Owning a Kindle has increased my reading significantly; I advise everyone to get one to read in bed before sleep. Last night, I finished the book Why Die? The Extraordinary Percy Cerutty, ‘Maker of Champions’. It is a biography of the famous and controversial Australian running coach from the 50s and 60s.
…through a program of violent physical exertion, a diet of natural foods, alternative theories of medicine and the forensic examination of his inner life, sculpted it into an organism capable of sublime physical expression. Graem Sims
Cerutty’s Stotan lifestyle was based on the ancient Greeks stoic philosophy and spartan physical training. He saw modern urban life and office work as emasculating men and removing their emotion and passion. The only solution for men to rediscover their true nature and thrive was to respect their bodies and seek to perfect them.
Percy viewed running as a purifier of the soul and the ultimate physical expression. He often told his athletes to conjure up primitive fight or flight responses to maximise performances in races and valued effort above all else. Although known for producing some of the greatest milers in history, he advocated running long distances on trails and in the wild to reconnect with nature and push the body to its limits.
This book is full of great lessons, deep thoughts, and self-sabotage collected around the colourful life of a true character. His message is as important today as it was in the 1960s; Re-educate yourself, lift weights, eat real food, run a lot, climb mountains, sprint up dunes, swim in the sea, read widely, write a lot, and most of all live a life of freedom and adventure.