The Olympic champion Nils van der Poel's training diary has been downloaded over 200,000 times in recent days.

In other words, by far more than those who have ambitions to become good at skating.

One of those who has read is the historian of ideas and author Sverker Sörlin, who himself wrote books about cross-country skiing and, among other things, Marit Björgen's training philosophy.   

"Reflection on the meaning of life"

- I think it is a fascinating little book he has made, unusual because it is not only an exercise diary, but also a reflection on the meaning of life.

He writes about what is important in life, says Sverker Sörlin.

- The central thing in this writing is life.

And that is the life you have to succeed with and life is not a competition, according to Nils van der Poel.

Without life it is built up of old known things like friends and keeping one's body and soul in balance, taking responsibility for one's own life.

These are really ancient Stoic ideals, says Sverker Sörlin. 

Relationship with Greta Thunberg

One of the reasons for the publication's popularity, Sverker Sörlin believes, is that Nils van der Poel is a person who is needed right now, when many young people feel lost and ask themselves the question of how to live their lives.  

- There is a relationship between him and Greta Thunberg in the sense that both take their lives very seriously and talk sincerely and deeply about responsibility.

Then they have different ideas about how it should be realized.  

How worth reading is this writing for someone who does not intend to ride 10,000 meters in record time? 

- I assume that most people do not intend to ride 10,000 meters on skates at all.

But that they still want to read this.

This is because it is not about skating, but about how to take responsibility for your own life.