Monday, 8 April 2013

Fat Woman and the gentle criticism

Fat Woman is reasonably good at taking criticism. Fat Woman makes a big effort not to get defensive or JADE (Justify, Argue, Defend or Explain) and to listen to what people have to say. Fat Woman even says "Thank you for saying that" afterwards,  even when she would actually like to use her quick wit, superior word skills and downright nasty streak to turn the person in front of her into a little teeny pile of weeping flesh lumps. Fat Woman believes that with great power comes great responsibility and makes an effort not leave a trail of bite sized former critics behind her.

Fat Woman has tried so many sports over the last year that she has become quite good at taking sports coaching. Fat Woman has been coached at golf, shooting, tennis, weight lifting, boxing, tai chi, archery, escrima, netball, running and of course swimming. Fat Woman leaves her ego at the door when she is learning something and actually welcomes criticism. It is sometimes very hard for teachers to accept that Fat Woman really means it when she says that she actively welcomes correction. Fat Woman understand this, but having had so much coaching she can spot the adjust-one-thing-at-a-time technique. That is fine, but Fat Woman learns quite well by being told she got something wrong. This doesn't apply so much to first learning how to do something, but rather to remembering to do something that you have previously demonstrated you can do. For example. Fat Woman knows perfectly well that when swinging a golf club she should look at the ball until after she has hit it, but sometimes she forgets or simply doesn't think to do that. Fat Woman also knows that when boxing she should have her hands up to protect her head, and that if she forgets Personal Trainer will smack her on the side of the head to remind her. Fat Woman wonders if Personal Trainer should smack her a bit harder because really it's an irritation now rather than a deterrent. Certainly when Cal who teachers Fat Woman escrima grabbed the end of her stick and twisted it to show her that she was leaving too much space under her hand Fat Woman learned the lesson painfully and rapidly.

Fat Woman might be good at taking criticism but Personal Trainer is not always the best at giving criticism. Sometimes Personal Trainer is very gentle with Fat Woman's efforts, encouraging her to make slight adjustments as she gets better at the technique. When Personal Trainer does this Fat Woman feels she is in a supportive learning environment. On other occasions Personal Trainer will use his stern voice and tell Fat Woman off because she is not doing something that she should really know how to do such as turning her hand when she throws a punch. And on a rare occasion like today Personal Trainer will stand next to Fat Woman when she is doing lateral arm raises with dumbbells and make clucking noises because Fat Woman is not holding her arms straight enough and apparently looks like a chicken laying an egg.

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