Saturday, January 05, 2013

Janathon2013 Day 5 - Not too much exercise

Walk - 3 miles, Time - 50m, Weather - grey and overcast.

Sometime in the past 3 months I might have moaned about the miserable weather, complained about the dreariness of the light and suggested that we have had enough rain already. How boring - complaining about the weather is one of the more useless types of conversation you can have and it is not anything a fully paid-up Stoic would do. Nevertheless it has happened and in my defence I post this picture to show how dull, waterlogged, and grey everything is. It might prove a point but it also shows you how far I am from a practicing Stoic - but there again I make no claims to be one.

As if to prove the point I will give you a quote from Seneca (Letter XV) contra to my current endeavours:

"For it is silly, my dear Lucilius, and no way for an educated man to behave, to spend one's time exercising the biceps, broadening the neck and shoulders and developing the lungs. Even when the extra feeding has produced gratifying results and you've put on a lot of muscle, you'll never match the strength or the weight of a prize ox. The greater load, moreover, on the body is crushing to the spirit and renders it less active. So keep the body within bounds as much as you can and make room for the spirit."
So there we have it. Seneca believes that you should do the minimum amount necessary to keep the body healthy and devote your time to the pursuit of wisdom and seemed to think there was a degree of conflict between body and mind. But you should never believe anything just because it was said by someone with a reputation for wisdom. In some cases it is possible, just possible, that a Japanese sports goods company  has a better idea.  A sound mind in a sound body - yes indeed!

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