Periodization and 'the law of diminishing returns'

Haarlem. Today, I met with Ruud Wielart, after having been able to observe him for some time while being at the Haarlem 'Pim Mulier' athletics track. 'Weather or no weather', he always is present -- with his characteristic, deep, friendly and no-nonsense respect gaining voice, with an occasional touch of shyness --  as the sun can pierce trough leaves, deep in a forest. Commanding the training, of -- among other people -- his son Jurgen. Ruud Wielart is a former high-jumping-athelete, champion and record-holder. And has managed to transform his personal experiences into a training career. The topic of our conversation: how to make your personal experiences available trough training to others? We talked about his sports-career and how sport can be part of education. About training and dealing with injuries. His experiences in observing people, especially children. It will need some more time to work it out before publication, a crucial, labour-intensive process that just can't be left to somebody doing a transcript, no matter how well intended. Or, in the words of Army Air and Signal Corps combat photographer Arnold E. Samuelson, quoting Ernest Hemingway (on page eleven in 'A Year in Key West and Cuba'): "Don't get discouraged because there is a lot of mechanical work to writing. There is, and you can't get out of it. I rewrote the first part of A Farewell to Arms at least fifty times. You've got to work it over. The first draft of anything is shit. When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he had read but something that happened to himself." 

Presented here are a brief, short quote, though, and a photo from the meeting. It seems interviews at least lead to an opportunity to get close to people and make a good portrait. This is a recurring experience. The interview leads to an 'up-and-close' photo moment. The interview combusts artificial distance and clears the space between camera and subject, revealing true nature. At least, that is my humble experience. As Michael Rabiger points out in his book 'Directing the Documentary': "The strength of a documentary lies in the relationship between subject and filmmaker." In that sense the interview testifies of that experience: the decomposition of distance. Very similar to what we know about the proces of breathing in oxygen, breathing out carbon dioxide

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"Sport has developed from peaceful circumstances. The first athletes, well, call them athletes, the people who were involved in sports, were people who trained under conditions similar to soldiers in the army -- though more comfortable. They trained in camps, with everything included, according to core principles and methods coming from preceeding times, coming from the army. As we athletes do, the army also periodizes. It comes from the Greeks, the ancient Greeks; they trained according to periodization principles: building up gradually, according to the 'law of diminishing returns'. 'Building up, building up, building up' and doing more and more and then bringing it down quietly and gradually. Building up intensity but reducing the overall work-load. And then they had the games. That is how sport originated. In every country that enjoys peace, there is sport. Football coach Rinus Michels talked about 'Football is war', it sounds a bit awkward, we can see that in the behaviour of some of the extremities of football, hooligans, the extreme fanatics, and [ football ] calls upon that more readily. Teams represent -- and this I always found a disadvantage of team-sports -- its call upon 'we against those over there'."

Ruud Wielart, personal communication during interview, Haarlem, May 17 2017