Recent Reads

 

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Finding Ultra

 by Rich Roll

Finding Ultra was referred to me by my doctor because my doctor who wants me eating more plants and less meat which as I wrote about in Sweet Potatoes and Tofu I am working on. He also knows that I’m very into fitness and sports, so this was a good way to deliver the message. The book is certainly about fitness, Rich Roll does some incredible feats. It’s also about eating plants as Rich Roll is a vegan and as he puts it, is fueled by plant power.

Both the fitness and the diet aspect are interesting to me because I’m always trying to learn more about those things but what really fascinated me was the effort and determination that was exhibited. Roll gives a lot of credit to his training and diet but in my opinion, it is his mental fortitude above all else that gets him through.

Part of this mental fortitude is that he is able to focus on the task directly in front of him whether it be swimming, biking, or running. He can be in the moment because he has the confidence that his support team is taking care of everything else. In team sports it is common to give credit to the coach and the other support staff but quite often in these more “solo” sports like Ironman’s the team is only in the shadows. It is true that the individual is out there by themselves, but I think Roll would agree that the team is critical and without them these incredible feats that Roll tackles would not be possible.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it for a wide variety of readers. There is a little something in there for everyone. Enjoy, I’m eager to hear what you think.

 

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Rocket Fuel

By Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters

Rocket Fuel is a book about growing your business. It covers some operational stuff and a little strategy, but the focus of the book is on the visionary and the integrator. What are these you might ask? Well the visionary is the idea person in the business. More often then not they are the founders and owners of businesses. The integrator is kind of like a general manager. They are responsible for bringing the visionary’s vision to life. They are in charge of implementation and execution.

The Author’s take is that in a small business the visionary and integrator are often the same person, but it is very rare for someone to have both sets of skills. As a business grows, he says above $2,000,000 in revenue, it is probably time to have these roles split up. This insight was very relatable for me. As someone who has played both rolls in different businesses, I can see how really defining the roles would be beneficial for a business. I am much more the visionary than integrator but without really stating it or lining out what that means for the business it difficult to see where one job end and the other begins.

The Author’s do a great job of really defining the roles and giving actionable steps to operate a business in this fashion. If you are starting, growing, or running a business Rocket Fuel is a valuable read. It is very readable, the information is digestible, and it is only 180 pages.

 

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Pickup Artists: Street Basketball in America

By Lars Anderson and Chad Millman

Pickup Artists takes us on a journey of pickup basketball through the decades. It is largely a story of incredible talent that for various reasons was never able to be displayed at a high level in college or the pros. There are stories of ruined lives and of those that just couldn’t quite put it all together. There are great lessons to be learned from gritty individuals who kept trying, and talented individuals who fell on their face. A lot can be learned from people’s success and failure and there is a lot covered in this book.

For what drew me to the book was 100% basketball. I love basketball and love pickup games. Most of the games I have played have been at a park or gym without refs playing with my buddies and whoever else happens to be there on that day. I have always been amazed by the talent that is raw and unrefined playing at parks and gyms across the country. There are incredible athletes with the highest level of ability (myself not being one of these individuals) that never make it to the pinnacle of the sport but are out their playing for the love of the game, nonetheless. There is something alluring about these individuals with such talent and wondering what if. What if they had different opportunities? What if they had a different coach? What if they had run with different crowd? Pickup Artists does a great job capturing the stories of these intriguing figures.

I really enjoyed the book but I’m not sure it’s for everyone. If you are into basketball, sports history, or history in general you will likely find it enjoyable. It also has some great lessons in it, but I can’t say that would be a reason to read it. It is written well which always helps when it may not be your favorite subject. If you do take the time, I hope you like it as much as I did. Happy Reading!