“Comfort zones: If you live in one too long… that becomes your norm. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” – David Goggins
This week I challenged myself to take part in the davidgoggins 4x4x48 challenge, in which participants would need to run 4 miles (or exercise 45min) every four hours for 48 hours, beginning at the same time as David Goggins – 4 am UK time, Sat 6th March 21. A week before the event, I questioned the possibility for me to complete the challenge. Having tried a few exercise variations on Mon and Tues, I decided at the very least, I could alternate 45min sessions of walking and cycling; due to a previous knee injury, I wasn’t planning to run. By Wednesday, I extended my ‘comfort zone’ even further and decided I could push myself and cycle each session. To track data digitally, I bought a speedometer and odometer, together with a stand for my bicycle; I tried outdoor cycling and concluded this would involve starting and stopping as well as pose potential issues at night. In addition to this, I used my Fitbit to montior heart rate and Hydrate water bottle to monitor liquid consumption. I also decided to raise money by using crowdfunding to support Unicef with their global COVID 19 vaccination programme.
The aim however wasn’t simply physical exercise but breaking down barriers by exploring growth mindset and challenge. Throughout the week, I was able to relate some ideas from Goggins (Goggins, 2020), to the mystical works of Eastern thinkers such as Muhammed Iqbal (Iqbal, 1991; Hillier, 2015), who teaches self-transcendence and rising beyond one’s circumstances both externally and within through a process of unveiling and journeying towards the Real. Although the mystical poems sung in rhythmic qawwali form made the core of my music playlist, by day two, this became a distraction and the level of challenge and performance demanded a more ‘mindful athlete’ approach (Mumford and Jackson, 2015), and opening to the possibility of entering the zone and a state of flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 2002). The journey towards self-realisation would inform the heutagogy teaching context of the data I collected.
A difficulty I encountered was to to accurately represent the ‘magnitude’ or level of development in growth-mindset other than to suggest another barrier has been broken – which is represented by a leaf in fig1. I deliberately made this the only coloured icon to stress the qualitative difference between the process of exercise and the inner expansion of one’s mindset.
The nature of the self-reflection, growth-mindset and self-directed learning intended through the data-visualisation diagram would lend itself well to a heutagogy model of education in which learners are highly autonomous and self-determined and the emphasis is placed on the development of learner capacity and capability with the goal of producing learners who are well-prepared for the complexities of today’s workplace’ (Blaschke, 2012) and are life long learners. The emergent heutagogy model of student-lead learning and problem-solving over teacher-led pedagogy was evident in the COVID 19 pandemic situation; many education establishments across the globe relying on teacher-lead pedagogical approaches encountered difficulties when trying to adopt that approach to an online environment (Moore, 2020)
A brief description of pedagogy, andragogy, and heutagogy. (Rebecca J. Hogue, 2019)
As to the question of what a teacher is to do with such a data-visualisation dashboard, given the emphasis on life-long learning, data visualisation could potentially form the basis of Freirian dialogue in which the teacher-student roles are interchangeable in the learning process as suggested by Paulo Freire:
Through dialogue, the teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher cease to exist and a new term emerges: teacher-student with students-teachers. (Freire, 2017)
The Hydrate water bottle failed to detect data at certain points and therefore a comparison of water consumption and another variable such as calories burned couldn’t be carried out. Also, data for max bpm and max speed carried little meaning for this process and were therefore discarded. For the purposes of simplicity, the columns on cardio levels were also discarded from figure 3 to produce figure 4 as the final table to be shared to summarise data from the challenge.
Much of the heutagogy ‘teaching-learning’ process was informed by digital technology, without which not only my participation but the development of my capacity and capability wouldn’t have been possible. This includes Facebook social media groups based on the teachings of David Goggins which helped create a sense of community through asynchronous dialogue; kindle and audible books; TED talks; data tracking devices from Fitbit, Hydrate water bottle, bicycle odometer and speedometer; synchronous connection with Goggins and other participants via Instagram before each leg of the 4x4x48 challenge.
Blaschke, L. M. (2012) ‘Heutagogy and lifelong learning: A review of heutagogical practice and self-determined learning’, The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(1), pp. 56–71. doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v13i1.1076.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2002) Flow: The Psychology of Happiness. New e. edition. London: Rider.
Freire, P. (2017) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Erscheinungsort nicht ermittelbar: Penguin Classics.
Goggins, D. (2020) Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds: Amazon.co.uk: Goggins, David: 9781544512273: Books. Available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cant-Hurt-Me-Master-Your/dp/1544512279/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1LNH1YH1X6N0V&dchild=1&keywords=goggins+cant+hurt+me&qid=1615313747&sprefix=goggins+%2Caps%2C164&sr=8-1 (Accessed: 9 March 2021).
Hillier, C. (ed.) (2015) Muhammad Iqbal: Essays on the Reconstruction of Modern Muslim Thought. 1st edition. Edinburgh University Press.
Iqbal, M. (1991) Shikwa and Jawab-i-Shikwa. New Ed edition. Delhi; Oxford: OUP India.
Rebecca J. Hogue (2019) Pedagogy, Andragogy, and Heutagogy. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ysim8-Gb7Y (Accessed: 10 March 2021).
Moore, R. L. (2020) ‘Developing lifelong learning with heutagogy: contexts, critiques, and challenges’, Distance Education, 41(3), pp. 381–401. doi: 10.1080/01587919.2020.1766949.
Mumford, G. and Jackson, P. (2015) The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance. Parallax Press.