Wednesday 30 November 2011


18 Weeks 25th November 2011

Latest pictures from 'the body project'!

I seem to be plateauing at the moment and that leaves me with three options. Option one is to decrease my calorie intake, option two is to increase my energy output and option three is a syntheses of the two. None fill me with joy and excitement. Plateauing is something to simply be aware of and accept as it is part of the learning process. Oh that is so simple to write! I'm reminded to the vicar praying to his god and asking, 'Dear god grant me the power of patience, but give it to me now'. The problem is that on occasion I get my information from a file in my head that is labelled 'Eighteen Years Old' and this leads to frustration when my fifty three year old body is unable to do the things that the eighteen year thinks it should. Goffman (1963)* speaks of the 'virtual' self and the 'actual' self and the problems which arise when the gap between them is realised and can lead to negative introspection. So the trick is to use the 'virtual' self as an attainable goal that positively influences the 'actual' self to work towards that goal. However, gentle reflection leads me to realise that I have several 'virtual' selves floating about out there and damn some of those goals are hard!

Happily I'm reminded of another story:
A man goes to a Zen archer to learn his craft. He asks how long will it take. The Zen master looks at him and says, “Five years.”
The man thinks about this for a while and decides it is too long. He replies, “I'll train harder than anyone else you've every trained.”
The Zen master pauses for a moment and says, “Ten years.”
The man stares at the Zen master with a look bewilderment. “Sorry,” he states, “you must have misheard. I will train from early in the morning until late into the night. I will train until my fingers bleed.”
The Zen master pauses again, leans forward in a conspiratorial manner and whispers, “Fifteen years.”
The man recoils a little, “Hang on,” he squawks, “why is it only five years normally, but ten or fifteen if I really try hard?”
“Because,” the Zen master replies, “you have one eye on the target and one eye on the time!” He slaps the man on his head and says, “Both eyes need to be on the target!”

Ah! But which target? See philosophising with my internal monologue again! Osu!

* E. Goffman, Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1963

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