Building your critical thinking muscle is just as important as adding lean tissue to your physique.
Exactly one year ago today, I set out to write posts about health, fitness and food. You know the story of how we got started. I knew this blog would make me stronger, but I had no idea how. My main intention was drain my brain of ideas on taking better care of ourselves through optimized eating, sleeping and training habits. I hoped that I could potentially inform and contribute by sharing the knowledge I already possessed. I had no idea that 12 months later, I’d be the one acquiring a valuable education.
This platform has been my mentor. It sharpened my thoughts and improved my parenting skills. It has furnished me with leadership armor. The exercise of researching and writing daily has helped me to learn. I’m not alone. From the Warwick Learning and Development Centre:
Through research-based learning students can develop the intellectual skills of critical analysis and also valuable transferable skills such as group work, time- and resource-management and data handling.
Am I a student? Hell yes. We all are. The greatest gift this blog has given me is the realization that quality teachers are perpetually learning as well. I naively assumed I’d be sharing the nutritional and training knowledge I had acquired over the years, clearing my dome and moving on. Instead, I sponged data points left and right, and I now see the monumental value of writing daily.
Critical thinking problems are designed to convert students from passive to active learners who use course concepts to confront problems, gather and analyze data, prepare hypotheses, and formulate arguments. Most writing activities aim to promote the use of active critical thinking strategies on the part of students.
Sure, I’ve learned a ton from my research. However, I may have learned more from our editor and my partner at Kaplifestye, Stephanie. She has brought much more to my critical thinking than value at the margins. By way of example, tonight I sent her this message from Mammoth:
“I want to make soup right now. What’s the easiest with the fewest ingredients?”
Stephanie proceeded to walk me through making beef and vegetable soup for myself and the four savage teenagers sharing a one bedroom condo with me at Canyon Lodge. She taught me immeasurably valuable cooking techniques along the way. Anecdotes like this one are anything but unique. She is an endless reservoir of knowledge. She has become my think partner. She is my student, and she is my teacher.
The final piece of the puzzle, of course, is you. Yesterday, my son Chase asked me, “Dad, if nobody read your blog, would you still write it?” The comment hit home for me. In the moment, we shared a laugh at the idea. Despite the fact that the answer is unequivocally yes, my blessing to share with you and have you share back has been the Ali Farka Toure to my black coffee. Is the drink exceptional alone? Absolutely. The music makes the experience come to life in high definition.
One year ago, I wrote the last line in my very first post.
Essentially, we can explore this world of sensory pleasures and burning muscles together as a team. Join me and let’s find health, strength, fitness and balance.
Though my life has changed throughout the year that followed those words, I feel the same way about that mission as I did then. I don’t want to turn down the volume at this point. Stay with me. I’ll keep writing, you keep reading, and we’ll all keep learning.