I believe, like Percy Cerutty, that ideally the athlete should also be an intellectual. I'm not speaking here of your need to be a "brain" or anything, I'm referring to an athlete who has developed an ability to reason,comprehend and judge.This is of course is a lifelong process. A thinking athlete is one who will ultimately have the most success in running and fewest injuries.By success I also mean enjoyment of the sport as well as competitive success. Cerutty often spoke about going against the norm in an era when it was not so common to do so as it is today. He was not only talking about doing this in athletics but in one's daily life as well.The following is an excerpt from his book, Success in Sport and Life: "Be a rebel against the perfunctory, the orthodox,the traditional,even the secure,the safe,the satisfactory,the conforming. It takes courage with a blend of so-called stupidity to burn one's bridges.I would hazard a guess that all great men at some time in their careers,burnt their bridges,said Good-bye to what looked to others to be sane and sensible. It is true that not many will not pay the price.It would be awful if everyone wanted to stand on the summit of Everest at one and the same time! But many can,if they rebel against mediocrity and complacency."
We get back to a saying that has now become almost a catch phrase,"leave your comfort zone." I expect to see it written on a Nike or NB running shirt soon. It is worthy of consideration though. With a little over 30 years working in the psychiatric field I've seen the effects brought on by people living a life or having a mindset of "going with the flow" or doing what others expect. Things like frustration,unhappiness, and damaged relationships, along with alcohol and drug abuse, are often the consequences of suppressing who you are and what you really want to be.
The bottom line is this, be who you really are and live the life you love while respecting others and being responsible.