56 medals at the Olympics games, despite boycotting the 1976 and 1980 games. Kenyans continue to astound the world with their sublime performances in distance running.
What galvanizes intense curiosity in this Kenyan phenomenon was the fact that about 90% of the top athletes are from a single region in Kenya, The Nandi hills.
So, what miracle might have happened on the Nandi Hills? Geneticists concluded that although genes cannot be ruled out completely, there is a stronger force in action.
In the Book, Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham and the Science of Success; Matthew Syed indicated that Nandi Hills are areas of high altitude; and the altitudinal trainings the inhabitants are subjected to unequivocally boost their endurance.
But that wasn’t the only thing, that wasn’t enough, here is the book:
“…when you also factor in the remarkable fact that many Kenya’s top runners ran extraordinarily long distances to school, sometimes in excess of 20km per day [because of the lack of public transportation] … [this] gives a persuasive explanation of this running phenomenon”
Clearly the structure of their environment played the major role in this huge success.
While you might not be interested running on hills, or jogging 20km every day, you might want to think very deeply about your environment and possibly re-engineering it.
Granted, there are several philosophical and very practical limitations to this, especially at the macro-scale. But little changes, at the micro-scale, might go a long way. A popular Jim Rohn’s quote lays credence to this:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
We should be – as best as we can – constructing our ‘Nandi Hills’.