Discover more from Steady Beats | Matt Tillotson
[SB 216] Giving in to your nature
I’m Matt, and welcome to Steady Beats. If you like to walk for a better life, and also like Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life,” you just might like this newsletter.
I think about this clip from David Perell often, on surrendering to our nature:
Two questions come to mind:
How do we continue to push into our own nature at midlife when we have a lifetime of programming and outside expectations to overcome?
How does one lean into our nature without using it as an excuse for shoddy performance in some areas?
What is the mythical “Work-Life Balance” but a constant juggling of competing pressures and priorities? Surrendering to our nature may mean little more than choosing the right objects to juggle. If you’re not good with fire, avoid the torches. Juggle some bowling pins.
For example: twice now, I’ve had the intention to my get my personal training certification. Twice, I’ve failed because I lost interest in the material.
I don’t care about the science behind exercise, really. Knowing every muscle group? Huge yawn. The science of burning energy and muscle growth? Don’t care.
When it comes to fitness, what I care about is finding workouts I and others will stick with, based on personality and interests. I like trying stuff, little experiments with different routines, and watching the outcomes. Not so much the scientific details behind it all.
As to the second question, I’m not great at math. That doesn’t mean I get to just punt on financials in business, even if it’s not my nature.
Surrendering to our nature, carving out more space for what we love most and are best at, is a long road. There is some doubling back involved.
Keep moving towards it. Steady Beats.
What else made me think this week
More cardio with age, not less
I half agree.
When it comes to strength training, I think we need more recovery time as we age. So lifting every day, for example, is a bad idea in middle age and beyond. (Probably. I don’t know you or your situation.) Muscles grow during the rest and repair phase. We need more of that as we get older.
But when it comes to “Zone 2” (i.e., slow) cardio, more seems to be better with almost no diminishing returns. I’ve really ramped mine up in last few months, trying to get in at at least an hour and day. On non-lifting days, I often getting in both a morning session and a short second evening session. These are luxuries of ditching my two-hour commute for a home-based role.
We have to fight to preserve our VO2 Max in middle age. That means more easy cardio work. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
Mastery requires obsession
At Write of Passage, we talk a lot about “Personal Monopoly” — developing a unique niche for your writing based on your experiences and interests. Finding this intersection allows you to compete in a field of one, find just the right audience, and flourish in a way no one else could but you.
So if you’re trying to figure out what to write about, think about what you can’t stay away from. What are the topics you come back to again and again?
For me it’s fitness, sports, 80s music and pop culture. For you it’s probably something very different.
But focusing on ideas and activities you feel profoundly connected to means you don’t need brute force to master them. You’ll be pulled along, with no need to push.
Look for that ease. Find the pull and follow it, and spend less time pushing.
Thank you for reading.
Let’s keep the Steady Beats going. 💚
If you enjoyed this edition, would you mind giving the heart below a click?