bill dellinger: long distance runner, magician, THE coach – notes

July 23, 2020

(This is an appreciation post for that incredible young man, Sachin Tiwari of the ‘measured tone’ – the indefatigable runner, conqueror of the baikal lake & himalayan runs, teacher, experimenter, farmer – & for the imperturbable calmness that he exudes…)

(View from Sachin’s farm near Wardha)

(Sachin’s farm getting readied for Cotton – circa May 2020)

(Baikal Ice Marathon – On the ‘frozen’ the largest freshwater sea/lake – all photos from the young man’s post)

(Marathon starting point on Baikal lake)

(Young man at the starting point)

Young man also maintains a short-form blog – check it out…

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…I used to be fond of running, running long distances, running with my pupils – but not with a view to running Marathons, clearing them, competition etc – though I have done a ‘full marathon’ once (literally collapsed at the end, because I did not practice long distance running at all, before that!) and one ‘good’ half marathon, in those begone days of my generally wasted youth.

I have run mostly as an individual and always barefoot. I have experienced the ‘runner’s high’ quite a few times. Running is flying, yes – the Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner notwithstanding, Sillitoe of me.

Even now, I can run very reasonable distances – but I always remember one of my many idols of youth: The great Bill Dellinger.

And his advice: ‘moderation.’

Especially after I nearly broke my neck while trying all kinds of stunts with my Son (who is 15yrs young!) including multiple somersaults on the Trampoline, a few months back.

I should be respectful to my age. And, to my body. Yes.

But, this post is about Bill Dellinger – one of my youthhood idols, who has remained an idol even as of now…

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In a  nutshell, not only was Bill a great runner, he was also an incredible coach, from whom we can all learn our life’s much needed lessons or ‘anchoring principles’ if you will; in a succinct manner and of course, it is all Practiced Wisdom. Humbling.

Of course, Bill managed to reach Bronze levels in Olympics – but he coached gems. He was the western equivalent of a Dronacharya. Or may be a milder version of Banzo. But, he was clear about his objectives and the internally & externally consistent ways through which objectives could be consistently reached.

A short, 20- min video of him here. The Magician. Please watch. It is a noisy documentary, not meditative – but nonetheless, is good.

Here is Bill’s ‘five principles’ programme (his coaching anchors) which I have tried to adapt and use as much as possible in my life – with, I must say, very reasonable results – from circa 1985 or thereabouts.

The following snippets have been taken from a fine book: Mastery : interviews with 30 remarkable people – by Ames, Joan Evelyn (1997) – borrowed from a library.

Five principles – Adaptability, Progression, Moderation, Variation & Callusing – yes, they are applicable to ‘anything & everything in life as well!’

Adaptability

Progression

Moderation

Variation

Callusing

Ok.

‘Moderation’ in longform posting needs to be taken into account too – though this post is much shorter than the usual 1000+ word posts.

Also, my finger-tips have become callused, yes.

END.

9 Responses to “bill dellinger: long distance runner, magician, THE coach – notes”

  1. K.Muthuramakrishnan Says:

    very good write up on training and coaching. It is useful not only in sports, but also in all other training. nice to have introduction of a good trainer.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Care to comment on the latest post of Aravindan Kannaiyyan talking abt Gahndi, Hinduism, Karunandihi?


    • Um. NO.

      1. Your comment is NOT relevant to the topic of the post.

      2. AK is IRRELEVANT to any scholarly, or even an informed discussion. It is a pity, but he is a post-modern posterior opening (PMPO); he has effectively put a ceiling on his capabilities. His choice.

      3. Am not interested in wasting my time anymore with the likes of him & assorted semil-literates. Of course they have a right to their views. But I do not want to exercise my right to receive my wisdom from them. So do NOT send me screenshots of what he said, EVER. I have deleted your mail. (this is the first time I am doing it – but you seem to habitually specialize in sending me his horseshit right after it is shat by him.

      Thanks. And, please refrain from providing such url/pointers/screenshot to me. Please. If you can’t, please get lost.

      __r.

  3. Prabhu Says:

    Good writeup.
    I have always observed, the lesser you use bracketed words in your articles, more seamless is the reading experience.


    • (oh thanks! (good observation (though there is a fundamental difference between brackets (which also could be used as engineering/design elements for support (and also in famed (=popular) tamil culture (as a term referring to flirting)) and parentheses (for encapsulating information which is relevant to (which are not used for engineering) the information shared, but as an annotation)))

      (LISP(IS GREAT))

      ps: hope (the brackets) are balanced. (unlike yours truly) (ha!)

  4. Rajmohan Says:

    5 Principles are amazing. We need more articles like this

  5. tiwarisac Says:

    Thank you R for the generous words, really. It would be an honour to share some days and walks in Wardha and around the farm with you. I hope to see that time soon enough.
    I am only trying to live without regrets. More importantly, I am trying to live hands-on, doing things myself, exploring and learning along the course, as you often talk about. Reading your perspective and ideas on subjects is valuable for me.


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