The Essence of Athletics…

All my search for the perfect training system convinced me of something else: The essence of athletics is the pleasure you can get out of it. I make this point now before you begin to think that having to run a hundred miles a week can’t possibly be in the least bit enjoyable. I actually came to enjoy knocking myself about because I came to grips with myself so frequently and at such a challenging physical and mental level. There is a personal conflict to be fought, but fighting it is not a bitter battle. It is a simple unalloyed joy to tackle yourself on the battlefield of your own physical wellbeing and come out the victor. There are no war wounds, no scars, only the honours you award yourself for personal physical achievement. Most men – and this included a lot of athletes – go through life without ever knowing what it is like to be really physically fit.
Arthur Lydiard, 1962


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