The Joyful Athlete
139 pages

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139 pages

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How can athletes train for maximum performance and joy? The Joyful Athlete shares the findings of a veteran runner who worked as an editor at Runner’s World and has raced at distances from 100 yards to 100K (62.2 miles). After receiving a master’s degree from Stanford University, author George Beinhorn was paralyzed from the chest down for three years. No sooner had he recovered than a spiritual teacher urged him to start running—there would be no time for self-pity.

For the next 40 years, he researched ways to make training both scientific and personally rewarding. Studying the careers of hundreds of athletes, he found that the most successful shared two qualities. First, they were expansive—they had a positive outlook and exceptional energy. And they practiced "feeling-based training"—they had an uncanny ability to understand the signals their bodies were sending.

Athletes in our western culture have been obsessed with numbers. The assumption is that by analyzing our training rationally, we’ll be able to achieve more consistent results and get the most enjoyment.

In practice, this premise hasn't worked out very well. Athletes from cultures where intuition is honored, notably elite runners from East Africa, continue to dominate. That’s because sports training isn’t about "running the numbers." It’s about working with the individual body that we must train with, and whose needs change continually.

The Joyful Athlete tells a riveting story of groundbreaking research that reveals why our bodies thrive when we cultivate expansive thoughts and feelings, and how scores of athletes at all levels have found success by "feeling-based training."

It’s an enjoyable reading experience that will inspire athletes in every sport. The Joyful Athlete answers the most basic question every athlete faces: "How can I be successful and enjoy my training too?"



Publié par
Date de parution 15 avril 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781565895522
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0750€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


“Your book is tremendous. It has powerfully influenced my own practice, and I am recommending it to all my coaches plus our students in our Level 2 Precision Nutrition certification as part of a ‘bodymind’ curriculum unit.”
– Krista Scott-Dixon , Founder of (the leading strength training site for women)
“George Beinhorn and I have independently concluded that success in training (and life) comes from listening to your body and mind and finding your own ever-changing path to self-actualization. Eloquent and expansive in his exposition, Beinhorn has written an exceptional book for fitness-minded individuals of every persuasion.”
— Clarence Bass, twice Mr. America in his height and age class; author of the bodybuilding classic RIPPED and nine other books on leanness, fitness, and health—most recently, Take Charge: Fitness at the Edge of Science
“Based on scientific research, the experiences of elite runners, traditional training methods, and stories of athletes’ experiences, this book clearly establishes the precedence of an expansive heart in harvesting power and joy from exercise and from all that we do.”
— Michael Holland , former Stanford University Specialty Coach for flexibility, strength, speed, power, and nutrition
“Beyond being a wonderful book, this is a doorway to new ways of training that can help us find joy. It’s entertaining and readable, and the author writes beautifully. There are lots of people who could benefit from this information, but they won’t find it anywhere else. I really, really enjoyed The Joyful Athlete .
— John Smallen , marathon PR 2:37, 50 miles sub-7:00
“Since reading The Joyful Athlete , my daily aerobic exercise has become more interesting and rewarding on levels that go far beyond the body. This book showed me undreamed-of ways to get my mind, body, and spirit exercising in harmony. I believe it will help many people, and it’s extremely well-written and enjoyable to read.”
— Asha Praver , recreational swimmer, inspirational speaker, author, Loved and Protected
George Beinhorn
crystal clarity publishers
Nevada City, California
Crystal Clarity Publishers • Nevada City, CA 95959
Notice: This book is intended as a reference volume only, not as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should seek your doctor’s approval before beginning an exercise program.
Copyright © 2013 by George Beinhorn
Published 2015.
Printed in the United States of America
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any other information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher.
ISBN 13: 978-1-56589-289-7
ePub ISBN 13: 978-1-56589-552-2
Cover Photograph © 2013 by George Beinhorn
Library of Congress
Cataloging-in-Publication Data forthcoming
crystal clarity publishers
800.424.1055 or 530.478.7600
For SK
Preface: Spiritual Matters
1. The Simple Joy of Sports
2. Introduction: Heart Talk
3. The 5 Dimensions of Fitness
4. The Harmony Zone
5. Science of the Heart
6. Focus on Feeling
7. The Happiness Advantage for Runners
8. Burnout
9. Training in the Age of Energy
10. Training in the Age of Energy—Part 2
11. Natural Zones
12. How to Increase Your Mileage Enjoyably
13. Arf! Arf! Train Like a Dog
14. True Sport at the Olympics
15. Mental Focus of Happy Runners
16. A Merry Heart Goes All the Way
17. Fun Runner: A Saner Way to Train
18. What Runners Want
19. Runners and Demons
20. Expansive Sports
21. Fatigue and Intuition
22. Minimalism: External and Internal
23. The Key to Running Success
24. A Runner’s Path
25. Answers
26. Bill Aris’s Truth: How Heartfelt Running Makes Champions
27. Planning My Next Life as a High School Athlete
28. Faceplant
29. Pickin’ Up Good Vibrations
30. Every Runner’s Friend
31. Let’s Get It Wrong
32. Inside-Out Running
33. Male and Female at the Races
34. Next Generation Running
35. Seasons of a Runner
36. A Runner Stumbles
37. Solving the Riddle of Training
38. Song of the Road
39. Strange Rays
40. Intuitive Runner
41. Running for Results
42. Art of Sports, Law of Sports
43. The Runner’s Brain
44. How Prefontaine Trained
45. Happy Heart Running
46. The 96% Run
47. Nightingale
About the Author
In this book I refer, on rare occasions, to my relationship with a great spiritual teacher. At no point do I identify my spiritual path or my teacher’s name. And that’s deliberate. The principles of sports training are the same whether we follow Christ, Buddha, Zoroaster, Moses, Yogananda, Mohammed, or no one.
Expansive values of kindness, compassion, and love are prized in all spiritual traditions. They are universal. And it’s impossible to talk about success in sports without mentioning these positive dimensions of the human heart. Research that I cite in chapter 5, “Science of the Heart,” shows that feelings such as kindness and compassion are intimately related to sports performance. For example, expansive feelings make the heart beat in an efficient rhythm that allows us to exercise harder with less strain.
I believe this book will help followers of any path, or no path. In these pages, you’ll discover how elite athletes, coaches, and scientists are confirming that positive thoughts and feelings and success go together.
During a vacation in Hawaii last summer, I picked up a hitchhiker on Kauai’s north shore. He was a fit-looking young man in his early twenties who spoke with a French accent. He told me he’d grown up in Tahiti but was living in France, and that he was a professional body-boarder. I asked if he rode big waves. He said, “Yeah, that’s my thing—it takes lots of wave-energy to perform well.”
He told me he’d grown tired of the endless travel his sport required, and that he was thinking of taking a break, because he was no longer happy being a professional athlete. His voice thickening with regret, he described how riding the waves as a child in Tahiti had been pure joy, and how competition had sapped that pristine happiness.
“Competing, you have to play tricks on your friends,” he said. “You can’t even talk to them the same way anymore.”
I marveled—this young man had accomplished so much, and already he was career-weary. And some moxie, too, to drop off a two-story wall of water while performing tricks along the way. His voice was firm with the resolution that had made his accomplishments possible.
We talked in a general way about sports, and I mentioned that I’d worked at Runner’s World in the early 1970s. I told him about a conversation I’d had with Joe Henderson, the magazine’s founding editor, while we ran ten miles together during a recent marathon.
Joe talked about the changes in running over the last four decades. In the seventies, when the Americans were competitive at the highest level, many were friends who trained together and shared their methods, even as the world-dominating Kenyans do today. Joe said that with big money riding on every race, the Americans no longer feel comfortable hanging out and sharing their secrets.
I told the body boarder that I’d spent much of my vacation snorkeling at Tunnels Lagoon. His voice rose with excitement as he described the “amazing numbers of seashells” I would find if I swam straight out from the singer Charo’s house to a gap in the reef where the currents drop piles of debris. “You’ll find many wonderful things!” he said, his pleasure in sharing contrasting with the weary tones in which he’d described his career impasse.
I told him how, while I was at Runner’s World , I would often photograph indoor track meets that would start with races for elementary school kids, and how the crowd would go wild, screaming and whistling as the tiny kids flailed around the track. I told him how it had struck me that the applause for the professionals was always more subdued.
The body boarder appeared to resent my saying this, as if I’d cast a slur on his sport. “I like competition,” he said sullenly, as he stepped out of the car.
I regretted that I hadn’t been able to explain my meaning more clearly. Putting down his sport was the last thing on my mind. I’d simply wanted to share a feeling that audiences respond more enthusiastically to a certain naïve joy in sports, than to events tinged with too much adult hype and seriousness.
Reflecting on our conversation, I wondered if the young body-boarder’s simple happiness riding the waves as a boy hadn’t helped him rise to the top of his sport. If he could recover some of that unselfconscious joy, perhaps he could forget about his opponents and perform better than ever. It might take courage, because he’d have to become inwardly engrossed in pure play again, and less focused on external rewards. Going his own way, he might find himself further distanced from his competitors. But his purity would surely win their respect in the end, and his joy might even inspire them.
An idealistic scenario? A Pollyanna-ish ending for a Hollywood film script? Possibly.
When Michael Jordan joined the Ch

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