Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The struggle - perspective is not always reality

In a past career I worked for a company which supplied building materials for residential construction.  At some point my employer decided to offer installation services and tapped me to run a crew installed doors and windows.  One day we were on a job site (me and to flunkies) working in the pouring rain.  Being the great guy I am I let the others stay inside while to did the "outside" work.  After an hour or so I stepped inside to dry out as best I could.  So I'm standing there talking to one helper.  The other helper is sitting a bucket yukking it up.  At that exact moment our location manager and a sales rep walking into the house.  The manager sees us standing around and goes nuts.  He screams at us for being lazy and goofing off.  Never mind that most sane folks would not stand in the rain without an umbrella, much less try to operate a cordless drill in the rain.

It was at that moment that I realized that reality is not real.  If I'm busting my rear on a job or during a training session, then my reality is hard work and sweat equity.  If you see me kicked back or shuffling along then your reality is that I'm slacking off.  No too persons view off reality is the same.  Its all a matter of perspective.  What is your view or perspective of a situation?  Try looking at a level.  Where is the bubble?  Its location in the level depends on your angle of perspective.

That brings me to exercise and training.  I used to run slow.  And it hurt.  Now I am faster and when I run a solid pace it feels good.  If I try to race really fast it hurts but I enjoy it.  The difference between my usual pace and really fast is 8 minutes per mile versus 6.30 minutes per mile.  But try to get me to run slower than 8.30 minutes per mile without walking and I rebel.  My mind screams.  My legs refuse.  Running slow seems to be more of a struggle than running fast.  I said once that if I suddenly bought a Bugatti Veyron (really expensive, really fast car), why would I keep it in the garage???  I have had to learning that being fast does not require every run to be fast.  But that is the point of training.  Make something difficult turn into something easy.  Then find the new "difficult".

One's perspective does not always speak the truth.  One's perspective does not always tell the whole story.  Sometimes I "feel" that I ran faster or farther than my Garmin indicates.  Other times I "feel" that the run was more of a struggle than the Garmin would indicate.  This holds true for running with others and sharing personal stats.  People on the Daily Mile sometimes marvel at my speed or mileage.  But others do run faster and farther than me.  And I still see myself as that turtle, racing against a hare that is not napping.  Fortunately my "reality" is finally outpacing my "perspective".

When you look in the mirror what do you see?  When you look at your training watch or review old logbooks what do you see?  When looking at other runners in groups or competitions what do you see?  Being objective and seeing "truth" is often harder than any workout I could ever imagine.

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