Monday, January 07, 2013

Janathon 2013 Day 7 - Could do better

Walk - 3 miles, Time - 50m, Weather - damp cold, and grey

Last night my plan was to go for a run before breakfast but sometimes good intentions are only that: intentions. I woke up feeling headachy, low, not quite the ticket,  and far from the picture of an athlete at the peak of his prowess (disclaimer I have never looked like that). I really didn’t want to do anything much in the way of exercise but I had a get out. I am a firm believer in rest days and taking things easy on at least two days a week. So going for a walk was just fine.  I would like to report that as soon as I got out and felt the air on my cheeks my spirits lifted and a spring returned to my step - but that would not be quite true. It wasn’t bad but neither was it good. it was merely mechanical.

However I carried on with my reading of the Stoics and today’s quote emphasises something common to any activity, any skill that needs mastering, and certainly to Janathon: the need for consistency. It is as true of running as it is the study of philosophy.

Yet this conviction, clear as it is needs to be strengthened and given deeper roots through daily reflection; making noble resolutions is not as important as keeping the resolutions you have made already. You have to persevere and fortify your pertinacity until the will to good becomes a disposition to good...although I have great hopes for you, I do not yet feel quite confident about you. And I should like you to adopt the same attitude: you’ve no grounds for forming a ready, hasty belief in yourself. Carry out a searching analysis and close scrutiny of yourself in all sorts of different lights. (Seneca, Letters XVI)

No grounds for complacency there and it is something we should all heed as well as Lucius. I have said many times: running is about honesty. The time you take and how far you can go shows you exactly your level. There are no excuses and your level is exactly as high as it deserves to be. In other words you must always look at what you achieve with a clear eye.

For myself, today, I need to look closely at my change of plan and be honest with myself whether it was acceptable or whether it was backsliding. I will only really know tomorrow.

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