Book Review: The Brave Athlete – Calm the F*CK Down and Rise to the Occasion

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I received this book earlier in the summer with good intentions to read it quickly. However, I was reminded as to how hard it is for me to read during the summer months because my days are occupied as a mother, and I get too tired to read more than a few pages at night after she’s gone to bed. That being said, I was able to finally finish it after a few afternoons on the boat. I enjoyed it!

The book has lots of scientific details in it, which I loved as it brought me back to college Psychology class that I really enjoyed. Lots of great info on the brain and it’s different parts and how they work. So if you geek out at that kind of stuff, this book is for you!

The book is unique in that it has written exercises to work through. I have been keeping a gratitude log, and was pleased to see there was a written exercise for daily gratitude in here to get you thinking more positive thoughts as it increases the production of dopamine (aka your brains pleasure juice 🤓).

I think most of the chapters many athletes could relate to on some level, so as long as you like reading the scientific side of things it’s great for keeping you interested.

I am working my way back to running again after several weeks off for an injury that plagued not only my leg, but my mind. It had me feeling all the emotions. This book had a chapter titled, “I don’t cope well with injury” 😬. So it was fairly timely for me, and I found I agreed with the author very much. Here’s a little snipit from the book:

“…when the mourning period has officially ended (we typically limit it to 2-7 days, depending on the severity of the injury), the athlete must switch to a positive mindset even if it’s an act.”

This is right inline with many of the other running self-development type books I’ve read. It went on to say that even faking it, is GOOD for your brain’s neurochemisistry. It can trick it into believing things are better than they are. So fake it ’till you make it! Right?! 😆

There were several case studies in the book that I enjoyed. They featured different athletes with a variety of different issues and what they did to overcome the issue (ex: pre-race anxiety, overcoming fear of a swimming class, remedying athletic identity, developing a performance routine, etc).

Some sections weren’t super interesting to me, but overall it was a good read.

What is your favorite athlete personal development book?

Favorite Activewear

I recently got asked about my favorite running shorts so I thought I’d do a post on my favorite activewear brands/pieces.

Little story for ya! I tried Oiselle’s Roga and Mac Roga shorts a few years ago and fell in love with them. They were lightweight, comfortable, not skin tight, but also not the old school swishy running shorts. I got excited when I saw a new print recently and decided to order it in the Roga’s. I was so disappointed when they arrived to find out the waist band no longer had the draw string and they fit completely different. They feel tighter on my hips, and the leg holes aren’t near as fitted as the older design. So bummed!

So when I received a gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods for my birthday, I knew I wanted to check out the options for running shorts. While browsing the apparel I found these Nike Dri-fit shorts. I wish they had more of a name attached to them because Nike makes a lot of swishy shorts that have the same Dri-fit tag. 🧐 Anyway, these ones are fantastic! Super lightweight, wide waistband, drawstrings, and trim around the legs. Perfecto!

I’m still loving all my older Oiselle Roga and Mac Roga’s. If you can get your hands on the older style, buy them! I guess this style change happened January this year. If you feel the same about the design changes, you can send Oiselle feedback HERE.

But, the wide flat waistband Nike Dri-fit shorts, as well as Lululemon’s Speed Up shorts (I just have one white pair) are fantastic! The Lululemon shorts are probably the most flattering running shorts I’ve ever bought. The material is a little heavier than the other two brands mentioned.

I’m not one to be picky with running tops, so generally whatever is a good deal works for me! I have a few mesh/sheer tops (from Brooks, Nike, Old Navy) for those super hot days if I don’t feel like just wearing a sports bra, but otherwise I’m not too picky.

Next up, bras! Do I even need to say what I’m loving?! 😆 You all know my love for Handful! I have the most of their convertible bra, but their Y-back is actually the BEST running bra I’ve ever worn. The straps have some really pretty details on them. It’s truly the most supportive and flattering sports bra I’ve come across. Runner’s World magazine even named it the best running bra for C/D cup too!

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I prefer their Bound and Determined bra and their Now & Zen bra for biking, yoga, and lifting. Pictured below is the Now & Zen bra. If I use the convertible for running, I keep the straps pretty snug to be the most support.

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I could run in most any sock too, and actually got some TrueFit from the brand new merchandise section at a local Goodwill and love them!

For after any tough or long run I really love my ProCompression low’s and pc runners! (I didn’t get a picture, but I often wear them for races so they’re in my flat runner pics on Instagram). And for post long run or any particularly hard run, I like ProCompression’s Marathon socks (below). I’ve tried a few other brands, but these are my favorite!

Let’s talk leggings and capris! I like different brands for different activities.

Running: I’m digging Belcorva capris for all of the pockets, slimming waistband, and fun prints. But, since I’m not currently running (and it’s hot out!) I won’t be wearing them for that for a while and have been using them for other activities.

And, Old Navy running tights for their price point and how comfortable they are. They sell a variety of patterns and solid colors too. I accidentally put two pair of capris in the picture, but this is most of my O.N. leggings / tights.

Yoga and Strength training: Handful’s Squeeze Play leggings and capris. These have a unique waistband that is really flattering (see middle picture in the photo collage below). The capris have a fun sheer side panel on the legs too (although not super visible in this photo).

What are some of your favorite activewear brands?

Go treat yo-self! 😊