Gymnast Dan meets a mysterious man, Socrates, who mentors him to become a top notch gymnast. Dan is a cocky young student attending university who seems to have everything a young man would want. He is an excellent gymnast, intelligent, comes from a family with money, and has no challenges with meeting ladies in his life.
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One night Dan decides to go for a late run through the foggy streets near the university. Along his way he stumbles upon a gas station where he is confronted by the mysterious Socrates.
Intrigued by Socrates' knowledge, soon enough Dan is being mentored by him. Dan wants success in gymnastics. Socrates puts him through a rigorous routine that helps Dan realize how deeply unhappy he is. He had been conditioned to seek all the outward manifestations of success. Socrates takes him hiking up a mountain to show him that the journey is the destination and through all his training is reminding him that the most important moment is right now.
He meets a young woman, Joy, who has also been mentored by Socrates. Dan wants to learn from her what he believes Socrates is withholding. She gives him very little, knowing full well that Socrates has his methods.
Dan is caught in a traffic accident and badly injures the femur of his leg resulting in his gymnastics coach taking him off the team. This deeply hurts and offends Dan, but he resumes his training under the watchful eye of Socrates. Staying in the present moment, focusing on improving his balance and co-ordination, and building up his strength gradually, Dan is able to rejoin the team and compete in the US trials for the olympic games.
Socrates then vanishes from Dan's life, as if that was his final teaching. Despite the absence of his mentor, his words of advice and simple teachings reverberate through his mind in the final scenes, as he practices his gymnastics moves.
Best part of story, including ending:
It is full of so many moments of learning that can be applied to each and everyone of us on the journey of life.
Best scene in story:
Socrates disappears from Dan's life and at first Dan does not know how to respond to this. He has depended upon Socrates for so many of his victories. But as he practices his gymnastics he begins to hear the words of Socrates flowing through his mind. "Where are you, Dan?" "Here." "What time is it?" "Now." "What are You?" "This Moment." He realizes that Socrates has given him all he needs to be able to carry on without him.
Opinion about the main character:
In the beginning it is easy to dislike Dan, the cocky, arrogant, spoiled student. Throughout the story we witness him evolve in to the mature peaceful warrior and becomes much more of a likable person.