Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Janathon 2013 Day 16 - Many people are faster

Run - 3km in 15m (treadmill), Weights - 40m

As I walked up a woman (probably in her twenties) was leaving the next treadmill, to have a break and fill her water bottle. Her face was red, she was breathing slightly heavily and between her shoulder blades there was a growing patch of sweat on her t-shirt. ‘That must have been a heavy session’ I thought, ‘mostly you don’t see people put so much into their running.’ I was already impressed before I took a peak at her stats, which were still displayed. ‘Bloody Hell!’ she had run for 33 minutes below 4 minutes per km pace. This was by some degree a different order of running to my own, or anybody else in the room. Ho hum. Never mind just carry on with your own programme, what others can do makes no difference. ‘Running beside her will be interesting though’I thought.

She came back and started again at 16.4 km per hour. I was impressed not only at the speed but that her feet did not make big thumping noises and the treadmill didn’t rock.  Other people sometime run at speed but you can usually hear them across the gym. I carried on with my run around the 12 km per hour mark and thought that over a third faster is quite some difference but was quite happy with what I was doing. If anything my enjoyment was increased because it was pleasing to see someone putting in a good shift, rather than pootling along (which is far more common).

In the circumstances today’s Stoic quote must be this from Epictetus:
Consider the price at which you sell your integrity, but please, for God’s sake, don’t sell it cheap. The rand gesture, the ultimate sacrifice - that, perhaps, might belong to others, to people of Socrates class. ‘But if we are endowed by nature with the potential for greatness why do only some of us achieve it?’ Well do all horses become stallions? are all dogs greyhounds? Even if I lack the talent I will not abandon the effort on that account. Epictetus will not be better than Socrates. But I am no worse, I’m satisfied. I mean I will never be Milo either but I don’t neglect my body. Nor will I be another Croesus - and still I don’t neglect my property. In short we do not abandon any discipline for despair of ever being the best in it. (Epictetus, Discourses, Book 1, 33-37)

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