Aliveandrunning May 22 2014


This is a little game we are playing at the moment. The above  door is in frequent use. How long can we enjoy fecund nature (yes, fecund is a word that’s constantly on our tongues) before sheer necessity requires us to cut back to gain access? Probably quite long, actually. I can see us crawling through on our hands and knees in about a month’s time. That’s how ridiculous we are prepared to get!

I’ve cut down on running this week following tiredness due, almost certainly, to over training last week. I ran with the club 3 days ago and I’ll do Cambridge parkrun tomorrow but essentially I’m recovering. At present I’m feeling slightly listless. I had a haircut recently and I think my shorn locks weakened me further ( my stamina and strength was highest when my hair was long in the late sixties). Age shall not weary me but, as Samson found out, a haircut will! Just recently, someone commented that watching me run reminded them of the highly efficient T-1000 liquid metal shape shifting Terminator as he tries to catch nice Arnie driving away from the psychiatric facility with John Connor and his mum.

The club road running group did a Ik time trial then 4 further Iks. There were around 50 of us, split into 4 groups according to speed. I enjoy these !k distances. Yet again I made an effort to be more sociable and chat to people I don’t know. I’m still fighting an urge to run alone, to be the outsider, the maverick, the mysterious Runner With No Name like Clint in the Dollar films (minus the cigarillo for health reasons, of course).

Interesting BBC Radio 4 programme on May 20 called Personality Politics. The central idea was the contention that the brain is hardwired for political preferences. Our instinctive responses to danger, contamination etc may be exaggerated and over reactive and this might find expression in a correlation between political beliefs and our innate feelings of fear, disgust and threat. People who are socially conservative tend to emphasise punishment of transgressors, want protection from immigration, oppose abortion and gay marriage, have a stronger reaction to disgusting images and pay more attention to them. Conservative people are more focused on their personal feelings and more liberal people on the outside world. Apparently different parts of the brain are used corresponding to political preferences.

I can easily accept that particular beliefs and resultant feelings can activate different parts of the brain as an effect of those beliefs but not as a genetically hardwired cause. I think our early experiences, in the main, determine our degree of empathy, moral development and our response to difference and change. Disparities in brain functioning  would then follow the different beliefs and feelings as a result of those experiences, not the other way round. My head hurts now. I’m going to bed. Night night.

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