"Never Let Go" - Living, Learning and Lifting
Level 9000: Guardian Spotlight
The January event is right around the corner…and it will be a doozy.
We will be introducing and highlighting the newest Guardians (we only take five a month) so that everyone else knows who is in the room with them and how they can potentially connect, collaborate, and make magic.
Today, we are introducing and highlighting one of them ahead of schedule for a few reasons.
Reason 1: The First Commandment of the Guardian Academy.
Reason 2: The TGA Motto
Reason 3: He is currently winning
Reason 4: Regardless of where you are in your journey, there is massive value to be extracted by going down this rabbit hole.
First, the introduction…
Welcome Guardian Dan John
Who Is This Dude?
Dan John has been teaching and coaching for well over three decades. He has taught theology, history, economics in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, where the rubber meets the road, he has coached track and field and football. He continues as a religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri and contributing writer to Men’s Health, T-nation and Hardstyle Magazines.
Dan has Masters degrees in history and in religious education, as well as intensive work at the American University in Cairo, University of Haifa, and Cornell. Dan has written articles for Catechetical Update and Utah Historical Quarterly, as well as being a columnist for the Intermountain Catholic. Dan was also a Fulbright Scholar in 1985.
In his athletic career, among many other championships and records, Dan has won the Master Pleasanton Highland Games twice, American Masters Discus Championships several times, the National Masters Weightlifting Championship once …and holds the American Record in the Weight Pentathlon. Of all his titles, he holds "Senior RKC" most dear. Dan John has spent his life with one foot in the world of lifting and throwing, and the other foot in academia.
Dan now gives workshops around the world, writes books, hosts The Dan John Podcast, and works with private clients from all walks of life including professional athletes and military personnel.
In other words, he is one of the few that teaches not because he can’t do, but because he has done and continues to do.
Sounds like a Guardian to me.
Reason 1: The First Commandment of TGA
TGA Commandment 1 is: The Healthy Man Has 1000 Wants, The Sick Man Only Has One.
While our founder has had tremendous success in the fitness world and the TGA COO is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (did you know that?) we don’t have as much fitness related content and resources here as we would like.
Spotlighting our Guardians and contributors that give sound fitness advice, therefore, has become a priority. Dan is one of the most logical, competent and caring fitness professionals in the world - and his track record is much longer than most in the space.
Reason 2: The TGA Motto
The TGA motto is: Live To Learn. Give To Earn.
Dan told us recently that when COVID hit, his first instinct was to put his best stuff on YouTube for free to help as many people as possible get through the forthcoming struggles.
Three decades of hands on and classroom experience from one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches on the planet… and he drops it on YouTube for free.
That is the epitome of living to learn and then giving to earn. Guardians have been benefiting from Dan’s work and passing it along since long before he was a Guardian:
He has also offered to do workshops for TGA members to ensure there is sound, practical and applicable fitness related resources right here for members.
But let's get into it a little deeper. Because the value here is beyond what you immediately see.
There's a thread that makes its appearance throughout much of what we talk about here in The Guardian Academy. That thread alludes to a core B Message which is in everything, and is hardly ever overtly spoken of.
We like to call out and be wary of Charlatans. Because Charlatans will often tell you that something must be a certain way, regardless of who you are, where you're coming from, what your goals are, etc.
Charlatans are Dogmatic1. And they hold to dogmatism in ways that are the most destructive to everyone else.
I could tell you he's in perfect alignment with us because he too fights against The Charlatans. He too pokes fun and the obvious absurdity of the "secrets and tricks" of his area of expertise.
But that is not the deep reason why I am geeking out about Dan John being here.
What you've probably heard from us at TGA before is that we did not invent our principles. No. The principles that guide us are timeless, and in some cases have been a part of important teachings for thousands of years.
But what you likely DON'T see, at least not easily, is the foundational structure which those principles create. The B message. It’s not about fighting the Charlatans, it’s more about what happens when you adopt principles frameworks which happen to put you in that position.
I've known of Dan John for a long time, but when I saw his book, Never Let Go2, in the context of TGA, a chill ran down my spine. I could feel the resonating connection to everything we stand for.
This becomes clear once you start reading.
His life has been progressively one "next best step"3 towards deeper understanding, finding himself, giving to others, and raising the floor.
He has, throughout his life, found guidance and understanding in OTHER fields of study outside that which he appears to be anchored. Much of his early understanding of health and fitness did not originate in weightlifting or dieting knowledge.
Take this passage from his Preface:
"I began visiting the local library as many of my friends visited young ladies - yes, I was that kid. One evening, I was strolling along and found a library had displayed T.H. White's The Sword in the Stone as a recommended read ... I devoured the pages, I found Wart - the name White gives young King Arthur - was trying to teach me as much as Merlyn was trying to teach him."
He continues to tell the story of his life and work. Progressively contributing more and more. Taking opportunities to Be Useful, to contribute. TO GIVE TO EARN.
He begins writing because it looks like a way he can help and grow, and he discovers he is quite good at writing. He becomes respected, he becomes desired in his fields of expertise.
Give to Earn. Raise the Floor.4 Be Useful.
And the real spine tingling magic reveals itself as he talks about how he finds it difficult to explain his writings. While he offers many insights into many different fields, he often feels like he says very little at all!
We understand you, Dan John. This is the challenge of writing on a principle based level. Because ultimately ...
It's all so simple.
He reflects this:
"I read my articles and the advice I give and step back and wonder ... then at the next workshop or gathering, someone will note that my basic mission is what makes the most sense."
You need only visit any of The Guardian Academy events, or even the Bumpers Workshop to see similar experiences.
Here's my main point, and why we're really sharing Dan John with you today.
He is one of the most authentic examples of someone who lives by the same principles we do in TGA, but who has done so in completely different context, coming to the same points in his own way, playing entirely his own game5.
He exemplifies the best of who we strive to be, and he's the perfect example of how YOU can also become everything you want to be, regardless of how anyone else says you should.
I urge you to get his book - Never Let Go. Even if you aren’t interested in his views and teaching on Health and Fitness.
Read it because you'll really SEE what life can be like if you follow the path of the earned traveler. If you slow down, focus on your next best step, grow the garden of you6, play you own game, and Live to Learn then Give to Earn.
Reason 3: He Is Currently Winning
Dan is currently the highest referrer on the Ambassador leaderboard.7 By a long shot. This is another example of giving to earn. The reason he can generate so many referrals is because he’s been helping people for years and building a list of HKP (his kinda people).
If you don’t have your list yet, that’s okay. The best time to start was years ago, the second best time is right effin’ now.*
* Ambassadors, founding members and paid subscribers will start getting access to our premium courses, masterclasses and resources to help with growing your audience, your list, and your income.
Reason 4: A Rabbit Hole Worth Going Down
Strength. Fat loss. Movement. General fitness. Life.
Whatever you’re trying to improve, you can extract value from the stuff Dan has put out there for decades:
We’re looking forward to doing some workshops and events with Dan in the future for members.
Live To Learn. Give to Earn.
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