Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's All a Matter of Perspective


Kenya Airways Boeing 767-300, 196 economy seats, 20 premier seats, 86,880 KG load capacity, 90,770 litres of fuel, flies at Mach 0.80, 62,100 lbs of thrust, 47.6 metres wingspan, 54.9 metres in length, range of 11,306 KM. This is not a puddle-jumper of an airplane — it's pretty good sized.

PERSPECTIVE: Descending into Johannesburg on a Boeing 767-300, the plane banked and the wing covered several square miles of landscape, businesses, and homes. If I had been in the air above the plane, the plane and the wing would have seemed small compared to the earth. If I had been on the ground, looking up at the plane, it would have seemed barely larger than a speck. Problems look so big when they are close -- in our face. But, often, it's a matter of perspective. The problem I face today may be relatively small in the scheme of things. See Matthew 6:25-34 (especially verse 25 and verses 33-34) and Genesis 50:20 for some interesting Bible references to the idea of perspective.

I was thinking about my running this morning when I came across those notes (above) that I had made on that plane ride. I have been running regularly now for 8+ years. Up until about 2 1/2 years ago, I was reasonably fast for my age — not age group winning fast, but satisfyingly so. But since that time, I have often felt like the more I run, the worse shape I'm in. But, it is a matter of perspective. I am running and that's good for me — Fox News did a layman's piece about 50+ year olds running that cites the evidence for that. I can't find the percentage of 57 year olds who run, but I'm in a pretty small percentage of that age group. I'm not that slow, just slower than I was at 54. I can run 4+ miles without stopping on most days — and 4 miles is not a short distance. So, buck up, Bob, and quit complaining!

This morning in Nairobi it was 61.5° and 72% humidity. I ran 4.14 miles at a 9:43 mpm pace. I wanted to quit from almost the first step, but I didn't. I ran! It's a matter of perspective.

Run well, y'all,
Bob A
Nairobi, Kenya

"For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are." -- C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew
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