The Fiction of World Records
?1997, 2000 Austin "Ozzie" Gontang, Ph.D.
Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
Attributed to Napoleon Hill
The truth is that world records are abstractions. It allows us to measure
ourselves against people who may be dead, or no longer active in their
world record endeavor, or are unable to be there in the same time and place
as the one who breaks the world record.
The problem with abstractions is that they are one step removed from
reality. The reality is that one runs a race in such and such a time. It is
a time that is the fastest time ever run by a man/woman. We now can say we
are going to attempt to break the world record.
What often happens in this type of goal setting is that once the record is
broken one can get caught in the trap of being a world record holder...and
if it is broken by another...a former world record holder. We are always
more than what and how we decide to choose to define ourselves. Those
athletes who have lasted beyond their years are often found to be people
who challenge themselves to see what they can do on a specific day, at a
specific time and in a specific place with those present. They have not
listened to the stories created by the media
Since competition means "to seek with," the fiction of "world record" is
that an individual did it alone. But while one crossed the finish line
first, it was not alone. We have lost some of the sense of competing in
that we believe that it is beating another opponent, rather than seeing
what comes out of being challenged by others and oneself to be and do
one's very best at a specific place and moment in time.
Archibald Leach, an Englishman, set out to be the world's best Cary Grant.
After several years Archibald was Cary Grant. Archibald set a world record
in that he became known forever more to the world as Cary Grant.
So what personal world record did you work on today?
Inspiring Others To Reach For The Stars
Some reflections sparked by a post from Dru Jacobs in Boulder.
? 1998, 2000 Austin "Ozzie" Gontang, Ph.D.
I am continually amazed how we push the envelope of human possibility
through the visions and dreams that pop into our minds.
I know that the dreamers and visionaries touched by/sparked by/moved by a
story, are now in training for the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
The Greek word for enthusiasm, comes from "en theos" that is "the god
within." When the Greeks saw someone burning with "the god within"
whatever than god was...power, money, wisdom, athletics, they said he/she
burned with enthusiasm. Hopefully you with your personal enthusiasm will
have sparked others. The visions and dreams of people with "en theos"
have charged and changed children, men, women throughout time.
The Latin derivation for "competition" is "to seek with." So in
competition, one seeks the existing limitations of human experience and
pushes beyond the thought of that limitation. If one seeks only the gold
medal of the Olympics and nothing else, and does not achieve it-something
is lost. If another seeks with the assistance of fellow competitors to
push beyond the limits of human experience and comes in second, he/she has
participated in pushing that human limit.
When the US and other countries did not go to the 1980 Olympics, an entire
group of athletes were not able to measure, seek and push beyond their
limits. So a group of people never were able to be measured against the
world's best and say "I was the best for that moment in time." Ask any
Olympian who did or didn't go..
Stars have assisted man for a few thousand years to navigate over the
earth. Somehow many people today have associated human Stars and
Superstars as beyond the reach of mere mortals. Yet like the stars in the
sky, they are here to guide us about what is humanly possible. When our
stars forget they are guides...and fellow humans, everyone loses their
sense of direction. So we are back to core values. What are the few
beliefs we would be willing to live and and die for. If I know what you
stand for, I also know what you won't stand for.
May the"en theos" which has touched your soul during your life, lighten
every step you take and allow you to soar to the possibilities you have
Winter Solstice, 2000
In health and on the run,
Maintainer - rec.running FAQ
Director, San Diego Marathon Clinic, est. 1975
Mindful Running http://SportToday.org/
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