Will Power

"I can, but I don't want to!" So say I to myself, standing at the bottom of three flights of stairs. I've already climbed them twice, earlier today. The elevator is just around the corner. My legs feel tired.

Then I remember what a friend's running coach told her, about how incredibly hard he works so that he can become the best that he can possibly be as an elite ultrarunner. I think about the differences between knowing and choosing and doing. I envision the Catoctin 50k trail run coming up in a couple of weeks, and wonder whether climbing the stairs now will make the hills easier then. I ask myself whether I have free will, and whether this decision somehow a test of my willpower — or whether "willpower" is the right word for doing something unpleasant in the short term that's going to be valuable in the future. I think of my friend who's going to be doing that ultramarathon with me, and how hard she's training to improve herself.

And then I climb the stairs.

(cf. Knowing Choosing Doing (1999-05-29), Self Improvement (2002-07-29), My Ob (2002-08-18), Runs in the Family (2003-01-25), Flagrante Delicto Philosopher (2003-09-09), Practical Productivity (2004-01-20), Contemporary Introduction to Free Will (2008-06-15), ...) - ^z - 2008-07-18

(correlates: AsymmetricChallenges, Edge of the Possible, Rule 6, ...)