Perspective : a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view (Apple dictionary)
It is amazing what perspective can do. It can take a identical object or situation and make the observer or participant feel completely different about it. Some perspective is just visual – my kids are always asking me why the moon follows us in the car. I’m left trying to explain perspective. But some perspective is more of an experience, like when one of my kids thinks some particular activity is silly, and pokes fun a sibling for doing it UNTIL that child tries himself, and then suddenly realizes it is hard or scary and now has respect for the sibling. Perspective.
Training is the same way. I’ve only been doing this swim/bike/run stuff for a few years. Before that, it was organized sports and body building (or as my dad would describe it: “going to the room with heavy objects and picking them up, then putting them back down in the same spot, over and over again”) So when I began training for my first event (Tough Mudder a few years ago) running 2 miles was a milestone for me. I felt like I accomplished something, and getting to 3 or 4 miles was huge, and sometimes I’d cheat and quit just short of my 3 or 4 mile goal. NOW due to injury and training schedule, I’m supposed to run ONLY two miles. And I still cheat. But I run FURTHER. Because I hate stopping after two!! I’m just getting warmed up!! Perspective, right?
My first road bike ride was around 20 miles. When I got home, I bragged to my wife. “I went TWENTY!” Now, I think it is not worth doing a ride unless I can get out for at least 25. I like 40 even more. Perspective again!
Last week I swam 2 miles. Two MILES of swimming. The same distance that I thought was hard to RUN! I had never gone that far before. And let me tell you, it was an epic journey. The mind (and goggles) do interesting things. After a long time in the pool, thrashing away, I start to imagine the lifeguards, when greeting their replacement, saying “that guy has been going since I got here!” I think about the people who get in my lane with me, do their workout, and then leave, while I’m still plowing along. And then there’s the foggy goggles (because they are not fancy enough or not cleaned enough – no comment on which) which turn the workout into a mind-warp trip to some torture chamber, where I’m floating along and can’t see ANYTHING, and no longer have things to look at to distract me. I’m stuck with nothing buy my own thoughts. And they are scary! Self-reflection is not for me! So I clean them, check my watch, and I’ve still got a mile to go. Wow. Back to imagining what people are thinking, studying the people who are much faster than me, dreaming about doing this in Mirror Lake. Finally, exhausted, I’m done. An epic workout. A new level of achievement. An exiting benchmark in my training life. Last week I swam 2 miles and hit a milestone.
Yesterday I swim a quick 2 miles at lunch. Perspective.