Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Ishmael call me you can

-= Tempting fate =-
Being a literature-geek, I cannot help but read and re-read Moby Dick. However, the complexity of the book makes me realize that I in no way thoroughly know the book. Yet, references to aspects and lessons in the book keep surfacing in everyday life. In fact, I often realize that I need to keep my big mouth shut as soon as I recognize a Moby Dick reference in real life that I do not want to bore the people around me with too much. (I guess I learned my lesson in the pub, when friends kept telling me to shut up about Shakespeare and drink the beers that were still in front of me.)

Yet, there is one Moby Dick reference that struck me some time ago and stuck with me over the last couple of weeks. As it is a running-related reference - I cannot wait to describe it here.

Over the previous years, I have experienced a variety of minor and not so minor injuries. These have had various causes, many of which have in some way to do with training too much or to heavily. At least one occasion was thanks to my own stupidity. Starting in December, I gradually increased the number of weekly K's and have kept up building after having done the race I started preparing for. I am currently testing if I have found my "sweet spot" at approximately 42 K per week.

Looking back at the build up in number of K's, I realized that I have not been injured once in over six months - OK, that's jinxed to sh.t in one sentence. This realization reminded me of chapter 23 in Moby Dick, where Melville describes how the greatest danger resides just off the lee shore, where a ship is in danger of great damage. Being on land - comparable to not running at all - is the safest option (but then, who would want to be safely on land?). Being just out of port - doing a limited number of K's and only just getting your body used to the activity - will cause the most injury. Being out in the gale, away from rocks that might split the hull of the ship - having passed the point where your body needs to get used to doing larger distances - might be safer than taking it slow and going for short runs.

Now I totally understand if you are not up to speed with Moby Dick and/or have trouble following my train of thought. The idea I tried to explain just now is  phrased in slightly different words by an other great character - who approaches Ishmael's greatness in a different type of classic.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back 

Obviously this is a totally far-fetched figment of my imagination, but I enjoy relating everyday trivialities to literary classics.

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