Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cerutty's Athleticism: Walkin' the Talk

Cerutty said this regarding coaches--"Those who can't do, can't teach."
So what could Percy Wells Cerutty do?
Cerutty returned to competition in 1943, 24 years after his last race.The following is a list of 'best times' Cerutty ran when he was 50 years of age and over.  His last 'official' race was in 1950.

1 mile--4:54---2 miles---10:20---3 miles---16:57---4 miles---24:04---5 miles---28:45--

10 miles---61:05---20 miles---2:07:59---30 miles---3:34:00---50 miles---7:00:15---
60 miles- 8:28:50-100 miles---23:45:00---Marathon---2:58:11.

In 1957 at the age of 62 in an exhibition he ran the Mile in 5:32:05. At 68 he could run a mile in less than 6 minutes.

The following is from Middle Distance Running--Appendix xi--
"In his late 60's, the Author 'curls' over 100lb at a bodyweight of 130lbs. Dead-lifts over 230lbs, and is capable of 100 sit-ups and 50 Prone-presses as routine."

For many years Cerutty continued to train hard with his athletes from his International Training Center at Portsea in Australia.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wise Words From Cerutty

"Do not be discouraged because you may affirm that you were not born strong. It is true that some types seem to inherit the factor of physical strength,just as some seem to inherit more brains.However,life has taught me in very many examples I have known personally,that with some natural flair for anything at all we can achieve heights quite exceptional if we will only believe in ourselves, and do the essential work,find the true way."
"Indeed--those who are hell-bent to succeed are those who often do what others believe to be implausible or impossible ".  Percy Cerutty.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Diet and Courtesy

They say that a way to avoid the possibility of arguing amongst a group of people is not to discuss religion or politics. I'd tend to agree with that statement. However, I would add one more topic to the mix and that is diet, or more specifically, what type of diet someone embraces. What I'm referring to here are diets like vegetarianism, veganism, paleo, raw,etc, etc. Online you can see some of the nastiest and most hostile exchanges when people get into it over the worthiness of one diet over another.
The idea for the following article came about after to talking to someone who had been planning a large gathering of people for a dinner party. This person told me she was surprised by the number of calls she got from invitees who informed her of their particular dietary needs, or better put, restrictions. This one didn't eat this, that one only ate that, and so on. My friend, being the plain spoken type, said she informed the callers that they might considering bringing their own food because they weren't coming to the K and W (as in cafeteria).
This all got me to thinking of something Cerutty wrote in one of books, and as it is with most of what he wrote, it's as relevant today as it was when it was first written.
Consider the following:
" I do not believe our lives need be made miserable by isolating ourselves too much from the customs of our country, even in the matter of food. What is called for is some intelligent discrimination. There is never any need to offend the susceptibilities of a kind host by not accepting, and consuming, some item of diet that ordinarily we would not consume.
Nature can make amends for almost any or all indiscretions as long as such indiscretions are not habitual. Also, it is not proper to vaunt one's peculiarities publicly, nor are we called upon to proselytize our neighbor. If we are asked why we do certain things, a serious inquiry justifies a serious reply. Otherwise it is for the teacher, and lecturer, to advance public ideas on these matters of food and conduct. The athlete will be too busy developing themselves to worry overmuch about the habits and conduct of his contemporaries."

Well said!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Are You A Stotan?

By now, most readers to Stotan Runners probably realize that Cerutty taught more than just a particular way to train. He was the "whole package," his Stotanism was, and still is, about a way of living and how one views life. Throw in how one deals with life's challenges while we're on the subject.The following is a brillant essay on Stotanism written by Cerutty. I'm fairly certain most readers have not read this previously. It's for those of you who may be a Stotan, wanna be a Stotan, or want to learn what Stotanism is all about. Cerutty writes:
"A Stotan is one who hardens,strengthens,toughens and beautifies the body by consistent habits and regular exercises,which are consciously and irrevocably made part of the life plan of the individual,as well as consciously determining that the mind will be cultivated upon such abstractions as purity,beauty and logic. Erudition,in as complete a degree as possible,shall be the lifelong aim: Truth,in relation to all aspects of life,the unending search.
Stotans will,by virtue of their philosophy,be nature lovers,with a respect and appreciation of all evolved and created things.They will appreciate the sanctity of creative effort both in themselves and in others. They will strive to understand the significance implied by reality,will be able to discern the real from the spurious.
Stotans,for all the reasons that their philosophy stands for(viz:hardness,toughness,unswerving devotion to an ideal) would look upon the sea as their pristine element and endeavor to associate themselves with their primeval source of life by going into the sea at least once per month in all seasons of the year. No practice is more disposed to toughen,both the body and the morale,than this.
Stotans believe that neither the body nor the mind can be maintained at a high pitch of efficiency unless sufficient rest and recovery is maintained. Stotans shall so regulate their lives that at the end of a period varying with the intensity of the effort,each shall realize that they have attained,without conscious striving,to a state of knowledge,and a position of leadership in the community(editor:as several Cerutty trained athletes eventually did).It is axiomatic that only the pure can understand purity,only the cultivated appreciate beauty, and only the strong truly measure their strength. Therefore,only the self-disciplined can command genuine respect.

A program shall be aimed at which shall be designed to train each Stotan:-
a. withstand severe physical hardship,to accomplish feats of strength and endurance,to understand orderliness,and the true meaning of intelligence.
b.To know himself as an organism and a personality.
c. To emerge,eventually emancipated,from all dogmas,creeds and beliefs,as well as worldly and unworldly hopes and fears.
d. To habitually function upon the highest planes of thought and physical effort.
e. To place the objective of an alert,informed intelligence,and a perfected body,as primary in Life. And to arrive at the conclusion that all else will follow on.
f. To learn that on this basis the whole world,and all that it has to offer,opens out as a vision,splendid,normal and realisable.
g. To understand that Past,Futures,Fates,Fears,Death,Selfishness,Egoism,Pride,Envy,Hate,and Prejudice can be replaced by Intelligence that controls emotion,dominates destiny,manifests completeness,and exults in life.
h. To understand that in actuality,evolved man is a King,but without the trappings. That Kingship is his right and destiny. That we can make ourselves,in time,all that we would. That we honor real men but are subservient to none.
In addition,Stotans shall train themselves to withstand, stoically,personal criticism,also,skepticism as the necessity or wisdom of such a Way of Life. In this regard,Stotans soon learn they command knowledge,experience,and ability not available to the prejudiced,the ignorant,or the slothful.
There is no giving up throughout life. The first pre-requisite for a Stotan is tenacity.
To live this Way of Life can be hard. It is not for weaklings.It is the Way that is travelled by all the truly great ones.It requires strenuous effort of body and mind."
It would be an understatement to say 'Perc' was intense but the big question that comes to mind after reading this is, are you in control of your life? Are you happy with the way things are going?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Do You Have What It Takes, pt.1

There are certain traits that are evident in successful athletes.Many of us have the traits I'm about to list below but certain athletes have it to a greater degree than others. Cerutty believed in self-evaluation as being essential for those who desired to do well. The following is a partial list devised by Dr. Ogilvie of what he called championship characteristics.Examine Yourself!
1. Desire to win or be successful.
2.Aspires to accomplish difficult tasks.
3.Sets and maintains high goals for himself in athletics.
4.Responds positively to competition.
5.Desires to attain athletic excellence.
1.Willing to practice long and hard.
2.Works on skills until exhausted.
3.Often works out willingly by himself.
4.Persevering, even in the face of great difficulty.
5.Patient and unrelenting in his work habits.
6.Doesn't give up quickly on a problem.
I believe #6 is the key to running success, sticking with it well after the time the average Joe would have bagged it.
Mental Toughness
1.Accepts strong criticism without feeling hurt.
2.Does not become easily upset when performing badly.
3.Can bounce back quickly from adversity.
4.Can take rough coaching.
5.Does not need alot of encouragement from others.
I'm almost afraid to ask what rough coaching is. I used to wonder why professional boxers, when they were beaten convincingly,always seemed to come up with a rationale as to why they lost,some would call it an excuse.Perhaps # 2 and 3 listed under Mental Toughness is the reason. Yeah, I did poorly but............What is the alternative? I got whipped,he's just one of a slew of guys that can beat me. Once an athlete says and believes that his ability to compete is seriously below others, he is done as a competitor.

Do You Have What It Takes? pt.2

It is said that particular personality traits can be indicators as to whether or not someone will achieve success in athletics. Last month we examined a few of them, today we'll look at three more.Many thanks to Doctors Tutko and Ogilvie for the research they did on this subject several decades ago.Remember,these traits may be present in all athletes to some degree but stronger in those who achieve success. Obviously, the following is not the definitive survey on what qualities are needed for success, there are exceptions to what you are about to read, but, Tutko and Ogilvie did research this subject extensively. This article was taken from my Blog: To Run is to Live. Oh yeah, comments by yours truly will occasionally appear in parentheses after some of T and O's.
1.Believes one must be aggressive to win.
(Although there is the portrayal of the "laid back" distance runner this doesn't mean that they don't possess a fiery determination and aggressiveness.It is a mistake for those outside the running world to believe that only the contact sport athletes possess these qualities).
2.Releases aggression easily.
3.Enjoys confrontation and argument.
(An interesting finding,something I wasn't aware of but it definitely fits in with what,at least in part, constitutes aggressiveness).
4.Sometimes willing to use force to get their way.
(I can see already I'm falling a little short in the aggressiveness profile).
5.Will not allow others to push them around.
6.May seek to "get even" with people whom he perceived as having harmed him.
(I worked with a psychiatrist years ago who had contact with athletes who excelled in their chosen sports and he said that they were not always people of exemplary character,that often they were very self oriented).
1.Has unfaltering confidence in himself and his capacity to deal with things.
2.Confident of his powers and abilities.
3.Handles unexpected situations well.
4.Makes decisions confidently.
5.Speaks up for his beliefs to coaches and players.
(Such a necessary trait is self-confidence. Regarding #4, ever find yourself waffling on a decision you've made?).
Emotional Control
1.Tends to be emotionally stable and realistic about athletics.
2.Is not easily upset.
3.Will rarely allow their feelings to show and their performances are not effected by them.
4.Not easily depressed or frustrated by bad breaks,calls or mistakes.
(Not easily frustrated,patience is the key).