"I learned the old ways. I teach the old ways. The old training ways that this here, modern fitness time, flat-out forgot."

From fad diets and celebrity-endorsed fitness programs to TV infomercials touting the latest innovations in exercise equipment, today's society is obsessed with quick fixes for getting in shape. Don Sweatt's Mind Shift goes to the heart of the matter by drawing us into a remarkable blend of stories and characters. These individuals learn to appreciate classic fitness regimes that direct them toward a center of balance and strength. We meet a young adolescent who learns to harness aggression. We see an injured pro athlete on an addictive path find recovery in a martial arts class. Another character is inspired by a group of men who define the essence of natural, hardcore training and incorporate a workout across a span of playground monkey bars. While the majority of these tales showcase physical improvement, Sweatt highlights others reflecting more spiritual epiphanies.

This is clearly not a traditional health or how-to fitness book but rather a creative and informative mix of storytelling and character development. As many of these life lessons play out under the auspices of the renowned Master Lo and his Tai Chi School, and the salty Uncle Viggo, a proponent of Swedish calisthenics, Sweatt's focus is on old-school traditions that embody the tenets of honor, respect, and discipline and encourage programs of work through progression. The underlying dictum reflects the Eastern philosophy that true strength can only be realized in a union of body, mind, and spirit.

This is a smart, insightful, and enlightening book. Coming in under one hundred pages, it may seem small, but it offers a powerful message.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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