Over the last several months I have set goals and worked hard in pursuit of those goals.  For the most part I have achieved goals set.  As we approach the new year I have started reflecting on all that I have accomplished and all that I hope to accomplish next year.  My goals seem to be harder to attain and will require massive amounts of committment in form of physical and mental training.  Plus I do not want to let up for one second.  Do not want to revert back to my old lazy self.

As a result of the trials associated with the upcoming year, I have decided to adopt a  Stotan approach.  A Stotan is a cross between a Spartan and Stoic.  The word was later coined by a track coach in the 1950’s. 

The track coach further defined the word Stotan as “hardness, toughness, and unswerving devotion to an ideal,” but also involved “diet, philosophy,  and cultivation of the intellect.  In a nutshell the old track coach believed that ‘you only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone” ( ).

I first heard of the term when I read a book called “Stotan” by Chris Crutcher.  Crutcher tells of a story where a group of high school swimmers train over a break with a coach that applies his Stotan theory.  The swimmers endure the week of hardcore training and are able to apply this training to other trials in life.

Now I hope to take a Stotan approach with me in training as I work up to the Little Rock Marathon in March and then the OKC Memorial Marathon in April.  Simply increasing the mileage or speed will not be enough.  I will need to be able to apply mental techniques for my training and racing.  I will need to change my diet to meet the needs of  a marathon runner in training.  My intellect will need to increase in the form of learning from others and readings.  Striving for Shambala will remain my overall philosophy.  Interesting that perhaps Stotan will get me closer to Shambala.  Remember Shambala is a mental state, a place of peace and kindness.  When people ask, I tend to tell them that it is similar to Self-Actualization. 

Over the next few weeks, I will attempt to further explain and breakdown the how I will make changes that will affect my training.  For now just know that a Stotan pushes physical and emotional abilities beyond the limit.  I do not take this approach lightly, I offer you to join me.


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