Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Coaches and Coaching, pt.2, Percy Cerutty

Back in the early '90's when I published a monthly newletter called The Stotan News, not many people in the U.S. were aware of who Percy Cerutty was and even less about the word Stotan he originated. In recent years,perhaps due to the excellent bio about Percy written by Graem Sims and released in 2003, there has been an increased interest in "Stotanism." It is not my intention here to simply provide biographical info on Cerutty,that you can find online. What I am going to write about is something that I've noticed people who say they follow the Stotan philosophy miss.It is that Stotanism is much more than just running hard on the trails,sand dunes or hills. Cerutty was as much a philosopher as he was a coach and motivator.What he taught is essential to all of us who live for the run.
In Why Die,Percy's biography by Graem Sims, you read "The Stotan Code" which you'll see is more than advice on how to do a workout. Here is an excerpt: "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." The above is quite profound. The true athlete will develop his mind and intellect as well as his body because to be complete as a person, both must be developed and that is a lifelong endeavor. As I write this I think of the stories I've read in recent years about sponsored U.S. runners whose lives revolve around training,eating,sleeping and playing video games. If only we had a Cerutty guiding U.S. runners today perhaps we would be having greater success on the world distance scene.But I digress, Percy wrote so much that should be read by every athlete in this day and age irregardless of the sport they are involved in. In the future I intend to offer a series of excerpts from his writings but the essence of the Cerutty philosophy is that in our daily quest for physical and intellectual excellence, we equip ourselves to be able to deal with whatever challenges come our way,and perhaps most importantly,enable us to live life to its fullest.

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