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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Paranoia will destroy ya

I love to run in the wooded trails during the weekends. It’s peaceful. By the nature of the trail, it is an  interval training, which I love so much. The convoluted paths, the rocks, the holes, the stumps, the fallen branches, the mud, the water puddles, the sand….. always unexpected, always different.
I have a full cataract in one eye so it makes paying attention to the obstacles in the path a bit more challenging as my depth perception is very limited, and my downward vision with glasses is fuzzy at best. But I love a challenge!!!

In previous posts I talked about paying attention to the surroundings instead of just staring at the path. This is now my biggest challenge. I normally direct my gaze left, front, right, down…. and I keep rotating so I have a good view of everything going around. This has now become difficult to perform. I need my eyes on the trail to avoid stumbling.

So Lise…. you genius… how about you use your training. How about you use what you preach. When you are in a public area, amongst a crowd, what do you do. Do you just stare everywhere? No… you pay attention to disturbances, to things that “do not belong there”. So how about you do the same thing in the woods brainiac!!!

Perfect!!  So what belongs in the woods? Trees, small and big, rocks, dirt, fallen branches, squirrels, birds,  undergrowth. Got it. You first have to understand what “good” is before you are able to see “bad”. Now I have a clear mental image of what belongs there. It is programmed in my brain I can now focus on the trail and keep my peripheral vision on things that might stick out. The first few times I did this, I found nothing out of the ordinary, nothing that stuck out.  Last weekend, as I was running along the trail my spidey sense went off. Something was wrong. I did not know right away what it was. My eyes got pulled toward the right. Something did not belong in the picture. Turned out that it was a man standing about 15-20 feet away in the thicket, blending in quite well may I add. That’s not normal. I looked at him pointing a finger in his direction, acknowledging the fact that I had seen him. No aggressive behavior on my part as I did not really know what he was doing or why he was there. (Reflecting on it after the fact, if I was a betting woman, I’d say he was probably looking for a place to void his bladder). But I kept him in check, looking for an abnormal or aggressive  behavior on his part. I knew he was deep enough in the thicket that I would have had time to get away if I needed to or at least time to get prepared. But nothing happened, so my guess was probably right on. Either that or he chose to wait for an easier, more unaware prey.

The fact is that if I would have spent my time looking for something that could hurt me, I would have been running paranoid, I would have been starring in every directions to know what was going on, risking falling flat on my face. By programming my brain to the things that were supposed to be there, my subconscious was able to pick up anomalies without having to turn me into a paranoiac. This makes a run fun and safe.

Be smart, stay safe.