Building a winning mentality
How is it that Scotland can win the medals it does? Our athletes, at times, defy logic.
A few years ago I met the Samoan rugby team, who were to play Scotland at Murrayfield the next day.
They had been to see Braveheart, that accurate portrayal of everyday Scottish life brought so lovingly to the big screen by Mel Gibson.
Robbie Renwick won gold in the 200m for Scotland
Anyway, I'm watching the lawn bowls, sitting in the shade, and feeling patriotic in the middle of a scorching Delhi lunchtime.
Patriotic because our national trait, which is to talk Scotland down and be negative, has been confounded here in India.
I wish, as a country, we could bottle the kind of guts and determination some of our athletes have shown here and give it, free, to every person in Scotland.
After a strange morning of queasiness - you should not take strong anti-biotics before breakfast - I am back in the ring as the infection created by a cut elbow recedes.
So much for early morning swims. That is my story and I am sticking to it your honour.
But here's today's question: I need someone to explain something to me; how Scottish people beat the Australians, New Zealanders, and indeed the English, at anything?
What do you mean we have never beaten the New Zealanders at rugby?
Australia, for starters, has a population four times as big as ours and a sporty culture.
I can picture little Australian children picking up tennis rackets and running outside, past their barbecues, throwing off their thongs (er, that's what they call flip-flops) and whacking the odd ball or two in anger.
At the same time, for most of the year, Scottish children brave the rain. Mummy's thongs are in the tumble drier.
Yet, Colin Fleming from Linlithgow, who took two years out to finish a degree and work for a bit, partnered Jocelyn Rae in the mixed doubles to a tennis gold medal by beating the top seeded Aussies.
How the heck does that happen?
Marvellous, and I won't even mention Judy Murray's lads.
Australia is surrounded by water, there are more swimming pools in Melbourne than in the whole of Scotland, and yet Robbie Renwick, a Scot from Aberdeen who now lives in Glasgow, is the fastest Commonwealth man over 200 metres in the pool.
Absolutely brilliant. A Martian, visiting, would say "Xwrgy, fafu, spurtic" which means "this not possible."
And have you ever cycled on Scotland's potholes - sorry - roads? Two young women, Jenny Davis and Charlie Joiner, took silver in the velodrome.
For me, that medal was as important as any. Two years ago Davis was a judo player and Joiner a hockey player.
It sends out a message that hard work and that "warrior" outlook gets you places, as does the talent transfer system, a system designed to win medals.
And every time I see Mathew Pincent I realise that English people come from a marginally different gene pool and they are bigger than us.
I know this sounds crazy, but I think two things come out of this.
The first is that Scottish people, me included, are inherently pessimistic and negative.
We are brought up to be argumentative but not loud, stubborn but not positive, and to ensure that winners are never allowed to be lauded too extravagantly... just in case.
Actually, there is nothing wrong with some of that, as over-confidence can have terrible consequences.
That, actually, breeds a certain bite in every Scot. There is an abrasiveness to us that I like.
The second is that we do have a "warrior" outlook, even though we might think we are a nation of softies.
I watch Susan Egelstaff the badminton player and I see it in her, I see it in our boxers, I saw it in Eilidh Child and her silver, and Steph Twell and even, as we speak, I see it in nearly 40 degrees of heat as our bowlers try to win a gold medal.
We never talk ourselves up, but, actually, some of the athletes here have shown something peculiarly Scottish.
Right, how do we get this into a bottle?