Chilean Miner Runs While Trapped

It’s been all over the news today — the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days were finally pulled out. All 33 of them were rescued after the mine collapsed, and the pure emotion of love and hope on these miners’ faces is heart-wrenching.

But one interesting fact has surfaced about one of the miners. According to London’s Daily Telegraph, Edison Pena, 34, has been classified as the fittest miner and to keep his sanity, he ran 10km every day while underground.

Why would someone do something like this?

If I were trapped underground, running would probably be the last thing I would think of doing. Instead, I imagine I would sit underground curled into a corner for most of the day, rocking back and forth and wondering whether or not I was going to make it out of this alive. Pena, however, thought rationally and did the one thing that he found solace in – exercise.

After all, isn’t that the main reason why most fitness-enthusiasts exercise? Sure, a small part is to stay in shape and look physically good, but we all know it goes much deeper than that. Scientifically, running releases endorphins to give you those feel-good emotions that might keep someone looking forward to another day because that might be the day they are rescued. And running lets you forget. It lets you forget about life’s problems and daily stresses; it lets you forget about dire situations and it lets you escape the mental turmoil rolling around in your head. When you run, all you have to focus on is putting one foot in front of the other, or breathing in and out.  For a brief moment in time, the world just falls away and life isn’t so bad.

So Pena, in the end, was smart enough to preserve his sanity by running. He was able to do an activity that reminded him he was alive and encouraged him to keep holding on so that he would see the world in all its beauty once more. Bravo to you, Mr. Pena, bravo. Please, go for a run and stare at all the beautiful nature you can surround yourself with — once you’re done relishing the fact that you’re alive and get to be with your family again, of course.

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Posted on October 13, 2010, in Exercise, Mental Health, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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