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Insufficient perspective

Like most of Western New York, I spent Sunday snowbound in my home. My workout called for an hour on the bike trainer, which logistically I could have done but the Achilles tendon in my right ankle was sore -- probably from running on the slushy winter streets, so I took the day off to heal.

Huddled on my couch (in large part because I was icing my sore ankle for 20 minutes at a time, I plowed through a majority of the book "On the Wings of Mercury" by Lorraine Moller.

Lorraine Moller is a runner from New Zealand who became a marathon specialist and won the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics. She was inducted into New Zealand's national sports hall of fame and was a founder of the Lydiard Foundation which works to keep the running philosophy and teaching of Arthur Lydiard in tact. At heart of Lydiard's running philosophy is to build a huge base of aerobic conditioning. The bigger the base, the higher the peak.

I had the privilege of meeting Moller back in 2005 at Women's Quest retreat in Colorado. She told her journey, a hero's story, of continuing disappointments (including her nemesis -- fifth place finishes at international competitions) and of finally achieving an Olympic medal.

While her story is entertaining and inspiring, there was one quote I came to which really struck me:

We constantly think we are shortchanged only because our perspective has insufficient distance.

How many times do we think we're in an impossible situation? Or think the stars have lined up against us? That fate has dealt us some horrible hand? Countless times for me, particularly in the last few months.

But perhaps I'm looking at the situation too closely. I'm not giving it sufficient distance because if I saw it whole against a dark sky, I would see its beauty, even in the pain or sadness. I would see the entirety of the situation, I would have sufficient perspective, so that the chaos of the moment would shrink in importance against what the universe has in store for me.

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