Psychology of Peak Performance

A Media Roundup

Posted May 13, 2017

Deposit Photos
Source: Deposit Photos

Here is a sampling of three of the most interesting stories from around the web that I have read this week.  Is there a common theme here?  I suppose they all have to do with interactions between mental processes, neurochemistry, and environment.  They also all have to do with peak performance in one way or another. 

Life Lessons from Adventure Sports

Kristen Truempy of the Positive Psychology Podcast interviews ski mountaineer Suzy Madge in an in-depth conversation about the role that calculated risk plays in finding life satisfaction.  Ski mountaineers climb some of the world’s tallest peaks and then ski down them.  This extreme sport carries a significant risk of death or loss of limb: one could fall down a crevasse, get buried by an avalanche, or die of hypothermia.  The lessons gleaned from adventure athletes carry over into ordinary life: without an element of risk, life becomes quite  dull.  Creative people, from entrepreneurs to artists to investors, must push the envelope of their previous boundaries in order to improve their abilities and find that inexplicable sense of abiding joy.

Sports Psychology for Triathletes

As a newbie triathlete, I read this article about prepping for race day.  Many of the suggestions here apply not just to triathlon but to any high-intensity endeavor.  It takes a lot of mental fortitude to get through the sometimes tedious training required to reach a distant goal.  And then there is the sense of letdown or depression that comes in the wake of achieving---or failing to achieve--some major life goal.  And we all could use the ability to take anxiety and turn it into a performance booster instead of a buzzkill. 

Pot is Good for You

Okay, so maybe that’s an overly broad statement, but this study covered on Science Friday demonstrated that older mice had improved memory when exposed to THC over a period of time.  These are mice of course, and mice models do not automatically carry over to human beings.  But the puritanical attitude of the War on Drugs is now giving way to a variety of studies and the loosening of laws in many states related to marijuana.  Maybe it is time to rethink that Schedule 1 designation.  

That’s all for this roundup.  This will be a recurring feature of the Boundless blog from time to time.  Please let me know if you enjoyed these stories, and make sure to share and thank the creators.