I used to do a lot of running, and established some very good race times in road races from 5Km to Marathon (42Km) distances. All that was a long time ago now, but I wanted to get back into running and, as we still have a treadmill in our basement, I re-acquainted myself with it!
I have always said that I have solved more problems, and had more creative ideas, during a run than at any other time. The rationale which supports that as not unusual, is that the first place the blood goes to when leaving the heart … is the brain! A vigorous activity will demand more oxygen, which will signal the heart to pick up the pace a little, which will produce a steady and increased flow of blood to stimulate the brain!
But this Post is not about running … or increased blood flow!
While I was running on our treadmill, I started thinking about the possibility of running in a 5Km road race next spring, and then my thoughts drifted to the race pack just prior to the start. Because of my projected finishing time, I would position myself around the middle of the starting pack.
Then my thoughts drifted away from racing, and towards perspectives, and how we see others. Blogging friend (and co-author of The Odessa Chronicles) Carolyn, posted some great comments which addressed similar concepts (link below)
It occurred to me that when I am in the race pack and waiting for the starting gun, nobody around me will know that my personal best over that distance is quite impressive. How could they know? Why do they need to know? Well of course they don’t need to know as it does not impact them in any way. It may well be possible that the person behind me has posted faster times than me, but do I care? No … because it is not relevant to me. All that matters when the starting gun is fired, is that we all run a trouble free and rewarding race.
In running, as in life, appearance is can be a great deceiver.
Who trained? Who didn’t? Who is excited? Who is on a training run? Who is in their first race?
There is a great analogy to life here. That person living on the street may be inviting a response from us, but we don’t know why that person is there. Until we know that person’s history, we really should not offer an opinion as to their character.
We have all seen people who flaunt their affluence but again, do we understand their history? Were they born into affluence or was it achieved through hard work. Are they really that affluent, or just heavily into debt?
Running is a great equalizer in that the only common denominator in a race pack, is that everybody is expecting to cross the Finish Line. Everybody has put some degree of training into the challenge, and everybody is dressed for the job at hand. The only predictable factor is that the runners “up front” will include a few who are expecting to win the race, everybody else is running for personal satisfaction reasons.
You cannot, and should not, judge a runner based on their appearance in a race pack because it tells you very little. You would have no idea of their background and, while some will dress to represent their running club, others will simply dress for comfort … probably shorts and old tshirt! The dress code tells you nothing of their ability.
Likewise, judging a person on the street or in the shopping mall etc. makes no sense whatsoever. So what if they are casually dressed? So what if they are fashionably dressed? So what if …… (just fill in the blank)? It is all irrelevant, unless you understand the details of what made them who they are today, and if you have all that information, I would hope that you would be using it in a positive way! Just thinking!