Triathlete’s Tao Te Ching Offers Ancient Insight Into Modern Sport

Once an oddity in the world of sport, Triathlon has become the fastest-growing participation sport in the world. Each year millions of people line-up for their chance to take on the swim-bike-run events, and each participant has a very personal reason for being there. Based on Lao-Tzu’s 2500-year-old book of wisdom, The Triathlete’s Tao Te Ching provides athletes with a tool to examine how and why they race, and what their involvement in endurance sports means in the greater context of their lives.

(Boulder, Colorado - November 27, 2012) - “Looking back at the day I blew-out both of my shoulders, I see what a relief it was,” said Lance Johnson, author of The Triathlete’s Tao Te Ching: An Endurance Athlete’s Interpretation of Lao-Tzu’s Ancient Text. “I had been training for almost two years without racing because I was constantly comparing myself to the people around me, and in a town like Boulder it’s easy to feel like you’re just not fast enough. None of the people I trained with cared, they just wanted to see me out racing with them. But over those couple years I had gone from training and racing to understand myself, to training so that I could race to define myself.”

After surgery to fix his shoulders, Johnson walked away from the sport for almost a decade. “When I tried to get back to training, even after all that time had passed, I would quit after a week or two. I was aways unsatisfied, frustrated, and angry.” Deep down, Johnson knew that in order to return to the sport he loved that he would have to resolve the issues he had when he left 10 years earlier. What followed was a very personal search for clarity regarding how and why he trained, and what that would mean in the larger context of his life - which had grown to include a wife, a son, and a small business. A Taoist, Johnson looked to Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching for guidance. Rather than simply re-read the text, something he did regularly, Johnson decided to re-interprate it in order to crystalize how the Tao specifically related to his experience of triathlon. “I never really considered publishing the book until I was almost finished with it; I was simply doing it for myself.”

The result is a book that every endurance athlete can relate to; a book about distilling the deepest meaning of our involvement in sport and finding the greatest reward through following our own, unique path. “This is actually one of the most interesting books I've seen,” said Jordan Rapp, professional Ironman triathlete and author for the book’s foreword. “Conceptually, this book is unique among books within the triathlon world. It’s not a book about performance, but I do think that it can make you a better athlete because it focuses on the heart of why I - and I think most people - embrace triathlon and also on what holds me - and I think many others - back from being at our best.”

Like Lao-Tzu’s original text, The Triathlete’s Tao provides a framework for contemplation rather than definitive answers. “I don’t know that I am - or ever will or even could be - a ‘Great Racer.’ But I know what the ‘Will to Race’ means to me. And it’s something that I struggle to hold on to. In speaking with other athletes, I get the sense that I’m not alone in this. This book is one athlete’s attempt to put that struggle into words. I think you’ll enjoy it,” said Rapp. The Triathlete’s Tao Te Ching is published by TaoTriathlete, Ltd. Suggested retail price is $12.99.

About Lance Johnson
Lance Johnson is a husband, father, entrepreneur, writer, and triathlete living in Boulder, Colorado. Lance has served as a technical consultant to the National Triathlon Team at the Olympic Training Center and the Garmin ProTour Cycling Team. He has also assisted on product development for leading cycling industry companies including ODI Grips, Pearl Izumi, Zipp, and Vittoria Tires.

Book review to come....

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