Your mind can interpret things around you when going through the paces during long-distance events!
I've often wondered whether people really hallucinate with sleep deprivation and long periods of exercise. This is something often spoken about in ultra-distance events.
I even once thought I was hallucinating myself during a long-distance event!
That said, I question the research around it and whether there is just a more straightforward explanation.
Whilst I'm not out to attack those that talk about hallucinating, I want to show an example of how our minds (and technology) can see things that aren't really there.
A few weeks ago, for those that have been following my training, I was pulling my tyre late into the evening whilst covering 40 miles in one day. I'd also only had just 4 hours sleep the night before (it was the 3 day period I covered 96 miles pulling the tyre).
It was about 9pm at night. I have my head torch guiding me along the Derbyshire Peak District, and there is nothing around except the peace and quiet of the countryside. No sound of traffic or people.
As I continue walking, I see an image ahead and have to think twice. It looks like a person crouching in the distance.
I pause, focus, and it still looks like a person crouching. I grab my phone and take a picture! I know it can't be right. Logically why would someone be crouching there.
I approach with caution, given it's the middle of nowhere, and I'm on my own. Even though I'm martial arts trained and not averse to self-defence, I still take caution yet I'm curious.
As I approach, sure enough, my instincts are correct…
It was a small bush.
Whilst I could have blamed my tiredness on the first impression. The theory of hallucinating goes out the window, as the camera must have been hallucinating as well lol! In my opinion.
So, the message I want to put across with this article is quite simply this: –
My Bear thinks and interprets the visual reality in front and around me because I've trained it to do so. My Bear has a process to filter what I'm seeing and question at all times what my true reality is.
Your Bear is your friend, but he can also overreact at times and be your worse enemy.
It's essential to understand how he thinks, feels and acts at all times. This way, you can learn to rationalise and deal with any perception that may not serve you in your best interests.
This can be relatable to possible anxiety, stress, depression and much more. When in fact, the reality of the world around you may actually be a nice place, but your Bear just needs a little helping hand to understand a bit clearer.
Walking With My Bear