Scylla and Charybdis

If I increase my running mileage too quickly, I’ll injure myself and never be ready for my race.

If I don’t increase my running mileage quickly enough, I’ll never build enough stamina and be ready for my race.

These are the twin rules guiding me right now. In between is a sweet spot, and that’s where I’m trying to remain. Increase my mileage, safely, while remaining healthy.

It seems to me that many personal and group challenges have similar twin specters – threading between twin extremes has been a theme since ancient times, when Homer described Odysseus sailing between Scylla and Charybdis.

It’s important, I think, to define your extremes. and then to sail safely between them. If you’re preparing for a conference performance, you might be sailing between perfect preparation and student burn-out. As teachers or parents, adults are constantly vacillating between maintaining control over our charges, and empowering them with ownership of the activity.

Once you define them, it’s easier to maintain safe distance between the dangerous extremes.