I have never been known for my reading prowess. I believe I became a fine reader of the Dick and Jane novels at the age of 8 or 9 as my best friend Laura had already progressed to Shakespeare and Potok. The scribble was on the sidewalk indeed, I would become a PE teacher. I liked to play, interact with people and things while using all my senses other than ocular.
I have moved into my early 30's *gasp* and I have graduated from all scholastic work and find my eyes peeled open and glazed over for hours on end staring at a computer monitor. Laptop. iPhone. Or the striking sun on a bike ride. When I do read, it's under the alien light of electronics and is most likely a recipe, cycling updates, or training methodology. Never, ever, raw nothingness content. Ever.
Then I hit the road. As my job has shifted I have found myself commuting from our town in the hills to LA, Santa Monica, Orange County, Arkansas and Oregon. I am not a huge music groupie *gasp* but I really needed something to stave off the white-knuckled city driving and mirage inducing open highways.
Audio Books. Genius. Before I delve into these, I have purchased a stack of highly recommended books. I have gotten stuck in the genre rut of sports, motivational, you-can-do-it books which began with the following:
Apolo Ohno: Zero Regrets - Be Greater Than Yesterday
I never finished it. He whined too much. And although I am a huge fan of Olympic Ice Skater Clara Hughes, I couldn't handle another lap around the ice oval. Not one more.
For the ears, I selected the following within my PE Teacher-Now I am a cycling coach, mindset:
Chris McCormack: I'm Here To Win
Completely genius. Amazing insights into the mind and life of a champion and the sacrifices elite athletes (insert business person, mother, wife, friend...) must endure to reach their goals. I really enjoyed his approach to the mental game and creating mental fortitude which helped him overcome so many obstacles. A must read!
Chrissy Wellington: A Life Without Limits
Amazing! This gal is a nut! I loved it. She embodies the endurance athlete to a T and is completely open about her issues, drawbacks and short comings. She is truly a genetic phenom because her luck was surely lacking. An awe-inspiring journey on all levels the showcased the deep bond competitors build.
Driving to Boulder, CO last summer, I decided to take my mind off of anything serious and see what all the craze was about on the two following series. They did not disappoint and at least kept my eyes peeled for hours on end!
Stieg Larsson: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy
EEEEEKKKKK!! This was crazy, and so well written it was impressive. I have watched the movie, and the first two movies that were made in Sweden, and they don't even crack the surface of how crazy these books were. Time has never flown by that fast before on the open highway, that's for sure!
Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games
Meh. I mean they were really good, and I could get through them easy and were really well written. But maybe in my mind I was comparing them to CS Lewis and J.R.R Tolkein (no, I never read those - my parents read them to us, and we listened to them in the car while traveling the US as small people). The afore mentioned series were both rooted in something much deeper than human nature and seem to have a very timeless flare to them. I was listening to a podcast with Brian a few weeks back and the speaker had this to say about the series: "The other has no basis in a religion of deeper belief system, which makes the books good, but not empowering." I feel like he nailed it on the head.
The movie was good though, and was pretty close to the book. I am interested in watching the next ones when they come out!
I won't bore you with many more of my audio books today, but I must leave you with my most favorite of all.
Garth Stein: The Art of Dancing in The Rain
Get it. Buy it. Listen to it or read it. Just do it. I have listened to it twice, and I would purchase it in real-deal book format as well! I love pets, and this is written with the voice of a labrador, just amazing.
A week from now I will embark on another traveling voyage and I have my iPhone cued up with multiple books to nourish my mind on the way. I have proposed, and accepted, the challenge of ready a real-live hard copy book every morning. I am over half way through it and my wind and spirit surely appreciate the respite from technology, being in the 'know', and contact with everyone and everything. I encourage you to take 10 minutes a day do the same!