February 12th and 13th

Protect your Peace of Mind

So yes, use Stoicism to manage these difficulties. But don’t forget to ask: Is this really the life I want? Every time you get upset, a little bit of life leaves the body. Are these really the things on which you want to spend that priceless resource? Don’t be afraid to make a change – a big one. – The Daily Stoic

Continuing on the lesson from a week ago, we are reminded that even if bestowed with the invincibility of a stoic mind, one must consider the possibility that there are easier paths to your goals.

Nevermind the fact that most of us do not have that level of invincibility.

This can feel a bit paradoxical. Were we not told previously that we shouldn’t seek to avoid the distractions? I feel that the key difference is the goal you are pursuing. The Zen philosopher, as far as I understand it, is seeking satori. It is a very personal pursuit, and so the best way to achieve it might very well be to migrate to the mountains. A Stoic still has a commitment to the world around him, which will likely imply some level of challenges. It then makes sense for the Stoic to choose the path of least resistance towards achieving his responsibilities to the world. He gets to fulfill his duties as efficiently as possible, and will be prepared for the inevitable challenges that he will face in accomplishing them.

A sound mind will help you put in the hard work through the difficult times, because you will know to perceive these challenges as only that. Here, we ask that you also work smart, so that you only need to work hard when absolutely necessary.

Pleasure Can Become Punishment

It’s important to connect the so-called temptation with its actual effects. Once you understand that indulging might actually be worse than resisting, the urge begins to lose its appeal. In this way, self-control becomes the real pleasure, and the temptation becomes the regret. – The Daily Stoic

It’s very interesting to read this the day after going through this article on willpower (many thanks to Dragan for sharing this!) and resembles much a post I can’t find anymore by my Wu-Tang brother about how sleeping in late is to value the immediate above the future self.

I find the idea of reframing situations that would demand “willpower” as a bargain between your present and future self very cool, and look forward to experimenting with it on myself.

I wonder how this changes (or not) my approach to mental skills training for racing.

Today’s Memento Mori, courtesy of The New Yorker : When Things Go Missing

Training thoughts

  • I found the P&P today quite interesting. After a good warm-up, 30min of self-regulated potentiation. Three options were presented, and the athletes were left to pick which one they felt helped them best, and what rest times they needed. A cool idea to play with more experienced athletes.
  • I don’t find my coaching eye is improving the way I want it to, so I started bringing my iPad to be able to do more slow-mo filming. That said, it was encouraging to hear Forrest, a fellow intern, mention how he felt the same way. That is, until he went to a HS indoor meet, and realized that he was able to see far more things.
  • Self-talk can always be improved, even at the highest levels. Negative spirals happen, even to the bests.
  • re: Regen days, there’s a balance that needs to be struck between doing exercises effectively, without getting to the point of demanding excessive focus.
  • Some athletes are reporting some issues with blocks, but all other acceleration work indicates that they are picking up on all the appropriate principles. If there is a difference, the issue might lie more in the athlete treating the blocks as something special. It shouldn’t, and it isn’t.
    • Solution starts with us, the coaches, treating the blocks no differently. If they see us acting nonchalantly about it, it’ll be easier for them to follow suit.
  • Although it might be easier to teach an athlete on his/her good days, it is probably better to teach on his/her bad days.
  • When planning the next cycle, think of three things :
    • what to stop
    • what to start
    • what to continue
  • Thinking about how one should periodize R&R, and mental skill training…

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