Squaring Confucius with Memento Mori

I got up at 5AM and ran today.

I didn’t jump out of bed, but I didn’t hesitate, either.

It was the best run I’ve ever had. It wasn’t easy, but nothing hurt.

Really starting to get into this, if not slowly.

During this run, I found myself thinking (about something other than pain). I’m training with an app called “Couch to 5K (C25K)”. I’m starting Week 5 over in my third month on the program.

If I’d stuck to the program, I would have already done a 5K—but I’m going slowly.

Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”

Comforting words for someone struggling to stay on the pace and improve.

But are they TOO comforting?

The stoics refer to “Memento mori,” or “Remember that you will die.”

And we’ve all heard variations of that theme.

Nobody wishes they’d got more work done or spent more time on Facebook on their deathbed.

Which is to say, as a 40-year old white male, my life is statistically half-over.

No. I’m not trying to be morbid, but I am trying to square Confucius with memento mori today.

It does not matter how slowly you go—unless you really want to get there before you die.

You can’t be TOO cavalier about how much progress you make—but you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it either. Unless you know you’re full of shit.

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you always do your best.

Anyway, that’s the way I heard it.

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