Why running is like chocolate cake

With the exception of people on a martian holiday, those of us who consume media have all been fed on a diet of Eurozone crisis and global financial meltdown for far too long now.  The news has not been pretty and while it’s tempting to stick your fingers in your ears and go “la-la-la” the fact is it’s getting worse and it’s affecting us all – mostly negatively.  And nobody seems to have the answer.

Except me of course.

When I started to run, I was very slow and got very knackered very quickly.  Now, I’m still pretty slow but I get a bit less knackered a little more slowly.  In other words I got a bit better at it.  If I stop running, I get fatter and when I do alot of running I lose weight.  There’s a cause and effect connection between the two but one thing is for certain: I can only go so fast.  There’s a limit to how fast (and, I suppose, how far) I can run.

And that’s the point.  The limit.  Everything has a limit.  Run too fast and you get knackered.  Eat too much chocolate cake and you get sick.  Spend too much and you go broke.  Is it just me or did I hear Call-me-Dave talk the other day about “restoring growth and a balanced economy”?  Just how long is “growth” sustainable exactly?  If everything is growing, then everything is consuming and so eventually the talent, buildings, payroll, Jaguars, Pret-a-Mangers,  pop-socks, motor cars and everything else will just either run out, have no room or have no raw materials to be made.

We’ve already determined that the population is doubling every 54 years so how many more people can actually fit on the Northern Line in a rush hour?  How many new and highly profitable businesses can be created and co-exist at the expense of how many failures?  Straws can break camels’ backs just as “waffer-thin mints” can cause intestinal overload.

Dave  actually was half right.  By “Balanced Economy” he meant balanced as in growing.  That’s what politicians think everybody wants – growth.  But if he really had our interests in mind and not just a return on investment then he should have meant balanced as in sustainable.  But that’s not too popular coming from a politician that wants to be re-elected.  “Guys, this year everything is going to flatline” is not a winning campaign tagline but actually it is a sustainable one.

So I put this to you: don’t expect too much of your running or your investments because continuous growth or improvement is just not possible and will only come at the expense of something else.  Sustainability is worth thinking about in terms of everything we do from running to relationships and should be the validation – the acid test – against which every decision we make should be judged.


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