Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Motivation after 65

every day
the question is
how do I come
by means of a trick
a new trick daily
through the day

The above quote from the mad doctor in the Thomas Bernhard play "The Ignorant and the Crazy" pinpoints a problem encountered by many older runners when the aging body begins to protest. It is not without reason that the age categories for races shrink from 10 years to 5 years when one has turned 60.

The answer of course is in the question. We have to find new tricks to kid and cajole the body into obeying the will of the mind. And if the mind is weak we have to go beyond the mind into the realm of what I call the supraconsciousness to draw on resources to trick even the mind.

By way of example; your foot is hurting and outside it's cold grey and wet. What to do? You can wimp out but that doesn't achieve much. No, you have to go. You know you will feel better for it afterwards. Maybe you need to pull many rabbits out of the proverbial hat. Perhaps a foot massage is called for. Then what, a knee bandage? A double layer of running pants. A long-sleeved shirt. A gillette. A pair of compression socks. A warm hat. Soon you'll be so wrapped up and so warm indoors that you will have to go out. You see. The trick worked. And out you went. Ninety minutes later you were back and ten minutes after that you were relaxing in a hot bath. So there you have it. One day, one trick. Tomorrow the sun may be shining . . .

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