Clarity

Free, or One

Free, or One

I long to be set free. To or from, place or thing? This fragmented state, Some odd mentation. The mind paints escape, In time and space. But no locus exists, Only I am. I want to know again, This One we are. ~ Caressed by expanse. No limits delude. Self touches universe. Her breath envelopes. We are the same and are either one. OM ∙ ∙

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UMC Day 3

Embrace

A good friend recently asked me, “What does it feel like to embrace the pain?” It’s an interesting question to ponder, and one that I wouldn’t have had an answer to before Ultraman Canada. For all other events in my life I’ve fought the mental, emotional, and physical pain, gone to battle with it in an attempt to hold it at bay, or hopefully fight it away. Photo by Colin F Cross Other than recently, the only time I haven’t waged war against the pain was once, while in the depths of depression, when I no longer had the energy to hold up the mask

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2nd Place Overall

Endurance Insights

One of the overarching reflections I have of racing Ultraman Canada 2019 can be summarised as, “Where did that performance output come from?!” In one regard, I wouldn’t have extrapolated my prior data and experience to predict the achieved results. On the other hand, there are clues to be found in the methodology and mindset. I entered the event believing in the possibility of achieving excellence. This is fundamental because without a positive mental attitude a low ceiling is already cemented into place. Removing perceived boundaries provides room for potential to express itself in extraordinary ways. Keep in mind, however,

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Messy

You’ve probably heard it before.Perhaps, like me, you’ve resisted the message.Even so, it’s true;equally as much for athletics as for recovery. “Progress is not linear.” The look of joy as health returns. AthleticsThis year has been far less about my physical fitness progression and much more about spiritual and mental development. This was not by design. For the first time, I’ve struggled with a physical injury and blood markers that have hampered my training. Fortunately, I’ve also been living much closer to nature thereby supporting inquiry. I’ve spent a lot of time getting clear about my ikigai (reason for being)

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An Invitation

Recently, I read a quote that sparked something inside. With a short pause, it was apparent that there were numerous subsequent responses. It would have been easy to disregard these and focus solely on the strong, energising, and confident energy that initially arose but, I’ve trained myself to look closer because there’s usually more going on. And honestly, it’s the subtle layers that are often the most interesting. “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” ~Jenifer Lee To be transparent, I felt uneasy with the question about what sets my soul on fire. Why? It’s

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Dark Night

I’ve made it through another dark night. While I can’t say for certain that it’s over, it does feel like I’ve stepped through a door. And on this side of the threshold, I can see two things that have helped me reach this point. Consistent, healthy routinesDuring this difficult time, I’ve relied on practices that support my wellbeing. Over time I’ve learned that there are six keystones to my health: sleep, good nutrition, community (support and connection**), time in nature, regular exercise, and daily meditation. I’m constantly tuning each of these but they have all proven to be essential. Thanks

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Clarity

When we’re not clear with ourselves about who we are and what we want it’s impossible to have clear and effective communication with others. We’ll make things up (consciously or unconsciously), and we’ll take things personally because we don’t really know what we feel or believe. Until we get clear about what we feel, and learn to express this with nonviolent diction, we’re only fooling ourselves. Growing up I learned to be a perfectionist because it provided a way for me to feel like I had some control in my life. What I didn’t realise was that the OCD behaviour allowed

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Eternity

When does eternity start? 5 minutes at a stoplight can seem like forever, and 3 hours on a treadmill moves into the realm of hell eventually. But at what point does it go from bearable to endless? As a young child, I remember clearly the time when my mom put me down for a nap. On some level, I was cognizant of my disdain for the forced downtime. Heck, I probably wanted to be out chasing geckos. I must have recently overheard the saying “a watched clock never moves” because, thinking myself clever, I moved the dial on the old-style

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Injury

It’s taken me four days to acknowledge my situation enough to write about it. Injury isn’t easy for anyone to accept. As an athlete in preparation for scheduled races, being side-lined in any way causes frustration on at least two levels. I want to exercise because it’s a big part of my physical and mental health. Also, I’m not moving forward as planned or as desired. Put another way, I’m not meeting my expectations. Anyone who has done relationship work may recognise the keyword—expectations—as a major hindrance to conversation and connection. It is equally destructive in athletics. First, what did

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Cabin in the Woods

Workload

In athletics, there’s a term called Heart Rate Drift. It indicates our body’s response to work over time. In everyday life we might call this running out of steam. In either case, the effect may not be initially obvious. In the graph you can see how my heart rate increased over the course of 5 high-intensity intervals (no.’s 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10). Notice that my run pace increased during the first three intervals as I ramped up the effort. (I held back a bit on the first couple because I didn’t want to flash burn and have nothing

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Quiet

Quiet

I’ve been thinking a lot about paradox. Heck, I’ve been inquiring into several things lately: clarity, routine vs flow, aligning my actions with my values. But something struck me out of the blue a few mornings ago. Something I’ve not seen before. At first, when I awoke and sat up, I only recognised that something was different, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. So, I got up, made tea, lit a candle, and sat down on my cushion for meditation. All completely ordinary, but something was different—not amiss, just curiously different. I just kinda shrugged, closed my

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Preservation

Inquisitive. Cautious. Curious. Veiled playfulness, uncertain about the rules of the game, and unnerved by conflicting messages in the ocean of human interaction. …That’s what I see when I look at the picture of my two-year-old self. As that child grew, wariness morphed into self-protection and preservation. I would have preferred that the outward manifestation had become foresight and restraint. Instead, the key theme was vigilant anger. The most insidious criminal is the inner terrorist, the part of your mind that bullies you or accepts bullying by others. An agitator in your psyche attempts to keep you small by encasing

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Journey, not Balance

It’s easy to accept the adage that managing life is about finding balance: personal time, family, work, other commitments. But I find that it’s a journey, not a balancing or juggling act. Perhaps this is because of my personality, or the way my brain works: I tend towards OCD and perfectionism. For me, balancing acts become extremely exacting, even captious. And a juggling act can be chaotic, stressful and tiring as I attempt to get everything right in order to keep the balls in the air. Instead, how I move through each day is a process of discovery. My method

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Face Your Fear

Fear & Leaning In

I wrote in my journal last week, before Ironman Tallinn, that what I enjoy most is a simple, consistent daily routine. As an ultra-endurance athlete that means the repetition of training, eating, sleeping–preferably in a rather unchanging setting. Two days post-race, however, I find myself somewhat lost at not having a race for another ten months. Pausing, I notice a very subtle sensation of panic, and that my breath tightens ever so slightly. I thrive in the methodical. But I’m stimulated by goals and new experiences. It’s a very curious dichotomy; one that I don’t understand and am unsure how

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Avatar

Driver?

Where is the driver of this avatar? The mind and body are aspects of, and tools for, this form. This expression is linked to the entire system, as are all the other avatars: the snow, the trees, the insects and animals. The only driver that exists, if it can even be called that, is the universe… Awareness itself.

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