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That's exactly how I feel about powerlifting. Once you get to a certain level, the attention to detail, specificity, and focus you need to progress are great analogues to other areas such as programming or entrepreneurship. It's become my personal meditation time where I disconnect from everything else and focus intensely on optimization and improvement.

If anyone is interested, this book has given me a vastly different perspective on things like exercise (or in parent's case, martial arts): http://www.amazon.com/Mastery-Keys-Success-Long-Term-Fulfill... When put in that perspective, I think exercise would greatly appeal to most hackers.

I want to tack on cycling to this. I can't count the number of times I've wanted to solve all of the world's problems at the beginning of a bike ride. And the result is always the same. The primary problem that I end up solving is 'how the hell do I move myself over the next 60+ miles without blowing up and getting dropped by the pack.' And not falling - not falling is key. Dodging cars, cyclists, potholes, cracks, animals, gravel, basically anything that can ruin your ride, becomes a major focus. Then after you finish the ride, you are on a physical high from the exertion and a mental high from getting to take a break from your petty little problems.

Man I want to go ride now...

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