I keep a magic mirror in front of my treadmill. When I run in front of it, I see the reflection of myself in 2007, doing my Ironman, weighing 212 lbs. My reflection look strong and relaxed, happy to knock out the miles without a care in the world. Six mile run for breakfast? No problem for my reflection. Long slow 18 miler to support a friend training for the marathon? No problem for my reflection.
Want to know where I got this magic mirror? Home Depot. That’s right, the good old cheapo. To be honest, it’s just a regular 10 dollar mirror. The magic is in the placement. It turns out that the wife could not see herself in the mirror when I was on the treadmill, so she moved it way off center. It’s so far to the right that I can only see my shoulder and elbow when running, and there’s the magic. I cannot see the parts of my body that make it clear that I have gained lots of weight since 2007. I cannot see bounce that didn’t used to be there. I cannot see performance garments stretched beyond their designed capacity. I cannot see how far I have fallen.
All I can see is my strong shoulder and elbow bobbing up and down to the rhythm of my running. This is the shoulder of a runner. This is the shoulder of a person who can tap out the miles effortlessly. This is the shoulder of an Ironman. This view is exactly the same as it was in 2007.
All I need to do is to keep running, and remember that my 2007 self is inside of me, just waiting to get out. If I do that, the magic will become real once again. It is all a matter of perspective.