I am currently reading an interesting book on martial arts philosophy called Moving Toward Stillness by Dave Lowry. The chapter I was reading last night certainly struck a cord with me. The following quote is a response to a question that was posed to him regarding his accomplishments as a martial artist. “Where I came from is who I am.” One of his points was do you know who your teachers were? It caused me to reflect on how fortunate I have been to be exposed to some of the great coaches of our era. They were great because they had great teachers. In our now society it isn’t cool to pay homage to the past and acknowledge those who have shared their knowledge. Red Estes, who taught me a Track & Field Theory class at Fresno State in 1968 was an athlete under Bill Bowerman at University of Oregon. He shared with us the Oregon System. From that I was introduced to Bill Bowerman, perhaps one of the greatest track coaches America has ever known. He was a consummate generalist. He could and did coach all events. He set standards and held to them. There are few coaches in track & filed who have not been influenced either directly or indirectly by Bill Bowerman. The same is true in swimming with Doc Counselman, former swim coach at Indiana. I wasn’t even a swim coach but he influenced me. His application of science to training was a good fifty years ahead of his time.
I identify myself not any accomplishments I have been fortunate achieve but by the people who have influenced and guided me. Ones worth is ultimately determined by their lineage. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, let’s not be ashamed to acknowledge that.