Exercising the Will

Of all things to do in the morning, I run. Mind you, not because of a desire to be fit (at the very least, I won’t die from a cardio-vascular related cause.) You see, this simple act of running is a lot more than that. It is an exercise of the will. I will now put forth an argument to reason my morning ritual.

You see, when people sleep in and “struggle” to get out of bed, they are becoming slaves of the body. The body wants to sleep, and to stay warm. The last thing it wants is to get out of bed and venture into the cold morning. So when you appease the body, you are enslaving your will, in a way. Because I’m sure if you are healthy of mind you would rather be doing something else than wasting daylight lying motionless.

The act of waking up at a preset time (I go for 06:30, but am considering pushing it back to 06:00) is already an exercise of the will – your will is presiding over the desires of the body. And to go running, especially if you despise exercise (like me), is even more of an exercise. The satisfaction felt in this alone is enough, I would say, but on the plus side, you do see some health benefits.

There is a quote from the Tao Te Ching that says “”wear yourself out to be renewed.” I have yet to articulate this feeling, let alone prove it scientifically, but I can say with certainty that I do feel reinvigorated after accomplishing the exercise. Not only in a physical manner, but also deeply satisfied in the fact that I have already achieved something in the day. In a way, it really centers my morning.

So, even if I am not getting fitter (which I most probably am not, I enjoy my food and books too much), I can say with certainty, that my will-power is at least trained, and I can follow through with decisions I make, however reluctant my body is.

So that wraps it up for another meandering reflection. It wouldn’t hurt for you to try running one morning. Try it out, and test how it feels for your will to be independent of the chains of the body.

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