The Education Of A Wandering Man

High Performance West Elite 800m athletes, McKayla Fricker (left) and Nathan Fleck (right).

High Performance West Elite 800m athletes, McKayla Fricker (left) and Nathan Fleck (right).

At the time of his death in 1988, famed American novelist Louis L'Amour had penned 105 works (89 novels, 14 short-story collections, and 2 works of nonfiction).

My favorite is his memoir, Education of a Wandering Man

He opens with the following wisdom, " A great book begins with an idea; a great life, with a determination." 

Reading that book changed my mind, specifically about what education is and is not.

In the first pages he offers his informed take on what an education should give: 

No matter how much I admire our schools, I know that no university exists that can provide an education; what a university can provide is an outline, to give the learner a direction and guidance. The rest one has to do for oneself.
 If I were asked what education should give, I would say it should offer breadth of view, ease of understanding, tolerance for others, and a background from which the mind can explore in any direction. 
 Education should provide the tools for a widening and deepen of life, for increased appreciation of all one sees or experiences. It should equip a person to live life well, to understand, what is happening about him, for to live life well one must live with awareness. 
 No one can "get" an education, for of necessity education is a continuing process. If it does nothing else, it should provide students with the tools for learning, acquaint them with methods of study and research, methods of pursuing an idea. We can only hope they come upon an idea they wish to pursue.

L'Amour is spot on.

Additionally, I think his sentiments would be of good use if applied to craft of coaching and training athletes as well.

After all, isn't athletic preparation an education?


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus