A Balanced Life Includes Appreciation Of Art, Science And Rest


Hi folks,

Calvin and Hobbes Street Art. From: http://goo.gl/Vp6hL

Calvin and Hobbes Street Art. From: http://goo.gl/Vp6hL

Years ago I read an excellent self-help book, entitled ‘Self Help For The Bleak,’ by Richard Hall, which promoted a balanced approach to life. I concurred with the opinions of this entertaining author, and when it comes to balance for the endurance athlete, I think that your life can benefit from a healthy mix of Art, Science and other things. I have been fortunate, as a scientist, to collaborate with a number of gifted artists, including¬†Andy Fleishman, who worked in my laboratory for several years back in the mid-1980s. His contributions were critical to our studies of the role of fluid mechanics in nasal delivery of inhaled toxins, and we were even invited to present several joint lectures on the synergy between Art and Science. Furthermore, this experience broadened my understanding of the nature of Art, strange though it is.

My middle son, Duncan, who also turned out to have a strong artistic bent, recently posted the following link on his Facebook wall: The Best of Street Art 2011. You really ought to take a look as the images, such as the one above, are quite remarkable. The message to me was, “We are only limited by the power of our imagination.” But whether you are an artist, scientist, or athlete, you have to take a break from time to time. I think that this concept is best expressed by Lao Tzu, in the Tao te Ching:

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.

For the athlete, or anyone for that matter, a balance has to be achieved between exercise and recovery. The body needs time to repair after the rigors of training, which is especially important at night early in the sleep cycle, when growth hormone levels are highest. So if your body or your coach says rest, then rest, which is what I am doing today.

-k @FitOldDog

Today’s workouts:

WorkoutPLAN: COACH Chris Hauth
move  Rest


  1. So why pray are you bashing out words on a keyboard? Keyboards are not the hole for the axle.

  2. Hi Trevor,
    the hole for the axle is when I sit quietly each morning and essentially think about nothing at all, which is very very relaxing indeed. It took me a few years to turn off the chatter in my head, but now I can do that quite effectively. So I sit, with or without non-human friend, each morning with tea. This, like rest from training, is the hole in the axle. I don’t actually bash out words on the keyboard for more than two hours per day, and to some extent this is directed towards finding new streams of income to support my peaceful sitting, traveling, or whatever. Now, that didn’t take long.
    Thank goodness I learned to touch type when I was young.

  3. Ah, that accounts for the change in you.

    I have coffee first thing and sometimes me and the cat sit there and ignore each other and the universe without any effort at all. Other times I ignore the universe without feline assistance.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.