While Thud-Thudding, Thud-Thudding on the treadmill at the resort last week, I saw something amazing.
I witnessed a profound universal truth, in real life.
Everything I saw through the window of the gym in Tucson was amazing early in the morning. There were lush and artistic landscaped sections of sticky cacti. There were spots of sodded grass and stucco buildings and pretty man-made stuff. Beyond that were more impressive works of art; Mountains. Wild Cacti. And More Mountains!
Nice scenery to keep you going, But, that is not the amazing thing that I saw and learned.
Since the machine was planted right up against the full length plate glass, I saw my own reflection.
No, no, no, I’m not just that amazing looking that I needed to write about it! Please, just hear me out on this 🙂
I saw a version of myself in the window reflection, doing the activity, that I knew in my mind I was doing, and I noticed a few interesting things:
- The reflection I saw was partially covered in shadows, which made parts of me dissapear.
- The reflection I saw, didn’t show the whole me, that I knew was there.
- I was wearing a baseball cap, the brim made a shadow, and so in my reflection, it looked like I had no eyes.
- The treadmill itself covered up my lower body, so only my red shirt, a few spots of beardy face, my headphone wires and most of my hat showed up.
- My hands were bouncing up and down with my jog, and as they flashed in and out of my peripheral vision, they were the only glimpses I got of my tangible self.
While exercising on a moving rug of rubber, you gotta stay focused, (or at least I do) and so, I stared at this reflection for quite awhile.
Then I began to wonder… What if I looked at this reflection so long, that I believed myself to be, the image that I saw in this ‘shadowy partial mirror’? And I mean, Really believed it?
What If someone were to walk up to me and ask, “How’s it going?”, and my answer was something like:
“Well, I’m doing okay, but I’m getting tired from all this running. I have to keep going, or else I’d crash horribly, I think it could be deadly, I can’t even see where I would go, it’s just black all around me. And I’m kinda worried, because I can’t make out my legs anymore, not sure I ever could, and so I don’t even know how all this bouncing feeling is happening. I’m really scared because I may have lost my eyes, but that’s confusing because I’m looking at part of my face right now. Basically, I’m a mess, but I’m trying hard to stay on track! And You know the ol’ saying, ‘It Is What It Is!'”
Uh oh! I HAVE believed this partial reflection of myself, to be myself, many times in my life!
Let’s think about the guy who walked up and heard this answer from a seemingly normal person on a regular ol’ treadmill. What would his response be?
“Um, Sir? I just want to check with you and make sure you’re feeling okay. From where I’m standing and what I can see, your story doesn’t match up. In fact, I think I can help you…
Just FYI, you are a real whole person, jogging on a treadmill. Your body looks complete to me, and it appears that you’re moving it just fine. If you’re getting tired of running, I think you should know that the speed and incline of your machine are all options that you can select, and adjust; they’re under your control. I encourage you to reach down and play with these controls, even stop them if you wish, and you’ll feel better really fast. Oh, and one more thing; even if you crashed and fell from where you are, it is only a couple of inches down to the ground, you may be bruised up a little, but deadly? I don’t think so. Is there anything else you’d like to know? Because It’s clear to me that this situation can be improved greatly, and you’ll be able to relax really quickly, with just a couple little actions.”
And Me again, “Oh! Thank God you came along! I don’t know what I’d have done without your help!”
And Him, “Your quite welcome, Once you get your bearings again, I’d like to show around the place you’re actually in. It’s full of all kinds of wonderful equipment for exercising. You can play around on any of them you want. And if you’d like to experience more, we’ll even head outside and find a trail up that mountain right there. You might really like that, now that you’re in shape from all this running! This going to be a lot of FUN!”
What just happened here?
I’m merely pointing out that so often, from our perspective, we can’t see or understand the true version of ourselves. It is based partially on what we think we are, partially on what we’re doing, and then mixed up with a cocktail of emotions, that can color the whole recipe differently from day to day. So, are we even qualified to truly understand ourselves without some kind of objective outside perspective??
I don’t think so. And that is why I have a coach.
I realized the parallel tonight, as I re-watched this video I have posted on my website at www.truenorthffc.com
See if you can find the point in this clip, where my treadmill metaphor comes into play.
Also, Don’t bother trying to convince me that my mind goes strange and crazy places…
I can see that quite clearly.