Runner at Large

My whole life, I have viewed runners with a sense of awe. Now I am one of those, and I am extremely proud to be considered a runner.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Allegory of the Cave

One of the all-time worst subjects I ever was required to take in college was psychology (how ironic that I hated it so much, I had to take it twice). Out of those two semester classes (each taken at two very different schools by two very different professors), one story stuck with me. That is Plato's analogy, The Allegory of the Cave.

If memory serves me correctly, one of the theories offered in this description was that humans will grow so accustomed to their current environment that change of any sort is not welcome, and can be downright painful, even if the change is a positive one. The comparison Plato makes is a group of people who are held prisoner in a cave for some time. They create their own environment and comfort based on the position they are in, and create their own fears and logic on why a life outside what they have is better. In this case, they view shadows of their guards, creating the illusion the guards are much bigger than they really are.

When finally freed and brought up into the sun outside of the cave, the bright light is too much for their tender eyes, and instead of waiting for their body to adjust to its new surroundings, they long to be returned to the prison from which they came.

I love trying new things, and I am a firm believer of taking what you have and going with it, and not yearning for the past or wondering "What If". However, a big downfall I also have is my comfort zone. I'm not one to deal with change, and will put off any change as long as I can.

At the risk of sounding extremely shallow (because in the great scheme of things, this new change in my life is about as minuscule as the pine needle stuck in the hardwood floor that I cannot seem to get with the vacuum or dust brush or my fingernails), I am trying right now to apply this allegory to the fact that the Cool Running website announced they were merging with Active Trainer. I have known this for some time, and I am almost through the denial stage. My bookmarked favorite is still "Cool Running", and I had refused to transfer my data. I am now at the point where I must do so, and I must move forward with this. I panic that my data won't transfer over, and get ill about the idea of losing years' worth of stats. Is this new site better? I think so--it has training routes, claims to be easier to use, integrated maps for planning runs...but I refuse to allow myself to grow accustomed to it--to learn it and find out how to use it. I don't understand why I can't keep using my old (albeit ancient) Cool Running log and running map to mark out my own routes.

But now I must learn to do just that. I will try to take my own advice and move forward, accepting this change that has been handed to me. I'm not happy with it--I knew how to use Cool Running. I don't know how to use this. I feel silly, and I still can't figure out how to pull up reports on running, or to see how many miles I've ran in the past week, month, or year. I desperately keep checking Cool Running's website, hoping they will decide to return to their log for users, and I need to remember this is probably better, and to let myself adjust.


At 2:55 PM, Blogger Marcus Grimm said...

Psst.. Move to All the cool kids play there. :)


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