August 2017

Feel the Sensations

Feel

What am I experiencing? * What’s underneath this observation? Stay with it. Keep feeling. These are basic questions and prompts that I’ve employed for many years. Their genesis was in my late teens when I became interested in progressive relaxation. Later on, Vipassana meditation introduced me to the idea of subtler layers. In the depths of depression, when I could do no more than wait to see if an inhalation would arise… and then wait and see if an exhalation would happen, chunks of identity and taking things personally were chiselled and carved away. I lean on the teachings of

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Start Again

Flow

In a recent article entitled “Maybe We All Need a Little Less Balance”, Brad Stulberg explores the idea of balance. He writes that it’s not balance that allows us to flourish in our life and pursuits, but instead internal self-awareness: “the ability to see yourself clearly by assessing, monitoring and proactively managing your core values, emotions, passions, behaviors and impact on others.” This immediately resonated with me. I don’t think anyone who has met me would use balanced as a descriptor. Those close to me are apt to say driven, or focused. Reflecting upon my past accomplishments the sense of

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Headspace

The Mental Game

The muscles in my legs ached… Kilometre 8 of 42 complete, the mind asserting itself as speed governor, “This hurts. Just walk for a while.” Cheers from my friend, as I started cycling, warmed and encouraged me. The Ironman Sweden bike course is especially beautiful, perhaps bested only by Zell-am-See 70.3 in Austria (assuming clear skies & warmth). But the layout and weather patterns on Öland and north of Kalmar conspire to create hours of mostly headwind, which can be mentally draining. Regardless, the job is still the same–set the wattage and keep your head down. Despite their occasional grumbling,

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Ironman Sweden

Courage & Confidence

I often ask myself why I continue to train for and compete in Ironman events–both half- & full distance. To be honest, it’s a scary question because what if the answer is “I don’t want to”. Then what? The question then becomes whether I’m doing this in order to create an identity to hold on to. But down that rabbit hole is not what this particular post is about. It’s very clear to me that I really enjoy training, being fit, and improving my health–mind, body, and spirit. However, much of my athletic life has been testosterone driven. The underlying

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Orust

Dukkha

From one coast to the other. Missing friends I’ve just left. Looking forward to hanging with others. The first of the noble truths is very prominent, dare I say obtrusive, in my life. Dukkha is grossly translated as “suffering”. It also means “the unsatisfactory nature of stuff”. As Krishna Das reminds us, “We cannot get satisfaction from things. We can get pleasure, but when that passes we have pain, and when that passes we have pleasure again. Neither one of those things is satisfying in a deep way.” I’m not equating my friends with ‘things’. Far from it. They are my

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Everything is possible

What really matters

Numerically, I’ve lost fitness during the last 4.5 days of full rest while the body eliminated a sinus & lung infection. The timing–transition week between maximum build & beginning of taper leading into Ironman Sweden–wasn’t great. But without creating space for healing, I knew that my health would have deteriorated much further. Thus, an opportunity arose; time for focused spiritual strengthening. In the long run, that’s actually what’s most important to me. Mentally, I feel refreshed and eager to move along the path, which is a joy! (Physically, the body is still regaining its energy stores.) With a positive mindset

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Health

It’s taken more than a year but I’m finally feeling healthy again. More accurately, after 51 years, well-being is arising. The first statement refers directly to my body, and to some extent mind. Last year I pushed the edge of the envelope physically in order to reach my goal of qualifying for, competing in, and finishing the Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. As a newcomer to the sport, the task dictated a very demanding, and purposefully designed training regime. But, over time, it wore down my physical systems, and severely drained the mental energy I drew upon in order

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