I read Mastery by George Leonard over the weekend and I’m totally, totally hooked. What a great little book. It immediately earned a permanent place in my library and on my list of "must read" books. The book has been around a while, but I only recently heard about it and I’m glad I did.
It’s inspired me to a couple of things. First, I’m going to try to articulate, across several posts here, the "keys to mastery" as a Slacker@Work. I believe there are several and I want to flesh them out, for my own benefit as much as yours. I’ll start posting the keys, you know, eventually.
Second, I’ve been an on-again, off-again runner for a few years. Lately I’ve been on again. Mastery spent a lot of space talking about the mastery of sport and running was one of the sports he dealt with. I don’t really like running, but it’s cheap and a great way to keep my lung capacity up when I’m not surfing (which, unfortunately, seems like a lot lately). And to tell the truth, riding the skatepark really gets my heartrate racing and legs burning more than I’d like to admit…running helps with that too.
So anyway, a while back Matt Haughey posted a note about a "fitlog" he’d begun. That rang a bell with me and I began checking out how to do the same. Turns out it’s not too difficult, especially if you have smart friends to help you out with the geeky stuff. I’m calling my effort a "joglog" even though I like to tell myself that I’m running, not jogging. I’ve been running for a couple of months, but the joglog only has four days of data on it because it took me a while to work out the geeky kinks. Also, I’m not tracking time, just distance, bodyfat and weight (via a Tanita scale).
I think the joglog is really going to help keep me motivated. I vastly prefer running with a partner, because it helps me get out of bed in the morning when I know someone is waiting for me. But so far my drive to keep the joglog loaded up with data is keeping me going pretty well. We’ll see how far that gets me, but I’m posting this too, as a kind of public humiliation failsafe. Not that I mind public humiliation.
Sidenote: anybody think there’s a market out there for fitlog/joglog type blogs? The charts are fully customizable and the data is held in a mysql database for easy retrieval. I bet there are tons of amateur athletes who would eat this up. Imagine a whole blog network where individuals and teams could load up data and have performance charts alongside narrative about their workout…you heard it here first!