I just returned from Sharpening the Blade. This is a phrase I use to describe my vacations from work. All great chefs know that a sharp blade is essential for creating a culinary masterpiece. The blade I sharpen is my mind and body. A break from my everyday life, training, coaching, running the business and wearing all the corporate and organizational hats that I have chosen to adorn my entrepreneurial head. My vacation might seem typical from the surface but once you dive in you will see there is purpose and method to my sharpening process.
Step 1: Timing
I tied my family vacation in San Diego to the TPI Level 3 Seminars where I taught Training the High School/College Golfer. This presentation was a labour of love for me as it was my opportunity to share the success that my business partner Matt Palsenbarg and I have had over the past 3 years. I knew that I would feel that sense of success and accomplishment that you get when you complete a presentation and project of this magnitude. This is a perfect way to create a holiday environment built on relaxation, reflection and celebration.
Step 2: Family
Success with no one to share it with is not success. Family first has always been my motto. My wife and two children met me on the Sunday night along with Grandpa and Nana from Toronto. Family. We went to the Welks Resort which has golf, pools, restaurants and more gray hairs than Bea Arthur’s chest. Perfect place to relax and enjoy the company of the ones you love.
Step 3: Train everyday!
I know what you are thinking “Jay, you own a gym and train everyday at work, take a break for a week dude!” Training everyday was a lifesaver for me. Training for “me” was the key. I trained the way I wanted to, in an environment where nobody knew me, no questions, no interruptions, just back to the basics good old fashioned training. Training is all about putting a stress on a system causing the system to adapt to the stress and become stronger. When your system is constantly under stress it takes its toll. Changing the stimulus can shift the system into a different gear and relieve it from the stress. I ran the golf course for 15 minutes and took in the sunrise and the smell of eucalyptus in the air before arriving at the gym. I performed light load, mutlijointed, multiplanar movements at high speed for 20 minutes. I then HIIT the hilly trails back to the condo just in time for breakfast with the family. The gym facilities were perfect for what I needed. Free weights, space and a cable machine. The rest of the exercisers were using the machines. I bit my lip when I saw the people around me doing overhead triceps extensions, bicep curls, back sagging push ups and long slow cardio while watching Matlock. It was not my gym and they are not my clients. Thank goodness for that!
Step 4: Golf
When I arrived at TPI earlier that week, Lance handed me my brand new Titleist 910 D2 10.5 Diamana 65 mid S-Flex driver which, by the way, left me pin high on a 328 yard par 4. Okay it was downhill but still the best drive I’ve had in years. Beats this one from earlier this year!
The best part was having 3 generations of Glass men golfing together. My 7 year old son was caddying one day and played along with his sister on day 2. He is a ball hawk just like his Oldman and made 50 cents for each ProV1 he found. I dropped Grandpa and the kids off at the condo and continued to play until it got so dark I couldn’t see where my drives went. This is what golf is all about. Leave the scorecard at the clubhouse and just play.
Step 6: Off the Grid
In todays world we can easily get caught up with technology. The constant need to connect can become overwhelming. I completely took myself “Off the Grid”. No Twitter, Facebook, emails or phone calls. I told my staff that if the Tour Performance LAB is burning down, don’t call me, call 911. Being off the grid allows your mind to be free from the distractions of the day to day grind and allows you to focus on the big picture items. Focussing on the important things and mapping out the next 1,5 and 10 years adds clarity for your return to the inbox of regular working life.
Step 7: Return to Work
It is inevitable, you have to go back. If you sharpened the blade effectively your return to work will be welcomed with the new found clarity and enthusiasm to create new projects and new found success. Your improved energy will inspire and encourage the rest of your team and clients to achieve a new level of greatness.
Step 8: Plan your next Sharpening of the Blade!
My colleague Dr. Mike Voight said he books trips every 3-4 months so he can compartmentalize the year and stay focused on his work knowing that the next trip is just around the corner. Valuable advise. Im off to Scotland and Paris in March. Looking forward to spending time with the family, training everyday and golfing. Simple!