Friday, February 4, 2011

The Stotans,pt.1

I'd like to preface this by saying the purpose of this blog continues to be what I stated it was going to be in the very first entry.If you haven't read it,simply look to the right side of this page and click 2010 under Blog Archive.I recognize that I frequently reference Percy Cerutty but if you've had the opportunity to read some of his books,especially, Athletics:How To Become A Champion,you would understand why.I first became aware of Cerutty in the late '80's when a friend gave me a paper with his picture that had some of his beliefs written on it. His concepts that athletics were essential to life and happiness,that humans cannot be "reduced to the status of a machine," that training is best varied and done in nature as well as the need to avoid fixed rigid schedules for training were instantly appealing to me.Soon after, I got some of his books and began to tell my running friends about him.They too found Percy's teachings exciting and wanted to follow them. Out of this expressed desire I started my version of the Stotans. We ran the trails, did the trail,cross-country races and attempted to live the Stotan life as best we could.Designating myself as "Leader",I wrote a brief list of things that described what this "club" was all about in response to inquiries as to who we were. Written slightly with tongue in cheek, yet with genuine enthusiasm,the message I tried to get across was that being a Stotan might not be for everyone but it's too bad that it wasn't.The Stotans still exist, they're all over the country,I moved to an island on the east coast of North Carolina to establish what I call The New Portsea.If you find what Cerutty taught appealing and want to know more or simply have questions,just email me at .Bear with me,tomorrow I'll offer an article on Aging and Running.What follows is what I wrote as a description of who the Stotans are.
A very few words on The Club.
Every now and then someone will ask me what the Hell does Stotan mean? Simply put,Stotan is an offshoot of the word Stotanism(a union of the words stoic and spartan). Stoic-indifference or ability to accept pain---spartan---a person of great fortitude.Percy Cerutty originated the word,he believed that running should be arduous,yet spontaneous and free-spirited, taking place over a variety of terrains. Structure and regularity is for work,endless laps of the track and around a park dull your mind and body.
New members are by referral of existing members only and subject to approval by the Leader. However, it is doubtful that the Leader would go against the good judgement of an existing member.
A prospective member must love distance running,especially over the trails,hills and mountains .
A prospective member would never view cross-country as something that gets you in shape for track.
A prospective member can talk for five minutes without mentioning his accomplishments or impending greatness.
A prospective member knows and recognizes the accomplishments and greatness of Arthur Lydiard.
A prospective member also knows that there is more to hard training than preparing for your next 5k road race.
Finally,a prospective member knows that Stotan running is free,strenuous,instinctual and NEVER routine.

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