Discover more from Steady Beats | Matt Tillotson
The Mix Tape, Vol. 79
Welcome to this week’s Mix:
🏃🏻♂️Sprint essays (warning: shirtless old man photos ahead)
❓A question of less, not more
📝A unique writing tip: people first
🐢Turtles who work out
My march to write 30 short essays—Sprint Essays—on health and fitness continues.
Here are the latest sprints:
The verdict is in: jogging is out (This post went “lite viral” on Twitter yesterday.)
After 30 years of jogging, a one-month experiment forever changed my workouts:
Don’t sleep on alcohol. Or with it. Look, you know what I mean.
Drinking harms our sleep, which has a cascading effect of badness.
The sauce is not boss
Sauces, armed with vegetable oil and sugar, are the Trojan Horse that ruin our nutrition plans.
How to slow your carb roll
Zero-carb isn’t for me, but I am eating fewer carbs—and reducing their negative effects—using some simple strategies.
Discipline yourself. Take days off from working out.
A simple system to get enough daily protein
Say it with me: protein is the point of every meal.
A question of less, not more
In our culture of consumerism, the answer to “better” always seems to be “more.”
More money. More square footage. More activities. More work.
But if you’re facing a persistent problem, Kevin Rapp suggests we consider another question:
What if the solution to your problem is doing less of something?
I’ve found this true in fitness recently. It’s true when I declutter a room, or cancel events I don’t really want to attend.
Less is often more, despite the commercial messages we are bombarded with.
By the way: Kevin’s newsletter, “Full of Krapp,” is surprising and funny every week. Highly recommended.
A unique writing tip: people first
Ken Dryden is a Canadian politician, lawyer, and former hockey goalie for the Montreal Canadians. He’s also a supremely talented writer. His book “The Game” is a classic in the sports genre and probably the best book on hockey ever written.
Recently Dryden wrote in The Atlantic about the creeping dominance of hockey goalies in the NHL.
Writer Josh Bernoff broke down Dryden’s writing techniques, and here’s one writing idea I’ve never heard before:
Start with people. This is not an article about 6-foot, 3-inch Andrei Vasilevskiy. Except that it sort of is, with Vasilevskiy standing in for every goalie in every NHL game ever. Every story is a human story, whether it’s about hockey or artificial intelligence or customer experience. Make sure we meet the humans. (And note that we don’t need to know much about Vasilevskiy’s background or parentage or career. That’s not important, so Dryden leaves it out. You don’t need it to understand the story.)
Make sure we meet the humans. And introduce us early on.
And a second powerful observation:
Anyone can be a writer. If a hockey goalie can write like this, so can you. (I’m not taking anything away from Dryden’s skill. I just mean, it doesn’t matter where you start from, what matters is how you learn to use words.)
The barriers to writing are all internal.
As I left the neighborhood gym the other day, this guy was waiting to get in.
He said he wants to start working out again because he’s become a shell of his former self.
Sorry. I’ll show myself out.
Thank you for reading and sharing.
Please hit reply if you have questions, comments, or open rebuttals. (Or just want to say hi.)