The Joyful Athlete

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-04-15
  • Publisher: Crystal Clarity Pubs
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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?"

Author Biography

George Beinhorn’s articles and photography have appeared in Running Times, Trail Runner, Marathon & Beyond, Sports Afield, and Runner’s World, where he was a staff editor and photographer from 1972–76. He lives in Silicon Valley, where he serves clients in technology and business as a writer and editor.

When George took up running in 1968, he had a powerful intuition that the best training is accompanied by positive feelings.

As athletes we’ve all had days when our body performed effortlessly and a deep happiness welled up inside. It’s unfortunate that those days seem to occur randomly—surely, there’s a scientific way to make the great training and enjoyment happen at will.

From the lives of elite athletes and coaches, and from the science of performance, George gleaned a simple, practical method.

The best training happens when we pay attention to the signals the body is sending us. When we’re ill, our bodies communicate the fact by making us feel lousy. And when our body is well, we feel great. The body announces its needs through the subtle feelings of the heart.

This simple observation has vast implications for training. From the deep lore of sports, and from science and the world’s great spiritual traditions, The Joyful Athlete reveals how we can make our training enjoyable and achieve measurably improved results.

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