Just a quick message to let everyone know I am taking a month break to recharge myself mentally, physically and spiritually.
I know it is a cliche-- but-- live the life you love--AND--don't put off until tomorrow what you hope and dream of doing today because tomorrow is promised to no one.
It is my observation that in recent years discipline is not as common a human attribute in people as it once was. Figures showing that well over 50% of Americans are overweight and surveys that cite a significant drop in youth(teens) participation in organized sports would appear to, in part, confirm this.
Also, we are now more of a spectator nation than we have ever been. As I am sure you all know, serious involvement in anything, not just sports, requires discipline. Please note that Dave Draper echoes a theme of Cerutty's in the last sentence of the following quote,involvement in athletics have benefits that go beyond the physical:
"Discipline is not owned by repeating mantras, reading a book, watching a video or following a formula.
Discipline is founded in need and desire and developed in deed. Discipline is yours.
You want something, if you can't buy it or steal it, you must work for it. The more you want and need it, the harder you try to get it. The wanting and needing, the working, trying and getting combine and eventually present discipline. Great or small, this stoic quality is a benefactor assuring that you become a better person, more complete and capable and aware, as you pursue your healthy and humble goal giving it your very best shot."
The following by is Joe Vigil, a highly successful coach, what he says applies not just to athletics:
"Once the decision to undertake the lifestyle necessary to become successful in athletics has been made, you must make the commitment to overcome all the pitfalls which will clutter your path and continue to march on.
Remember that indecision to direct your life along a positive course is probably the greatest thief of opportunity you can encounter.
A life of adventure and self-fulfillment is filled with many decisions, good ones and bad ones, but never give up the spirit to succeed.
You have to teach yourself not to worry about the mistakes you make along the way but have to develop the courage to persevere."
A positive mental attitude and a never give up spirit are the two attributes you read over and over again by people who have accomplished their goals.
Tomorrow is promised to no one. I have seen the truth of this statement more and more as each year passes.
So many things can happen that could change what you do and how you live in an instant.
Each day we need to remind ourselves of this. What follows are some things to consider.
"The Best Day-Today,
The Best Work-What You Like,
The Greatest Stumbling Block-Your Ego,
The Greatest Mistake-Giving Up,
The Greatest Need-Common Sense,
The Greatest Wealth-Health,
The Great Sin-Fear,
Your Enemies-Envy, Greed, Self-Indulgence, Self-Pity,
Life's Greatest Adventure-growth on the Physical,Mental and Spiritual Plane,
The Greatest Race To Win---A Long Vigorous,Purposeful Life,"
Do not wait for some still undetermined time in the future to live the life YOU want!
Herb Elliott was the 1960 Olympic champion in the 1500m, as well as a world record holder at that distance and the one mile run. His 3:35.6 at the Olympics set a world record that lasted for over seven years.He lost only once in his career and that was at age 14.
As Percy Cerutty's most famous student, Elliott became the ideal of what a real athlete should be. Articulate and insightful,Elliott always has much to offer when interviewed. Here is what he said in response to an interviewer asking him if there is anything that runners can learn from his career:
"Running is a tool by which you can learn alot about yourself and develop yourself both physically and spiritually as a person. That's the way it should be viewed. People who focus totally on the evident achievement of winning races or winning gold medals often are the ones that run into all sorts of psychological problems when they retire because they haven't fit it into their life.They shifted it out of their life and made it a selfish focus."
A few things come to mind as I read what Herb said. One is the countless number of successful athletes who seem to be lost after their career is over. Many get into trouble with the law, abuse drugs and alcohol or become involved in some kind of misadventure(s).
Then there are the athletes who attempt to make a comeback after a few years of their retirement.
The common theme, as readers to this blog know, is your involvement in athletics should be more than just a physical experience. It can be a vehicle to become a complete person; disciplined,
insightful and intelligent.
However, this will only happen to those who are seekers and regard their athleticism(in whatever sport) as essential to their lives as eating and sleeping.
Cerutty's books and writings can be the guide to your quest for excellence.
Cerutty had a lot to say about why hard surfaces like the roads should be avoided in training. Many think he was against them primarily because they were not "natural" and as stimulating mentally as the trails, dunes and parks. That was only part of his reason for his advocating staying off the roads and hard tracks.
Consider the following:
"The muscles and the tendons in the legs are like springs and the hard roads and racing track take out the natural bounce, potentially causing serious or permanent injuries. Running on natural surfaces of sand, grass and dirt all strengthen as does changing the terrain which varies the amount of pressure placed on the muscle groups."
Cerutty also wrote that habitual training on the roads will eventually lead to a shortening of the athlete's stride.
After decades of training and seeing what has happened to those who ran exclusively on hard surfaces I see the wisdom of Cerutty's words.
Back and leg problems have put an end to all but a few of the athletes I ran with in the 70's.