Friday, December 26, 2008

The seven deadly sins and running

As I was questioning why I was leaving my warm bed this morning at 6:20am for the icy roads of Ann Arbor, I decided to snap a picture of my parents' street to put on the blog. As soon as I had taken the shot the answer came; pride. I have to admit that's a major reason why I put myself through what many people would describe as torture. Although I wasn't raised Catholic, like my wife, I did have a fare amount of German Lutheran guilt as a child. I decided to think about what other of the seven deadly sins might be important factors in motivating me to run well in some way.

Sloth - This might seem the antithesis of most type-A runners. But, I think that a certain sloth like personality when you're away from running is important. If you have the go-go-go mentality then you'll probably not get the proper rest that you need.

Envy - Come on, admit it. If you're a runner there is another runner who you envy in terms of their pure talent or work ethic or ability to recover. Although we might say "running is a competition against the clock" there is always somebody who we'd love to knock down a level because we envy what they can do.

Glutonny - For the most part I think you need to have the appetite of rabbit to be a good runner. As Frank Shorter would say "the hungry wolf leads the pack" - but, from time to time it's good to be a glutton as a runner. Romans who visted the vomitoriums would not be uncomfortable at the pre-race pasta meal.

Lust - As with music many people get into sports to impress members of the opposite sex. Even as a married guy, lust plays a part in motivating my running. There are enough things that I screw-up on that it's good to have something that Kendra thinks is impressive about me. Like power - doing something well can be a great aphrodesiac.

Greed - For most runners this doesn't apply directly to money - but rather place. Wanting first place all for one's self might be thought as a type of greed - for some it is the most important sin to have in terms of being a good runner.

Wrath - This is probably the least connected to running - but, I guess it can be thought of as a certain form of the competitive mind-set. This is probably related to greed and envy - as it's usually better runners who usually beat me for whom I reserve my wrath.

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