Comrade Carl gives me his copy of the December 2005 issue of Runner's World magazine. Deep within a forest of advertisements for fancy shoes, I discover on pages 72-75 a real gem: Kenny Moore's anecdotal mini-profile of the Bill Bowerman (1911-1999), legendary running coach at the University of Oregon and a founding father of the Nike shoe empire. The author himself trained under Bowerman's gentle whip in the 1960s and went on to finish strongly in the 1972 Olympic marathon. Perhaps more significantly, Moore was a co-author of the fine 1998 movie Without Limits in which Donald Sutherland portrayed Bowerman.
Kenny Moore's article contains much wise advice, relevant in areas of life far beyond running. For example, there's a striking thought from the Australian miler Herb Elliott:
To run a world record you have to have the absolute arrogance to think you can run a mile faster than anyone who's ever lived; and then you have to have the absolute humility to actually do it.
And from Bowerman himself:
If you go out to race and know you'll lose, there's no probability involved. You'll lose. But if you go out knowing you will never give up, you'll still lose most of the time, but you'll be in the best position to kick on that rare day when everything breaks right.
(The Kenny Moore biography of Bill Bowerman is due to be published in the spring of 2006 – I've already ordered a copy; cf. WithoutLimits (12 Feb 2005), LessonsOfTheMarathon (28 Aug 2006), FunVersusEntertainment (31 Aug 2006), RunningVersusTraining (22 Sep 2006) ...)