you like that musical moment? did that way of moving feel easier?), there is a certain strictness that defines quality. At the end of the day, there are no smoke and mirrors to muddy the view of improvement: are you stronger? does your sound ring, and is it in time and in tune? Yes or no.
Finally, all the people really invested in these careers care about little more than how well they do what they do. Surely much of this is professionally motivated (paying rent is always fun), and probably most of it is motivated by that existential fear of inadequacy that lurks deep. But, really who cares? Being relentless about being excellent sure beats most alternatives, so long as it is compassionately applied. That final caveat about compassion is incredibly important though, and shapes the kind of excellence that you achieve in beneficial ways, I think.
All of this strikes me as exciting, and rich with lessons to be mined; that process of exploration and discussion is the meat of this blog. But no meal is complete without a kick-ass side-dish, which in this context are all the practical ways that the lessons learned play out in daily life: for every post about quality I hope there is one about your GI-tract.
Sit back, look around, and tell me what you think!