You Can Master Anything

It only takes a week and a half but the accumulation of fatigue is really starting to kick in. I took two weeks off (read staying active but not going to the track) after my indoor season and started training again last Monday. Week one is always dangerous, having had a break you’re really fresh, everything feels effortless and you’re pretty sure you could be training harder, week 2 starts, and suddenly with that first week already in your legs you start wondering how you’re going to make it through.

One up or down side of this, is that I get home from the track and barely have the energy to move, let alone go out and do anything. This means more time for catching up on my reading and watching videos. At the moment I’ve got a real interest in mastery and excellence, and this what lead me to watching the excellent documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.

Motivation

I’m sure we’ve all jumped onto youtube at some point and watched some motivational montage, for pole vault theres loads of them, all with their quick cuts and pumping music, designed to ramp up your sympathetic nervous system and get you instantly pumped. I personally find this really transient. All you’re seeing is the ultimate perfect outcome over and over through a haze of adrenaline, what I find more interesting is the process.

I think this is why I’ve always been so interested in bodybuilding, it always seemed to me that it was one of those sports that really rewarded the obsessed. Observing the minutiae of the training, the resting, the sleeping, the diet 24/7. Really aggregating those marginal gains.

Spoiler Alert

This is why the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” interested me. How has a guy who runs a tiny restaurant with only 10 seats, situated in a Japanese subway station, a restaurant that doesn’t even have a toilet in it, which serves basically just rice and fish, have 3 Michelin stars.

I really enjoyed this documentary, on top of the level of detail they go into for their food preparation, and the repetitious nature or making the same simplistic looking dishes day in day out, theres the fascinating sub-plot of the 50 year old son still working under his 85 year old father.

I think more than anything, I enjoyed this because it made me feel slightly better about the amount of over-thinking i put into my own athletic lifestyle. I’m definitely not as “obsessed” as Jiro. It comes back to the old cliche that I think I’m about normal. More obsession is too much and borderline crazy. And less obsession clearly means you’re lazy.

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I think my personal level of detailed thinking comes from my inability to lie. I want to be able to stand in the mixed zone at the end of the competition (whether I’m giving a media interview or not) and say “I gave it 100%”, and not just mean 100% on that day, I mean 100% over the last week, month, year and since I’ve been training. This is also why if I read about probiotics and think they might help my health/performance, or hear something about the healing properties of infra-red light, I have to try these things out for myself, and then clearly I’ll be writing blogs about them in the upcoming weeks.

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