By: David DeLuca
Training for the Agoge should push you almost as much as the event itself. When you’re not brushing up on your camping skills, taking long midnight mountain hikes, and building muscular and cardiovascular endurance, you should be training your mind by thinking the right thoughts. Here are five podcasts that you may want to consider as you prepare yourself for the Agoge.
Podcast Episode 028: RISA MISH: EXPERT ON LEADERSHIP AND RESILIENCE , ATTORNEY, JOHNSON LECTURER
When you’re training for the Agoge, mental preparation is almost more important than physical preparation. Joe’s interview with Risa Mish, an expert in critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership, is the perfect starting point. Mish explains how and when to set aside assumptions, why more experience isn’t always better, why it’s important to be flexible, and how to turn those lessons into habits—all lessons that will prepare you for the rigorous challenges of the Agoge.
Podcast Episode 018: GENERAL STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL: RETIRED UNITED STATES ARMY GENERAL
In the Agoge, your expectations of your own ability will determine your upper limits. Nobody will teach you how to bring out your best self more clearly and simply than General Stanley McChrystal. The fact that soldiers came out of retirement to follow General McChrystal back into an arduous war in Iraq speaks to his effectiveness as a leader. McChrystal has applied his leadership skill to a startup consulting firm, where he works to raise corporate expectations and help them to adapt to a changing world. This podcast will inspire you to practice strategic adaptability, a skill that will help you to conquer unforeseeable obstacles.
Podcast Episode 008: GRACIE VAN DER BYL: DISTANCE SWIMMER
In order to survive, let alone enjoy, up to 60 hours of endurance, you need to live in the moment. Grace van der Byl finds this bliss by swimming in competitions that are the aquatic equivalent of the Tour de France. In the midst of these long treks, she feels that she is her best, most authentic self. Her swims are an exercise in Zen, focusing on the now, and surrendering to the unknown. Even her philosophy on shark hazards reads like a koan: “It’s not the shark you see that’s the problem; it’s the shark you don’t.” This podcast will help you to regain focus, perspective, and—it might even teach you something interesting about Joe De Sena…
Podcast Episode 044: LEVISON WOOD: WALKED THE ENTIRE NILE
When you tell someone that you’re going for a 60-hour hike, don’t be surprised if they think you’re crazy and tell you not to go. Levison Wood, a man who walked the full length of the Nile, will give you confidence to stand up to the naysayers in your life who stand in the way of a bigger you. For this seasoned explorer, the expedition was well worth the risk, not only for the exhilaration of being the first, but also for the richness of the experience. Surprisingly, the hardest thing about his journey wasn’t managing risk — it was enduring the mundane. If you’re looking for inspiration to keep you on track to your Agoge, look no further than Levison Wood.
Podcast Episode 051: KARIM JUADE: KIDNAPPED AND TORTURED, THEN REBUILT LIFE ON $17
Sometimes you have to be knocked down hard and sustain substantial hardship to find the path to happiness and success. Karim Jaude arrived in Los Angeles in 1979, friendless, alone, and with only $17 in his pocket. By merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time, he lost almost everything…twice. He was kidnapped, tortured and forced to flee the country, but, in an extraordinary display of resilience, he got up and thrived—again and again. Jaude’s determination started early in life and pushed him through countless trials. After you listen to Jaude’s story, an Agoge will seem like a walk in the park.
Prepare now, and prepare well
Don’t get me wrong. No matter how many times you listen to Karim Jaude, the Agoge will not actually be a walk in the park. The sheer length of the event, the weight of your pack, your growing delirium, and your physical exhaustion will become very real obstacles to you. If you think you are prepared, you probably need to do more. These podcasts are a good starting point.