Friday, December 2

The Myth of Sisyphus

              Source: via Justin on Pinterest
In Greek mythology, King Sisyphus commits treachery against the gods, and is condemned - for eternity - to roll a boulder up a hill, over and over again. Sisyphus toils as he pushes the boulder upwards, and just as he nears the top of the hill, the boulder rolls back down and he must begin again. The punishment of eternal, repetitive, fruitless labor was the worst torture the Greek gods could dream up.

Clearly this is where some clever devil got the idea for hill repeats.

This morning I headed out to a local park to practice the personal equivalent of rolling a boulder up a hill. I did a 1.5 mile warmup, then marked off a tenth of a mile, and proceeded to race up as fast as I could, turn, walk back down, and do it all over again. By the time I reached the top, I felt like I was going to hurl. By the time I got back down to the bottom, I recovered enough to repeat the drill again.

Sounds terrible, right?

Perhaps... Unless you're a runner or a fan of Albert Camus (or both). In his classic essay The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus writes:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."
And it's funny...
Because, twisted as it seems on the surface, I think Camus might be right.

I didn't "accomplish" anything this morning (if by "accomplishment" we're talking about a concrete, tangible result). But I did knock out my hill repeats at a 6:45 PACE!

And that was enough to fill my heart.

Maybe Camus was a runner?

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