Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Janathon 2013 Day 23 - The daily audit

Walk - 6 miles, 1hr 45m Weather - raw

All our senses should be educated into strength: they are naturally able to endure much, provided the spirit forebears to spoil them. The spirit ought to be bought up for examination daily. It was the custom of Sextius when the day was over, and he had betaken himself to rest, to inquire of is spirit: “What bad habit of yours have you cured today? What vice have you checked? In what respects are you better?” ... What can be more admirable than this fashion of of discussing the whole of the day’s events? How sweet the sleep that follows this self-examination? ... I make use of this privilege and daily plead my cause before myself ... I conceal nothing from myself and omit nothing: for why should I be afraid of any of my shortcomings, when it is in my power to say: “I pardon you this time; see that you never do that anymore.” (Seneca, On Anger, Book III, 36)

This passage comes from a book about anger - how damaging an emotion it is and how we should control it. The daily audit is included as a technique that might be useful (“anger will cease, and become more gentle, if it knows that everyday it must come before the judgement seat.” was a phrase I omitted from the above) but it obviously has a wider application. It applies to every aspects of our lives  and so obviously that would include running.

It is what every one of us does when we write down our mileage, speed, weather conditions, how we felt and where we are on our schedule. It is what many of do when we write our blogs (though I must admit to being a bit skimpy with those sort of details). It enables us to look back and see how we have improved (or not) and evaluate our regimes. Importantly it allows us to see whether we are being soft with ourselves or not. Concerning that I rather like the first sentence of the quote. It could be a motto for almost every runner

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