Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Book Report: Shoe Dog

Andrew Luck picked a good one again for March.  His “veteran” book club selection is Phil Knight’s memoir Shoe Dog.  The man can write.  He’s engaging and he has done many interesting things, from bootstrapping his company to climbing Mount Fuji.  There is plenty in the book to interest the sports nut, the business person, and the traveler.  Perhaps even those looking for something more spiritual can find it:

“I thought back on my running career at Oregon.  I’d competed with, and against, men far better, faster, more physically gifted.  Many were future Olympians.  And yet I’d trained myself to forget this unhappy fact.  People reflexively assume that competition is always a good thing, that it always brings out the best in people, but that’s only true of people who can forget the competition.  The art of competing, I’d learned from track, was the art of forgetting, and I now reminded myself of that fact.  You must forget your limits.  You must forget your doubts, your pain, your past.  You must forget that internal voice screaming, begging, ‘Not one more step!’  And when it’s not possible to forget it, you must negotiate with it.  I thought over all the races in which my mind wanted one thing, and my body wanted another, those laps in which I’d had to tell my body, ‘Yes, you raise some excellent points, but let’s keep going anyway…’” (P. 61).

Risk averse people might need to breathe deeply while reading about his methods of running his business in the early days.  Sometimes the tone veers a little too far toward the drinking frat boy.  Those are quibbles.  The book is definitely worth reading.

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