Bill Bowerman and Bud Winters were two of the greatest track and field coaches of all time. Haruki Murakami is a noted novelist... and a great fan of running. Interestingly, after reading quotes by them about the concept and question of " how much is enough" , all three have a similar views on this.
Their consensus is that going "all out " in a physical endeavor is not necessary and actually a waste of time.
Their quotes ;
"Train don't strain"
"Performing at 4/5s effort is best "
"leaving something left at the end ( of a run ) so you feel exhilarated for the next day" ( paraphrased )
In this culture which is captivated by " all out or nothing", "go hard or go home" attitudes their assessment of the RIGHT way to do it - to excel physically in a sustainable way is a breath of fresh air.
"It doesn't have to be hard to be good" - my quote
One of the biggest challenges in my life has come in learning to be good to myself. It's a work in progress, as the saying goes. This is a story of a good friend in high school named George, a master motorcycle mechanic and guru ( little did I know then) who one day said something to me that I have never forgotten. it's about treating yourself AND your motorcycle well.
You know, I suppose if I had to pick one and only one central theme that defines the LIfe Athlete way , it would be this subject ; How we treat ourselves. Watch, listen and let me know what you think and if it resonates with you. Love to hear your thoughts
There's a Life Athlete in all of us
Sooo…. How much is enough? Of anything and everything? Simply, ask yourself how you feel when you are doing something physical or non-physical. Where’s your energy? Up? Down? How do you feel…do you feel a sore throat? Do you feel vital and have tons of energy?
Learning to pay attention to how you feel and what you feel is the way of the Life Athlete. Why? Because once you feel what’s going on with your body/mind you can then choose the most appropriate course of action to feel the best you can in the moment. Being attentive to how you feel and then making the best decision to maximize your energy is all about performing at the most optimal – EPIC level – possible at all times.
Learning how to balance and becoming more confident in your ability is obviously beneficial to fitness, sports and life.
The one thing I’m fascinated with is how balancing on one leg can be a metaphor for the rest of our lives. When you start to practice balancing on one leg, initially for most of us, we find it hard to not shake back and forth, oscillating wildly before we lose it and have to put the other foot down. Then over time and with practice, of course it gets easier. But even then, when you’re able to stand on one leg for a minute, you are really never motionless. Though you may be balancing longer you are always making more and more refined movements to do so. Try standing on one leg and see for yourself…balancing is never static. You’re always moving back and forth between balanced and out of balance.
Sounds like life. How? Because in reality, there’s no such thing as having a balanced life where you’re static in a place of perfect balance between all the elements of your life: work, exercise, relationships, time off to rest, etc. Life is in a constant state of change and flux. As I like to say “life is but a series of cycles in which we learn to accept and learn to roll with it.”
If you aspire to balance on one leg, you practice balancing, fall off, then get back on one leg again, only to fall off again but with more time between falls. As the saying goes “you just have to keep getting back on the horse” and you improve.
Same with life. Get clear with what you aspire to do in service of living a balanced life…really clear. Make your aspirations challenging but not grandiose. After all, would you start learning to balance by walking on a tight rope 10 stories up? Then practice the art of “balancing” knowing that you will “fall off” but with resolve, determination and will power, and mucho acceptance of the cycles of life, you will find the oscillations between living a more and less balanced life will be fewer in time.
Practice, patience, earnestness will get you there. Enjoy the process…and best you don’t give yourself a hard time if you “fall off.”
The Life Athlete way is about finding the easiest and most efficient way towards betterment – both for your body and life.
Try this and let me know how it works for you.
There’s a Life Athlete in all of us.