Sunday, March 25, 2018

Be The Bully

"Bullies operate on a tilted playing field. They are freelancers who attack people who can't stand up for themselves. In the schoolyard, that's disgusting and unacceptable. In the athletic arena, it's absolutely phenomenal!... 
"Winning always involves the conquest of an opponent. And to conquer someone means to make that person unhappy, exactly what you've been brainwashed not to do. The rules of competition are like the black outlines in  a coloring book in the hands of a seven-year-old. For the most part the crayon is going to stay inside the lines. But that crayon will still make occasional forays outside the lines. That's where the dirty work is. Often times the margin of victory can be found along the fringes of those lines.
"Winners understand that not  everyone is willing to do the dirty work that is required of conquest. Not everyone can switch off the personality that has helped them grow into a socially well-adjusted, likeable person. Not everyone can step into a character whose sole mission is to dominate and conquer another human being. Not every player can make herself genuinely believe that second place is genuinely unacceptable. Winners give themselves permission to conquer. Winners will do the dirty work and happily ezploit the opponent who can't or won't make that same emotional sacrifice. Winners don't mind breaking hearts."
(pp. 79-81) 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


"The science of how we pace ourselves turns out to be surprisingly complex (as we'll see in later chapters). You judge what's sustainable based not only on how you feel, but on how that feeling compares to how you expected to feel at that point in the race." (p. 11)
"In 2012, Sports Illustrated writer David Epstein recounted  the ordeal of Rhiannon Hull, a talented distance runner who had competed for the University of Oregon's fabled track and cross-country programs. Six weeks after moving to Costa Rica in 2011, she and her six-year-old son, Julian, headed to a local beach on an overcast day when no one else was around, and got pulled away from shore by a riptide. By the time two teenage surfers spotted them and managed to paddle to the rescue, Hull, a wiry 5'2" marathoner who at age thirty-three still ran twice a day, had been holding her son aloft in the water for nearly half an hour - he was "standing on Mommy," he later recalled." (p. 118)
From Endure by Alex Hutchinson 

Friday, March 9, 2018

A Deadly Wandering

"Researchers said that when parents talk to their children less, engage less - in a nutshell, put their attention to the television not the children - it can eventually retard language development. As the 2009 study concluded 'The evidence is growing that very early exposure to television is associated with negative developmental outcomes.'
...The children who watched the fast-paced show were less able to follow directions and, in a separate set of tasks, showed less patience. These are 'executive function' tasks, meaning they engage the prefrontal cortex, that all-important part of the brain involved in focus.
The researchers wrote that the toll taken on executive function came not just from the fast pace but perhaps from the fantastical nature of the cartoon, which gave the children's brains a lot of information to digest, thus potentially depleting cognitive resources. The researchers wrote: 'The result is consistent with others showing long-term negative associations between entertainment television and attention.' Among those studies, one published in Pediatrics in 2004 found that children who watch more television in their toddler years are significantly more likely to have attention problems by age seven. 
A Deadly Wandering by Matthew Richtel (pp. 175-176) 
As with most things, there are critical periods in your life - periods of time when the mind and body are at their largest potential for growth. Periods, that if missed, may never come again. The child raised by wolves and misses the critical period for language development may never learn to speak human languages well. A child who grows up in an environment where they cannot run or jump or swim freely may never develop athletically. A child who grows up without books will never learn to read at a high level. There are probably very long-term, dangerous consequences for our modern lifestyles of constantly being plugged in and caffeinated. I only hope that the grown ups will notice and make the changes needed before it's too late, but that may require killing the babysitter...