Walter Isaacson’s book Leonardo da Vinci may not have anything to do with fitness directly. It’s a biography of the quintessential Renaissance man: artist, scientist, engineer, anatomist, visionary. It’s also a really good book full of fascinating details and gorgeous pictures.
I’m writing about it because there are at least two aspects of Leonardo’s work that can apply to fitness (no, not that the pictures are of extremely good-looking people). One is his attitude toward combining theory and practice. Leonardo was largely self-taught. He read books and discussed theory with the experts of his day, but he also put a huge value on experiment, which allowed him to improve theory based on data and to interpret data based on overarching theory, enriching both processes. When we attack the work of the body, it is helpful to know and use the theory and then to test it out on our bodies, seeing what works best for us. When we think about goals and how to reach them, when we concentrate on what is happening when we move, we learn and progress faster.
The second aspect was scrupulous attention to detail. When we work to perfect our form, good things happen and bad things don’t. We can treat ourselves like masterpieces, worth the effort.
Maybe I’m reaching to make connections where none really exist. I’m okay with that. This was a great read, deeply inspiring. Check it out.