Saturday, June 2, 2012
Some Thoughts On Perc
Awhile back, someone wrote and said they were doing an article on Cerutty and asked for my thoughts on him.The writer was clearly looking towards the Percy who trained runners,not the philosopher.I have seen this slant on him before.Every now and then you'll read a story,usually about a high school cross-country coach, who has come across some info on Percy or Stotanism and has his kids busting their butts on the trails.While this may be good,the athletes are being shortchanged in the Stotan/Cerutty department. Cerutty's greatest contribution came in the philosophy he taught,not the training regimen.His views on athleticism, naturalism, materialism,achieving success,nutrition and rugged individualism,as well as his belief in the necessity of developing the complete athlete(physically,mentally), were and are, his greatest contribution. There are very few coaches,if any in modern times,who have articulated so well insights into such a wide range of subjects.There was a time not too long ago that an athlete would be told that all he had to do was train hard and listen to his coach.Cerutty accurately wrote of the shortsightedness of such a mindset. I always think back to this quote by him directed to those athletes who desired success: "success is the result of deep thought." Amen to that Perc!
Postscript: It may seem strange that I have a picture of Zola Budd,now Zola Pieterse, on a post about Cerutty. This however makes perfect sense.Zola is a Stotan who exemplifies so many of the qualities he taught. At 45 years old,she is still training and racing. She's also a volunteer coach at a University close to where she lives(Myrtle Beach(S.C.).She has sought out new challenges,running the Two Oceans Ultra(58km) this past March and is set to race the Comrades Marathon in South Africa this coming Sunday. For the few who may not know,this "marathon" is either 51 or 52 miles long.The great multi-Comrades winner Bruce Fordyce has been acting as Zola's coach for the race. I believe you can watch a live stream of the race on the Comrades site. Good luck Zola!!