1 min read

#2107: Spacing, massing, learning, and dying

This week, I did two things that probably seem contradictory. I posted a testimonials page at Redline Alpine and notified my clients that I'm winding down my coaching.

I tried a few different approaches, but I never found the right recipe for how I like to work. I did well at it, got great results, and learned a lot. But I haven't found the format that ticks all the boxes. Maybe there isn't one (for me.)

Now I'm trying to figure out where next to apply what I learned.

The best way to learn

While studying for an exam, I came across Spaced Repetition for Efficient Learning. The article explains why shorter, more frequent practice is more effective than longer, less regular training, even though that's not the way it feels.

Across ex­per­i­ments, spac­ing was more effec­tive than mass­ing for 90% of the par­tic­i­pants, yet after the first study ses­sion, 72% of the par­tic­i­pants be­lieved that mass­ing had been more effec­tive than spac­ing.

It reminded me of the gratification tendency that is so common in training. I wrote an extended summary of the idea that includes six takeaways.

... and a good way to die

I usually read how-to books and get bored by fiction and biographies. (I know, I know. My wife and kids roll their eyes too.)

So I was pleasantly surprised when I read Robert Kurson's Shadow Divers. It's an absorbing account of the surprise scuba-discovery of a WWII German U-Boat 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey.

I especially liked learning that deep-wreck diving has challenges similar to alpine climbing.

Deep-shipwreck diving is among the world's most dangerous sports. Few other endeavors exist in which nature, biology, equipment, instinct, and object conspire—without warning and from all directions—to so completely attack a man's mind and disassemble his spirit.