Running is a great way to practise your virtues. The first virtue that comes to my mind is willpower. You need that to get yourself off your comfortable couch and out of the house. Determination and persistance will also serve you well: 'No you can't eat your chocolate and chips, you have to go out for your run!'

But the virtue that's not as obvious, but very important is moderation! Ah, that's the one we struggle the most with. I for one, am always afraid I'll run too little, so just to make sure I run too much! Which inevitable leads to sore muscles and very tender shins.

Nevertheless, I usually snub moderation. That's how little I trust myself not to revert to the lazybones I was eight years ago. Imagine that: eight years! That's quite some time, and stíll I fear falling off the running wagon. As I'm writing this I can't help but shake my head. How stupid am I?

Luckily I'm not the only one who struggles with willpower and moderation. The problem goes as far back as Plato who explained it like this: when you exercise your willpower you're master and slave all at the same time. You're the one that makes the rules, and you're also the one that has to follow them. If you fail to stick to your own rules, you not only dole out the punishment, you're also the one punished.

In the end most people just snap! If you used your willpower to stop eating chocolate, one lustfull day you're going to pig out on it. If you used your willpower to run too fast and too much, some day your body is going to go on strike.

So what to do?!
According to Plato it's all a matter of combining willpower with common sense, justice and courage and use those four to find the right balance. To use your willpower in moderation.

And just for kicks I'm going to combine it with a nice cup of coffee too.


Momma Bear said...

mmmm coffee. I like that spiel but ye old plato, thx for sharing!

Berry Girl said...

ah hahaha - I was popping milk chocolate chips into my mouth and sipping my coffee when I read this - and I had to push away the bag of choc. chops out of embarrassment *grin*

so true - I've been running for years, and I always fear that I'm doing too little.

Lizzie said...

great site! i just started training for my first triathlon coming this November, I am looking forward to keeping up with your running advice, triumphs, and much more :)

Run Mommy said...

I enjoyed this one! said...

Moderation and Balance can go hand in hand. I began distance running about a year ago. Whereas I have taught fitness classes at our local Y for a number of years and run shorter distance for recreation, distance (over 7 miles) was new to me. I have since achieved a weight I am happy with after years of struggling with 10 pounds. With that and a million other good things, I don't want to moderate running. I'm scared of that 10 pounds AND of not running enough. I try to consider the concept of balance too. I think I'll balance my spoon in my coffee now. Like your musings!

NH Yocal said...

I love this post, this is something I struggle with all the time, which is why I literally themed my blog "life is all about balance" because in the end that is what makes me feel most comfortable about my virtues is knowing that we have to balance them with everything else in life : )

montisse98 said...

Very interesting post. Unlike you, I used (and still do sometimes) moderation as an excuse for my infrequent running. I kept telling myself that, when it comes to running (as with so many other things in life), moderation is key. No need to overdo it, right? I recently realized that I was only kidding myself.

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