Write Again…Sweet memories rekindled

Published 10:07 am Thursday, March 16, 2023

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Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining me here today. That sentiment is genuinely sincere. Truly.

Now, today’s piece is prompted by a letter I recently received. The contents have touched me more than I might be able to convey.

You see, this letter contained an expression of gratitude to me. There is, it seems, no way that I can share it with you without it looking as if I do so in order to reflect praise upon myself. So be it.

The letter:

“Coach Houston,

“The best exercise we can do is on-off, on-off …noted Dr. David Agus in an interview segment from February 26, 2023 edition of CBS Sunday Morning. Agus was being interviewed about healthful examples for humans, from the animal kingdom, and was also spotlighting his new offering: The Book of Animal Secrets.

“Thanks to a savvy track coach, I was introduced to a similar technique (for humans) in the late 1960’s, referred to then as Fartlek (unfortunate name).

“I still use the technique, in a scaled down manner for older exercisers. It is my understanding that the technique has sometimes been attributed to Swedish track coach Gosta Holmer, and later American running coach Doris Brown Heritage.

“Never mind the historical minutiae. The technique prescribed for our team used on the approximately (from the high school on Eighth Street to the track at John C. Tayloe School) two-mile run to the local track, was very effective, along with more traditional track-based workouts of grueling repetitions, ordered from a regimen posted, in a meticulous hand, on the bulletin board just outside the locker room.

“Just wanted you to be aware that you, and your meticulous hand and diction, are still remembered fondly, over a half-century later, along with your good techniques and wisdom. Thank you.

“I’ll bet Dr. Agus wished he had run track with us, and for you.”

“Hope this finds you and your family doing well.”

I haven’t words to adequately express how much this means to me.

My time at Washington High coaching track, and especially the lads involved, were a gift to me of ineffable proportions.

MachtSchnell! (They’ll get it.)