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Home / Articles / Columnists / Life 101 /  The Tortoise & The Hare Meet Tennis Balls & WEIGHT LOSS
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Tuesday, December 4,2012

The Tortoise & The Hare Meet Tennis Balls & WEIGHT LOSS

By Cary Bayer  

With an astrological chart that features a Gemini sun, complemented by a moon and a rising sign, both in Virgo, there’s more Mercury in my chart than there is in my thermometer. That means, that quite naturally, I do many things very quickly, from reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic, to running, thinking, speaking, joking, and learning. As a result, I always have to remember that life isn’t a sprint, but a long race. So, When I’m out on the tennis court, my sport of choice these days, I like to finish the point as quickly as possible when I’m playing singles. I try to hit the ball into corners, and come to net to end the point swiftly. The strategy often works. But it has its drawbacks: good passing shots, and topspin lobs from the opponent, take care of that game plan. Poor approach shots put me up at the net in a defensive position instead of the offensive position that was my intention.

I used to coach a tennis pro who liked to play fast points like I do, as well. Eventually, I got her to see that the tortoise-like approach would probably win her more matches than her hot-dog-like hare style. Reluctantly, she came to agree, and found more success as a tortoise than as a hare. Sometimes she merges the two styles as a kind of hybrid “torhare.”

Impatient, overweight people sometimes try to lose weight like hares using crash diets, liquid diets, no-carb diets, and so on, that promise—and often deliver—shortterm shedding of excess poundage.

The dieter’s inner hare is delighted by a six-pound weight loss in the first week, and another three the second week, as well.

A Hare one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the Tortoise. The latter, laughing, said: “Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race.” The Hare, deeming her assertion to be simply impossible, assented to the proposal; and they agreed that the Fox should choose the course, and fix the goal. On the day appointed for the race, they started together. The Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course. The Hare, trusting to his native swiftness, cared little about the race, and lying down by the wayside, fell fast asleep. At last waking up, and moving as fast as he could, he saw the Tortoise had reached the goal, and was comfortably dozing after her fatigue.

too, is weight loss, overcoming procrastination, and spiritual development.

To borrow from a fable by Aesop, I tend to be like the hare in the way I do many things. But what I’ve come to learn is that that behavior can only take me so far. Below is the entire story of the tortoise and the hare—quite short and easily readable with hare-like swiftness—translated from the Greek by George Fyler Townsend, in 1867: But how long can one subsist on two shakes a day? Two shakes of a lamb’s tail is hard enough. (Perhaps two small pieces of a lamb’s tail might be a better longterm approach to weight loss.)

And, weight loss, if it’s for more than five or 10 pounds, is about the long-term approach. So much of life is.

The hare’s diet often backfires, causing cravings for high quantities of foods that contain high quantities of sugar and fat. The dieter often puts back those nine pounds, and then some. A wise, balanced style of eating, however, that features reduced amounts of proteins, carbs, fats, and so on might prove more effective in the long run. While the first week might create a loss of three pounds with, say, two, the following week, steady progress with an easier-tofollow eating style will keep the tortoise dieter on her program.

 

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