It seemed to me it would be good to spend a little time discussing balance and the middle way. For me this was one of the core lessons of Buddhism, with many applications. Almost everything with two extremes can be viewed from the point of view of balance or the middle way. It’s not just about asceticism versus hedonism, but about all the things where two opposites are not clearly beneficial or unbeneficial. It is not always equally easy to see, but for example ill-will and the effort to eliminate it is not part of the middle way, even though it can be said to have an opposite in good will.
For many other dualities, the middle way is a good method, and should be deployed judiciously. It is often in finding a good balance that both sides of an argument are learnt, and wisdom arises. It is life experience, real lived circumstance, that often shows us where the extremes of things are, and allows the middle way to flourish. These things are part of the examined life, if life is lived in unawareness, then the lessons are not learnt and we do not become wise.
Sometimes it is a good idea to spend time at the extremes. I have spent a lot of time resting over the last few years. That is an extreme, but it can be a beneficial extreme. I have also done some fairly extreme diets in order to lose weight, and that had a beneficial effect, for a while. So as with all things, knowing when to make exceptions is also a good thing.