An individual’s personal perception of life is unlike anyone else’s.  This individual has her own way of looking at and seeing things.  She has her own opinions, attitudes, and challenges and may go through the same challenges as others, but will perceive and react differently.  A life enveloping catastrophe to her, may be a mere bump in the road to another.  Her attitude towards specific occurences becomes self fulfilling.

variances in opinion are all due to perception.  Those who don’t see running as something worthwhile are obviously not looking at it through my eyes.  But challenges can influence and change perception.   I have recently been diagnosed with Anemia, making running difficult and not so pleasant.  Anemia is a condition in which there is not enough iron in the blood.  Iron is important because It produces healthy red blood cells in the body, which transport oxygen to organs.  Because running is an aerobic exercise, oxygen is kind of important. I mean, oxygen is kind of important period!  So, because of this health problem I have had to force myself to finish workouts that would otherwise be relatively simple.

My perception of running has changed.  I despise pushing myself through pain that I shouldn’t feel during a short, simple run.  I get angry at myself, feeling that I should be at a certain level, but am falling short.  So I didn’t run today.  I did nothing, unless you count mowing the lawn as a workout.  Instead I read a book called Unbroken, which actually helped me see more clearly.  I read all morning long about Louie Zamperini, who was infact a runner, a world record runner to be exact, and a WWII survivor.  He was drafted into the war, and became a B-24 Air Force Bomber.  But he, along with his crew crashed in the ocean.  Only three members of the crew survived the crash and were forced to wait for days on a raft, in the Ocean, for rescue.  Louie was among those three.  The two other men with him were Mac and Phil.

Louie, while starving and drifting in the Ocean, remembered an article about a survivor in their same situation.  The article had reported that the crew members who didn’t survive went insane from dehydration and had wild hallucinations. So Louie and Phil decided they needed to keep their minds sharp.  So, they quizzed each other and discussed memories, life events, and the future.  They taught one another lyrics to songs and did everything they could to keep their minds in tact.  Mac, however did not participate much and many times went through mini freak out sessions.

“though all three men faced the same hardship, their differing perceptions of it appeared to be shaping their fates.  Louie and Phil’s hope displaced their fear and inspired them to work toward their survival, and each success renewed their physical and emotional vigor.  mac’s resignation seemed to paralyze him, and the less he participated in their efforts to survive, the more he slipped.  though he did the least, as the days passed, it was he who faded the most.  Louie and Phil’s optimism, and Mac’s hopelessness, were becoming self-fulfilling.”

That quote was taken from the book, Unbroken.  It illustrates how critical perception is, and not just with running.  Those who preceive pain as a moment to overcome, overcome and look back at a bump in the road.  Others let pain follow them, allowing it to envelope their lives.  Envelopment is hard to get away from.


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