Rising to the Level of Expectations? (Life Training) – Health and Fitness through Dancing

Friday, November 16, 2012


The golden rule of training: What you do in training, you will do under stress. Essentially this means that you’ll default to your level of preparation, which is why you train, train, train!

You don’t rise to the level of your expectations; you fall to the level of your training.

-Archilochus, Greek Soldier. 


The take home lesson here is that you need to set standards, and not goals; goals are things you accomplish. Goals are achieved through the constant focus on daily training and making the results a reality through unwavering commitment. The standard is achieved through constant instruction which sets the level of highest expectations.

Recently, I had the honor of competing in the National All Star training for Arthur Murray International.  From Woodland Hills, Joel Rieck and I both made the finals for our area (Area 7), and we placed as First Runners-Up in Las Vegas. What a thrill to go through the many tests, training, and the final assimilations.  The end result was just living our daily training as we tested and brought our level of training to the top, not just our expectations.  I truly believed that we were number one and acted accordingly throughout the finals.

I do not fear an army of lions, if they are led by a lamb. I do fear an army of sheep, if they are led by a lion. Alexander the Great, 356–323 BC

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, US Army, 1890–1969

Now, I am excited about training for the National All Stars Finals for 2013.  I plan to lead as a lion. I’m not making plans to prepare, but expecting to be triumphant!

In life, the idea of having expectations is useless to me.  The idea of living every day to a standard of excellence, and then being able to “fall back” to that high level of training, is the only way for me.  Do I always achieve this highest level?  The answer is summed up this way, “The only way to make it to Carnegie Hall is to Practice, Practice, Practice”.  And in the case of this blog, Train, Train, Train.

The direction of my life is now hospitality.  To live a life of good stewardship, and making others feel as if they matter in life, is my passion and mission.  This means not just training, but practicing that belief all the time. Now, I am even aware of my thoughts.  I’m trying to live as if others could hear what I am thinking, and what their reaction would be!  Wow, try that out sometime when you are having a conversation.  You might be surprised that they DO know what you are thinking and responding to your true thoughts.

Why are we doing all this training?  Well, we are leaving our legacy in life through every word we utter, and every action we take. As for dancing, when we step on the floor, the spotlights are on us, the judges have their pens in hand, and the audience is watching in anxious anticipation. Trust me, we will only be able to rely on the many, many hours of practice and training to make us true champions. To craft dancing to look natural, relaxed, and happy, the key ingredient is repeated practice and performance, over and over.

Every day in my life, I live to make my dad, Colonel Woodbury, proud of me. He was my life’s hero and set the example for me of living the life of leadership, character, hospitality, and the one who used all his gifts as a good steward. Yes, this is my level of training in life.


Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury


Next Week: A Season of Thanksgiving

Share this Post