Thursday, March 3, 2011


True to the name of this blog I enjoy reading philosophy and dwelling on the context of its author because it helps me try and think out of my own “box.” I am going to do my best to keep it simple, if I don’t call me out on it. Politics tend to divide and will avoid political philosophy. Bottom line is do what makes you a better person and if reason tells you a person or proposition will make you better and society better well vote accordingly, but do not impose your will or beliefs on me as I shall not impose mine on you. Obviously it is going to relate to running or fitness since that is what this whole thing is about so on with the philosophy…

Thales was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher circa 585 BC. “Western philosophy begins with Thales” according to Bertrand Russell (i.e. the guy who wrote the book about the history of philosophy). . He is one of the first thinkers to try and explain the natural world without mythology. These pre-Socratic philosophers were trying to discover the substance of things, i.e. what they were made of and looked to the elements, wind, water, earth, fire, etc. Similarly, today scientists are continuously looking for the substance of things at the atomic level; dark matter and the infamous “God particle” (think Dan Browns “Angels & Demons). Thales theorized that “water” was the principle of all things. There is disagreement with whether he literally thought water made everything or if he was seeking a unifying principle, but I think his contribution was action. I think his biggest contribution is being the first to leave the easy explanation of looking far and deciding to look right in front of him. Instead of taking conventional wisdom he looked for the essence, instead of bowing to the gods he looked for solutions in nature. 

Likewise, running for me has been a roller coaster. As I mentioned before, I went straight VFF and barefoot, then back to shoes, now back to a minimal shoe. I found that when I ran in VFF I became more efficient and ran because it felt right. I added a shoe because I wanted more padding for the longer distance and never considered my form as a “work in progress” so it went downhill fast. I looked for solutions everywhere but where I started. I read reviews, articles, etc. I was reading voraciously looking for that magic bullet, a’ la sketcher’s shape up. But the truth is that there is no magic bullet, there is no gain without a little sweat equity and long term caloric financing. Instead of looking to the running guru’s I should have simply taken a pause, remembered what worked and prayed for the patience to work hard. The fact was I should have looked right in front of me, just like Thales.

No comments: