This week: Habits follow your passion.
Image: An athlete swimming at 70.3 Coeur d'Alene.
Here is your weekly Tri Town Times newsletter:
Training thoughts and updates:
Many of you know that I love to read, but this was not always the case. By the time I left school in my early 20's, I was burned out on reading, and did not pick up a book for years afterwards. A couple decades of forced reading will do that to some people.
My interest in sports is what sparked my love for reading. As my passion for racing, coaching, and business grew, I found that reading books on these topics was not only interesting, but exciting.
Habits follow your passion. What habits can you embrace that drive success in your chosen field? For an athlete, that may include daily exercise, sound nutrition, and thoughtful recovery. For a coach, that may include real life experience, formal education, and daily reading on great coaches and athletes of the past. As an aspiring athlete and young coach, reading became a daily habit of mine to support my passion for racing and coaching.
Just like in training, what works for one person may not work for you. I learned this lesson the hard way when it came to reading. Armed with an impressively poor memory, I learned that I could read a book, only to pick it up a few months later and remember none of the valuable lessons inside. I was getting through some books, but clearly the books were not getting through me.
My early reading habits were analogous to the athlete who completes a race, but did so by bonking, stumbling, and struggling their way to the finish line. Instead of reflecting, adjusting their training, and trying again, they simply move on to an even bigger challenge. How many of us have only 'survived' a half ironman only to sign up for a full ironman a few weeks later?
Like any athlete not responding to their training, my reading habit had to change if I were to have any chance of remembering the lessons within these books. Through trial and error (aka practice) I learned that the books I remembered the most were the ones that I marked up with personal thoughts and insights in the margins. By making notes I turn a somewhat passive activity into a 'hands on' activity. I am unfortunately not burdened with a photographic memory, but I do remember things that I actively participate in.
The next step was to transcribe the author's key thoughts along with my personal notes into a document of my own creation. The process of writing out the key thoughts and notes helps with memory retention and the document becomes a valuable resource when I need to pull on those lessons in the future.
Like developing deep fitness, this is not a fast process. It takes time and real work. That is also the reason why it works- it's not easy, there is a bit of struggle, but as athletes we're uniquely positioned to embrace that.
Some of my favorite books read this year, pertaining to sports, health and/or fitness:
- Endure, by Alex Hutchinson. Book notes.
- It's Better to be Feared, by Seth Wickersham. Book notes.
- Deep Work, by Cal Newport. Book notes.
- Out of Thin Air, by Michael Crawley. Book notes.
- Breath, by James Nestor. Book notes.
- Wooden on Leadership, by John Wooden. Book notes.
- Open, by Andre Agassi.
- Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight.
- The Coaching Habit. By Michael Stanier. Book notes.
- Metabolic Efficiency Training, by Bob Seebohar. Book notes.
We are closed today, and back to normal hours tomorrow.
Quote that struck a chord:
"In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but how many can get through to you." - Mortimer Adler
Train smart, and have a great week!
Tri Town Bicycles
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