I ran competitively for over a decade. So many ups and downs along the way. Lots of training based on tradition and old ideas. When it worked it worked great. We now know so much more and have a better grasp on the science behind some of the traditional approaches. Some are worth keeping, some re-thought.

Training mindfully over these years has involved much reading, discussing, studying, and experimenting. It's a constant forge.

I moonlight as the coach of the middle distance runners for the Case Western Reserve University Track Team where I oversee the development of more than twenty athletes.

The Kotinos

The olive wreath also known as kotinos (Greek: κότινος) was the prize for the winner at the ancient Olympic Games. It was a branch of the wild olive tree that grew at Olympia intertwined to form a circle or a horse-shoe.

Herodotus describes the following story which is relevant to the kotinos. Xerxes was interrogating some Arcadians after the Battle of Thermopylae. He inquired why there were so few Greek men defending the Thermopylae. The answer was All other men are participating in the Olympic Games. And when asked what is the prize for the winner? The answer came an olive-wreath. Then Tigranes, one of his generals, uttered: Good God! Mardonius, what kind of men are these against whom you have brought us to fight, men who do not compete for possessions, but

Men who compete for virtue.