January 12th : The One Path to Serenity

“Keep this thought at the ready at daybreak, and through the day and night – there is only one path to happiness, and that is in giving up all outside of your sphere of choice, regarding nothing else as your possession, surrendering all else to God and Fortune.” – Epictetus, Discourses, 4.4.39

If I believe in a form of God, I prefer Spinoza’s version. Regardless, this quote’s ending still works. The universe will continue fulfilling the Second Law of Thermodynamics, whether you like it or not. It is uncaring, has no plans for you, owes you nothing. This is an incredibly scary thought, but also an incredibly freeing one. You get to choose the greater purpose to which you will dedicate your life. Your infinity project* is fully yours to pick.

Practice/Weights observations…

  • Complex of four exercises : first and last are drop in accelerations. 2nd and 3rd are skips/bounds and Run Rocket, which should help provide some cueing and context to improve the execution of the DI from set to set. I like this idea of sandwiching drills, and should come up with some similar combos for paddling.
  • Warming up with submaximal accelerations (lower intensity, and less steps) allows for more reps to be done (enhancing learning) without the usual fatigue.
  • Combo-ing Stu’s thoughts that 1) isometric strength is the most important quality to have for sprinting performance (Franz Bosch slack removal?), and 2) hamstrings have a bias towards isometric contractions, I can’t help but think that this article fits these theories very well.
  • Know the context of what you see. If you see a mechanical/technical flaw, knowing its history of evolution can will give you clues on how to proceed.

Today’s talk was with Brett Bartholomew, giving us a preview into his book about Conscious Coaching with his talk. Especially with yesterday’s talk about needing to work on the skill of coaching, I’m particularly excited to go through this book. Make sure you also check out Stu’s notes. The poolside chat ended up revolving around Brett too. Dan was quite happy to be given some time off from answering everything.

  • We need to differentiate between exposure (something young coaches do a ton of, and always feel they need more of before being “ready”), and experience (what young coaches actually need).
  • So-called “dark triad” traits have many hidden benefits. You just need to leverage your dark traits towards good.
  • Paul Bloom’s Against Empathy has a bit of a clickbaity title, but the idea aligns itself well with my thoughts. Here, empathy is a somewhat overly sentimental sense of sharing somebody’s emotions (in most cases usually discussed, negative emotions). Lets put aside the fact I don’t agree with this definition. From this point on, I agree that empathy from this point of view is irrational and has a tendency to lack judgement. He then calls for something more nuanced, which he calls Rational Compassion. You should be able to notice, identify and share in somebody’s feelings, but it shouldn’t blind you from what may be bad decisions that led them to these feelings. Jordan Peterson’s disdain of the well-meaning educated mass (sorry I don’t remember where in this talk he mentions this. I know it’s in the first half. The last hour is more about religion. Either way, the whole thing is a good listen.) feels very similar to this.
  • According to Brett, there are 16 archetypes that athletes tend to have, and each have unique solutions to unlock the strengths of their personalities.
  • There is a neural relationship between envy and schadenfreude. Makes sense.
  • “You must experience what you want to express.” – Van Gogh
  • “Be a voice, not an echo.” – Einstein
  • “Fixation is the way to death, fluidity is the way to life.” – Musashi
  • When studying, recognize differences in approaches, but make sure to identify the common trends. This is where the gold is. (I remember thinking this too, telling myself that where the Venn Diagrams of NKT/PRI/DNS and even Posturology overlap, this is where we need to focus.)
  • Your culture ripples to character, and will act as a filter to identify those who don’t belong. Protect it.
  • Sometimes, a smaller group is better. Much easier to control the culture. Along with this, consistency in the culture expressed by your staff is key.
  • Time spent avoiding fools is equally as important as time spent with quality people. Via negativa all over again.
  • Know what works for you. He sucks at using meditation apps. He’s found that training in a commercial gym, on his own, is the best meditation for him.

Patois words of the day : tanks, and mi yout.

*I don’t remember where I got this term from, but it’s based on the idea that confronted with a fear of death, one wishes to be immortal. Since that isn’t possible, we instead will try to create something that will outlast us. The video in the link is most definitely NOT stoic, but I feel shows well the power of the opposite POV.

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