This is a time of uncertainty in the world. It is something that we have never encountered, and hope to never encounter again. With many races being postponed, training has become more difficult, and because we’re spending more time in our homes, we may be experiencing a little bit of a mental crisis. Some of the things that once relieved the stress from our lives cannot be done at this time. Mentally, you might be struggling to stay afloat, and we need to refrain from heading down the wrong path.
During this time we need to focus a lot more on the mental side of things. While we are at home it is easy to just sit on the couch, turn on the TV and mindlessly drift away. We have every possible movie and TV streaming service at our disposal. One show turns into the next, and before we know it we have spent several hours in front of the television while our thinking has turned itself off. The news, while unquestionable important, makes us more scared and fills us with negativity. It’s no wonder that many people are suffering mentally right now.
The Benefits of Reading for Your Brain
What we need during this time is some good old-fashioned mental training. Instead of reaching for that controller to entertain yourself, try grabbing a book and bringing your entertainment to a whole new level. Reading simulates your brain. It gets you thinking more clearly, turns on your creative side, helps you gain perspective, makes you more empathetic, and improves your thinking. This is exactly what we need to get through this time period.
If you are looking to improve yourself, there is no better time than now to start reading some self-help books. Have you always wanted to start a business? This is the time to read up on the subject. The time spent educating yourself is setting the stage for when we come out of this crisis. You will be able to take the things that you have read during this time and then begin to apply them. With technology being what it is, you can instantly apply what you have been reading and improve yourself.
Which Book Is Right for You? Narrow It Down
If you are one who loves to binge-watch a show, then a great fiction book is right up your alley. There are so many lessons to learn from fiction writing. Think about it: When we were children in school and the teacher read to us, there was always lessons to be learned from the story. These lessons can help shape us and, most importantly, get our own creative juices flowing. Fiction books also allow us to become more empathetic, and during this time we could all employ that emotion a bit more. When we read the struggles of character in books, it places us in their shoes. We see the world from their points of view, and we are forced to think about what it feels like to be them. If non-fiction books peak your interest, there are many books out there that can help put our current situation into perspective. There are so many great stories of humans overcoming adversity, all of which serve as inspiration and motivation to get through this tough situation.
Are you bummed that races are cancelled, or that you can’t get to the gym? There are a great deal of books written about different coaches and their training philosophies. There are wonderful stories of great endurance athletes that will motivate you to become the best athlete you can be. These books will keep the fire lit under you as we go through this. When we are ready to resume training on a normal basis, these books will be your guide to improvement. You will be fired up to test out the new training techniques that you read about.
Whichever genre you choose to go with, try to get the hard copy of the book (if possible). Reading off a tablet has its benefits, but in these times having the actual book in your hand is better. Right now we are using screens more than ever, and many of us are working from home and using our computers constantly. We then jump to our phones to stay connected with friends on social media. If you are able to get off your device and put the book in your hand, then do so,. Your brain and eyes will thank you.
10 Thought-Provoking Reads to Get You Through the Quarantine
How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle (Matt Fitzgerald)
Intervention: Course Corrections for the Athlete and Trainer (Dan John)
Training for the Uphill Athlete: A Manual for Mountain Runners and Ski Mountaineers (Kílian Jornet Burgada, Scott Johnston, and Steve House)
Man’s Search for Meaning (Viktor Frankl)
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (Alfred Lansing)
Natural Born Heroes (Christopher McDougall)
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (Steven Pressfield)
The Thank You Economy (Gary Vaynerchuk)
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (Jocko Willink and Leif Babin)
Way of the Peaceful Warrior (Dan Millman)
And we’re assuming that you’ve already read Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena’s three books. If not, click here to check out The Spartan Way, Spartan Up!, and Spartan Fit!