Consider the Essence of Competition in a Whole New Way
Sun Tzu is credited for writing the Art of War, an ancient Chinese military treatise dating back to the sixth century BC.
In 1989 I won the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii in a race that the news media called “Iron War”, but I don’t think of competition as war. For me the highest level of athletic performance can truly be called art. I want to share this way of experiencing competition with you through my new book The Art of Competition.
Through stunning photography, and thought-provoking quotes and essays, The Art of Competition brings my philosophy of competition to life. But I can’t bring The Art of Competition to life without your backing.
DESIRE AND LETTING GO...TWO PARADOXICALLY ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR VICTORY.
The Art of Competition is a book I’ve been working on for quite some time. In a nutshell, it is a compilation of quotes and essays about competing that can apply to sports or any other challenge in life; it goes far beyond simply achieving good race results, high point totals, championship finishes or sales of the month awards. The thought-provoking quotes that I wrote for this book are meant to turn performance in any arena that is challenging –and has a potential for failure – into something enduring, inspiring and meaningful for you, and for those who witness that performance.
The Art of Competition will be comprised of ninety quotes that are displayed in two-page spreads with incredible images from nature shot by Nick Borelli. In addition, five chapters of text will elaborate on the key themes that are vital to the process of turning competition into art – themes like Change, Fear and Being Stuck. And, of course there will be a chapter devoted specifically to my journey of transforming the race at the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii from Competition into Art.
A CHAMPION EXPLOITS EVERY DETAIL WITHOUT EVER FORGETTING THE BASICS.
The quotes in The Art of Competition started coming to me while I was on a retreat in Japan with my spiritual teacher Brant Secunda, nearly ten years after I had retired from competition and Ironman racing. I had tried for years to explain to others the mindset that opened the possibility of victory at the races that counted most to me. But until this pivotal trip with Brant, the exact words eluded me. "I went hard and stayed calm" just didn't cut it. Then, all of a sudden the words began to flow. In the span of two days I had written down close to fifty short quotes that encapsulated the mindset of a champion – thoughts that formed the backbone of The Art of Competition. Each quote can be digested slowly over time to help bring your personal perfection out in the moments that count most.
It would take another five years before I was hit with the inspiration of how to present these thoughts to the world. On that retreat in Japan, and in his teachings around the world, Brant emphasizes the importance of connecting to nature as a way to empower your life for the events that have meaning to you. It finally dawned on me. I would pair each quote with a beautiful image from the natural world; I would use Nick Borelli’s art to help transform simple phrases into compelling ideas that inspire and tap strengths you never thought you had, to help create a performance that stirs inspiration in those who witness your efforts.
GREATNESS BEGINS ONCE THE BATTLE IS DONE.
I certainly don’t want it to take another five years before I can share The Art of Competition with you. That’s why I’ve turned to Kickstarter for the financial boost this book needs to become a reality.
As soon as this Kickstarter campaign meets its goal, I plan to produce two editions of The Art of Competition. One will be a very high quality limited edition printing of six hundred books, each one numbered and signed. Included in this edition will be a bonus section where I will elaborate on twenty-five of the key quotes. These essays will only be available in print form in the limited edition compilation, which will initially be restricted to supporters of this Kickstarter campaign. There will also be an unlimited hard cover printing without the essays. Both versions of the book will be 10"x10", perfect for coffee table display.
YOU ARE HALF WAY THERE WHEN THE JOURNEY IS NINETY PERCENT COMPLETE.
The Art of Competition is inspirational, transformational and a work of art in its own right. You don't have to be an athlete to understand and gain from its insights and stories or appreciate the stunning photography. We are all on journeys that have meaning to us. The Art of Competition can help infuse your quest with that little something extra that will make it fulfilling and deep regardless of its eventual outcome.
Risks and challenges
I cannot publish The Art of Competition without your support.
I have written the words. Nick Borelli has provided the images from nature that help bring each quote to life. Mats Allen and Nico Secunda have added their photographic interpretations of the world of nature for the bonus section essays. Jeff Keil has designed the book’s captivating layout. And the folks at Small Press United are ready to take it into their book distribution network.
Bottom line: all systems are “go,” pending successful completion of this Kickstarter campaign.
Now it's up to you! If this project is funded, 600 Limited Edition copies of The Art of Competition will be printed and 3,000 copies of the regular edition; additional lots of 1,000 books will be printed based on the final level of support provided by this campaign.
The Art of Competition is timeless in its content, but its publication certainly has an ideal timeframe for release. That time is just after the first of the year, when people are starting to set their intentions and their course of action for their goals in the New Year. To meet the ideal timeframe for release, this Kickstarter campaign must be fully funded by October 31, 2013. This should ensure distribution in time for everyone wanting to kick-start their 2014 life campaign with some added inspiration.
Fundraising aside, potential challenges for this project include delays in printing, shipping from Singapore, and distribution to book stores. Similar delays could occur in the production and distribution of the many Kickstarter rewards being offered.
The good news: The Art of Competition and related print pieces are ready to go to press right now. The sooner this campaign meets its $35,000 goal, the sooner the production can begin.
One other big challenge for The Art of Competition has to do with sell-through of all the books that are printed. I’ve already mentioned the distribution help I’ll be getting from the folks at Small Press United. Books will also be sold online at www.Art-of-Competition.com, and through other online and direct sales channels.
Just as I’ve planned a major publicity campaign to coincide with this Kickstarter campaign, I’ve also planned a major publicity campaign for early 2014. My contacts in the sports world, particularly in endurance sports including triathlon, running and cycling, remain strong even after being retired from competition for nearly twenty years. And, since that time, I’ve built a motivational speaking and lecturing career that offers ongoing opportunities to share this book and its insights with a wide variety of audiences.
I can't wait to take this project to the next step! I just received a PDF near-final version from the designer and it is remarkable. When you receive your copy, I know you will agree. Thanks so much for your support.
6-Time Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Champion
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