Stillness, Connor Mcgregor, and Yoga for Running – The Patterson Post #11

Hello lovely people,

Here is The Patterson Post #11.

This week I’m sharing some wisdom from Stillness is the Key By Ryan Holiday, telling you why you should be excited for the return of Connor McGregor next weekend, suggesting a yoga practice you should give a try, and as always, leaving you with a quote and a question to think about. 

Read time – 5 minutes


Please enjoy! 

Stillness is the Key 

This week I finished Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. The book is centred around the idea of finding peace in the chaos of life. Holiday is suspicious of the modern practice of filling every spare minute of your schedule, and instead makes the case for cultivating time to think, reflect and be still.

The pandemic has given us all a load more time to spend with ourselves, and some have handled this better than others. Our culture incentivises, and in some ways fetishises constant busyness. If we find ourselves with free time, the immediate instinct is to ask, what can I fill this with? 

But COVID has changed that. It’s confined us to our homes, and created more free time than many of us will have had in years. This takes time to get used to. 

I’m sure that restlessness has become familiar to many of you. Holiday has filled Stillness is the Key with tools and philosophies to transform this restlessness into stillness. 

In Part 1: Mind, he argues for slowing down, becoming present, and practicing journaling to create stillness. 

In Part 2: Spirit, he discusses the meaning of virtue, accepting a higher power (he’s not secularly religious), and promotes the value of relationships. 

And in Part 3: Body, Holiday encourages you to build routines, get rid of your unnecessary stuff, and why sleep is so important. 

I would highly recommend picking up a copy of this book. Holiday is not only a deep and nuanced thinker, he’s also a gifted storyteller. He uses more anecdotes to support his points than any other writer I can bring to mind. 

Well worth a read. 

I wrote a blog post this week based on one of his chapters – Limit Your Inputs – on why it’s so important to carefully manage your informational diet, especially on social media. Check it out if that sounds interesting to you. 

Ryan Holiday is someone who would improve your social feeds. Here’s his website, and here’s his twitter. Give him a follow. 

Connor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 

Connor “The Notorious” McGregor, the UFC’s biggest superstar, and the man responsible for putting the sport of MMA on the map, returns to the Octagon next weekend to face Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier. 

The fight will be held on Fight Island, Abu Dhabi. This is the first time Mcgregor has fought since his victory over Donald Cerrone in January of last year. 

McGregor’s opponent, Dustin Poirier, is a warrior. He’s a legend of the UFC, debuting in 2010. He’s coming off a win over Dan Hooker, a brilliant Kiwi Kickboxer, which was a 5-round war. That fight is available for free on Youtube if you want to see the man in action. 

Poirer won the interim title off of Max Holloway, one of the greatest featherweights of all-time. He then went on to challenge for the unified title against Khabib Nurmagomedov – the greatest lightweight of all time – but lost.

Poirier has fought some of the best Mixed Martial Artists of all time, and is at the pinnacle of his career. 

McGregor is in for a war. I felt his fight against Donald Cerrone was a good way for him to ease back into the Octagon, but that won’t be the case against Poirier. He’s fighting one of the best fighters on the planet. If he doesn’t bring his A-game, he won’t last long. 

If you’re looking for a better understanding of how these two guys will try to beat each other, you should watch Inside the Octagon, with Dan Hardy and John Gooden. 

This is a phenomenal resource. For 24 minutes, Dan and John break down how each fighter will be looking to win. They compare their styles and technique, and make predictions on what each guy’s game plan might look like. 

It’s great to have an idea of what to expect from each fighter before they step into the octagon. 

And if you’re looking for even deeper analysis on top of that, you should check out Dan Hardy’s War Room. It’s literally just Dan Hardy with an ipad and a tv screen, looking at slow motion footage, and telling you exactly what’s going on. If you like deep MMA analysis, like I know many of you do, give it a watch. 

My Prediction

Predicting MMA is like trying to make sense of a hurricane. It’s complete chaos. But that’s never stopped me from making a call. 

I reckon McGregor wins. I’m definitely biased, BUT, he looks focused and calm, which is when he’s most dangerous. He matches up well with Dustin Poirier, who’s been known to be slow to get going. Dustin has also taken a lot of damage in previous fights, which is dangerous against someone with as much power as Connor. Mcgregor also has a win over Poirier from 2014. 

However, Poirier has plenty of ways he can beat Mcgregor. One thing we’ve never seen anyone do to Connor is kick his legs. He fights in a long karate style, which is famously susceptible to leg kicks. The fact that it is southpaw vs. southpaw also means the leg kick will be easier to land. As Hardy says in the War Room, if Poirier can take the right leg of Connor away, he will find it much more difficult to land the left hand with power. This might drag the fight into later rounds, which benefits the better cardio of Poirier. 

However the fight goes, watching two of the greatest lightweights on the planet go to war is always a treat. These are two veterans, in their prime, looking to fight for the title. There’s a reason Connor McGregor is the biggest superstar the sport has ever seen, and I hope he proves that next Saturday. 

A Yoga Practice to Try

I’ve taken on the challenge of running a marathon this year. Training is underway and going well. 

The yoga practice I’ve done more often than any other over the years has been Runner’s Yoga, by Yoga with Adrienne

It’s a 30-minute sequence, focusing on the legs and lower back. She gives you time to sit in deep stretches like Pigeon Pose, which feels great, especially if you’ve just been running. 

Try it out. If you don’t balance exercise with stretching, you’re going to injure yourself. Make sure you take time to loosen off. 

I’m aiming for a May Marathon, and a time of under four hours. If anyone wants to join me, get in touch and we’ll start up a group chat. 

A Blog Post You Should Check-out

My good friend Murray Kemp wrote a brilliant piece this week about the commercialisation of Glasgow – “Profit Does Not Make Glasgow” – and how it’s destroying culture. A thought-provoking and important bit of writing. Thanks for creating it Muzz. 

Check it out here. 

A Quote 

“Knowing what not to think about. What to ignore and what not to do. It’s your first and most important job.” – Ryan Holiday, Stillness is the Key 

And a Question 

What are you learning and studying for? 

  • This question came from The Daily Stoic Journal, a journal by Ryan Holiday with Stoic questions to journal on each day. 

Thanks

Thank you for reading my weekly newsletter. I’m always blown away that you guys will take the time to read my writing. 

I’ve been loving the feedback and the conversations that have been started from TPP so far, so please keep the chat coming. 

As I said, if anyone would like to get involved in the marathon it would be great to have more people on the team. You don’t have to do a full 42.2 km – set your own distance to work towards. 

And so concludes another Patterson Post. See you next week for The Patterson Post #12. 

Much love, 

Ross 

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