How Norman Harris Wrote “He Called on it All”

Legend-of-Lovelock

In our blog posting of May 24, 2011, (“He Called On It All” – A Motivational Video for Track Athletes) I provided a video showing Dave Wottle’s dramatic come-from-behind finish in the 1972 Olympic 800 meter final. The video concludes with a quote by Norman Harris – a description of New Zealand miler Jack Lovelocks’s finishing kick to win the 1936 Olympic 1500m in Berlin.

“It came like electricity, it came from every fibre, from his fingertips to his toes.
“It came as broad waters come through a gorge.”.
He called on it all.”

After the blog was posted, Norman Harris, the writer of that dramatic passage, wrote me with a correction on the exact wording of his contribution that was, in fact, from his biography of Jack Lovelock titled, “The Legend of Lovelock” (1964).

In our subsequent discussions, Mr. Harris described some of the process and inspiration that allowed him to write those wonderful words – in my opinion, some of the most powerful in the history of running literature. I thought you’d be interested in reading about it.

The following comes from his memoir, “Beyond Cook’s Gardens (I don’t think it’s available in the US, although it may be available through Amazon, UK). I’ll let Norman Harris take over from here.

“I guess there was an element of inspiration in those words. I had been writing the book in a cafe in a Paris suburb, where I’d shared lodging with some cycling friends. In a recent Memoir, “Beyond Cook’s Gardens”, I recounted the romantic influences on the passage in question. It’s self-indulgent of me to quote it but, encouraged by what you said about getting the blood pulsing, I figured you might be interested

The Lovelock draft moved steadily towards its climax, a chapter titled The Ultimate, for which special inspiration was required. The portable typewriter in my room at the [Cafe] Zanzi was no longer good enough. I needed to go with exercise book and pencil to the Parc de St Cloud, where, near to a splendid fountain, I found a perch on a grand piece of white, marble-like statuary. It was there, with an apron of white, crushed stone surrounding my seat, and with the park’s heavenly grasses rippling in the breeze, and the late afternoon sun aglow, that I found the words to bring Lovelock home.”

I’ve attached the video one more time, for those of who missed it.

 

 

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

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[tags]physical education,Jack Lovelock,Norman Harris,track and field,800m,Dave Wottle, Nick Symmonds[/tags]

Obesity, Hunger, Inactivity and the Search for Hidden Answers

Hi Readers,

I just received this email from long-time reader and physical educator, David Flax of South Africa. It raises some interesting questions about our perception of the causes of obesity, hunger and lack of activity.

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“Hi Dick,

This is the newsletter written by the Principal of our High School… It is what Prof Tim Noakes had to say. Tim is the leading sports scientist in S.A. and the author of The Lore of Running. A kitkat is the name of a chocolate bar that we have. At most road races the participants are given a goodie bag with wine gums and a kitkat.

If you want to use it you are most welcome to it….Keep well

David”

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“Dear King David Community,

Boy Eating CandyThis week 250 school leaders, representatives from over 600 independent schools in this country and some from Australia and the UK, collected in Cape Town at the annual SAHISA conference to compare notes – in both formal and informal forums – on educational best practice. As is often the case, some of the most helpful discussions happened at mealtimes or in the bar before and after meals…

Many of the talks were inspiring, some challenging and I am happy to say that some of them very affirming. One, however, in particular is worth mentioning. It was delivered by professor Tim Noakes, Head of the UCT Exercise Science and Sports Medicine Research Unit and involved a book published in the early 1860s by a very fat undertaker, William Banting. (Banting’s information came from a certain Dr Willian Harvey, who in turn got his ideas from a Parisian, Dr Bernard.) This was the first recorded modern publication to do with a diet based on limiting the intake of refined, easily digestible carbohydrates.

At one point Tim Noakes held up the contents of the little goodie bag we had been presented at the beginning of the conference: a bag of wine gums and a kitkat, simple carbohydrates which he informed us would have so spiked our insulin and disrupted healthy nutrition that we would almost certainly notice a change in our energy absorption and our vitality for the rest of the day. Should we eat that amount of useless calories – he informed us – we could expect to increase our BMI significantly and experience a expansion of our mass by as much as 5kg in three months – just from consuming these two items every day. (I felt chastened – I had eaten the Kitkat before I got to the top of the stairs and the wine gums long before I eventually found my room.)

The really interesting part of Prof Noakes’s discussion though, was to do with the counter-intuitive notion that if insulin production results in one’s body storing as fat the energy presented as simple carbohydrates, the body would not then release this stored energy. This person would then be stimulated to feel hungry – since not enough energy was released. And also because the body was in conservation mode, there would be a significant drop in the fat person’s willingness to participate in physical activity.

Noakes’s point is that fatness causes hunger and lack of activity – and I had always believed that the causal links worked in the opposite direction: that one was fat because one ate too much and exercised too little. Surely this was as obvious as night following day?

On how many occasions did I hear my white-eye browed colleague tell all his pupils that we were lazy or stupid or incompetent, that we just could not…? I now know that he may have often been right, but I also know that he (and many others of his generation) was very often wrong and that he did a great deal of damage to many pupils.

From Noakes’s argument it is no great leap to question our educational models, to re-evaluate how learning happens and to think about what it is that makes a child a happy and successful pupil and a school leaver who takes on the world believing that she can.

There are so many occasions when the obvious and apparent answers not always the correct ones and that as parents and teachers, our job is sometimes think like fat undertakers and to look for processes and functions that are far from the evident. This may be to do with learning styles, recognizing different intelligences in children, helping children to plan or, as in my daughter’s case, simply to stop procrastinating for fear of failure and to get on with the job at hand.”

 

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

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[tags]physical education,obesity,childhood obesity,inactivity,exercise/code>[/tags]

Pro Soccer Team Takes on 100 Schoolboys

It’s almost time for summer vacation here in North America. Traditionally, I stop posting bi-weekly blogs and newsletters during this period, to avoid sending emails to accounts that won’t be checked until next September.

So, I’ll probably send a single blog at the end of July, but not much else over these summer months.

Here’s a final video that I think you’ll enjoy – especially if you’ve ever coached or taught soccer. It shows a game between a professional soccer team in Japan, against a team of 100 schoolboys. Most look to be senior elementary age – and many are high skilled.

The video is in Japanese, but it’s fun to watch and I really had to laugh when the boys’ coach, with all 100 players huddled around his whiteboard, diagrammed a corner-kick play for his squad. His play? To put 90 of them around the opponent’s net.



Have a great vacation and I hope you come back next September with your batteries recharged and your motivation at a high level!

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
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[tags]physical education,soccer 100 children,football 100 players[/tags]

Outward Appearances Can Belie the Talents Within

In the “Looks Can be Deceptive” category. Never discount a person, no matter how feeble or unassuming they may appear. This video shows a tiny old lady participating in a talent show. She’s 80 years of age, can barely walk, doesn’t hear too well and her hands shake as she is holding the microphone.

Then, when she sings, she absolutely fills the room with her voice. This is the “Britain’s Got Talent” video of Janey Cutler. Be sure to watch the video right to the end to hear her really belt it out.

This video provides a teaching point for young people: never discount that elderly person using a walker; the street person sleeping on a park bench or even fellow students in physical education class who can’t catch a ball or sink a foul shot. Those people may have talents in other areas that would put yours to shame.

And for those students whose abilities don’t lie on the courts or in the gym. Make sure you encourage them to develop the other talents they have hidden within!

 

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

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[tags]physical education,inspiration,looks can be deceiving[/tags]

“He Called On It All” – A Motivational Video for Track Athletes

It’s track and field championship season. If you’re looking for a video to motivate your runners, check this out. It’s not a high quality production, but it’s set to music and the message is great. It’s called “He Called on it All.”

It shows Olympic 800m champion, Dave Wottle, in his surprise come-from-behind victory at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. It shows Wottle, wearing a white cap, trailing the field by 10m over the 1st lap. It does a nice job of following Wottle in his final 300m as he moves up on the field, then the final 100m in which he overcomes an apparently insurmountable lead to win.

It’s interspersed with video of current American 800m star, Nick Symmonds, running similar tactics at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. He’s wearing a white singlet and black compression shorts.

If this doesn’t get your runners fired up, nothing will.

The video concludes with the quote by Norman Harris – a description of Jack Lovelocks’s finishing kick to win the 1936 Olympic 1500m:

“It came like electricity, it came from every fibre, from his fingertips to his toes.
“It came as broad waters come through a gorge.”.
He called on it all.”

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

P.S. Norman Harris, the author of the wonderful verse that ends this clip has told me that the words shown on the video have become confused. In fact, the correct wording is:

“It came as broad waters come through a gorge.”

Thanks for the feedback, Norman!

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[tags]physical education,track and field,800m,Dave Wottle, Nick Symmonds[/tags]

“Track and Field Coach” Website – A Great Free Resource for Coaches

track and field,physical education

If you’re like most of the track coaches that I know, you’re always searching for new information resources.

So, good news – there’s a new website that provides loads of track and field technique information. Called “Track and Field Coach,” it’s the brainchild of Ron Parker, a Canadian coach from Victoria, BC, with 40 years of experience under his belt.

The site provides free technique articles, video analysis and workout planning tips that are sure to improve your abilities as a coach.

I particularly like the “Event on a Page” articles, that condense the primary technical points for each track and field event on a single page that you can print out and bring to practice.

You can see “Track and Field Coach” at the following link:
http://www.trackandfieldcoach.ca

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]physical education,track and field coaching,track and field coaches[/tags]