Clarity

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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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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Howie--Solo Camping

Reflection Day

Yup, that’s me: solo camping (2009), and on a bike (1972). A few years later I painted that Spidy-bike red & blue with black spiderwebs. I was 6 years old. And I felt lost already then. Like everybody else’s life, there have been a series of ups and downs. Do I feel less lost… 45 years later? Yes and no. What I do have now is some experience, both incredible highs and some pretty shitty lows. One consistent theme throughout my life has been an underlying warrior energy. I’ve identified with (or wished to have) tiger strength, samurai zen, Spiderman

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Flow vs Resistance

Resistance

The hardest part of working out is overcoming resistance–more so in the mind than the body. Even when the body is protesting for legitimate reasons, I still find that it’s in the mind that most of the combat is waged. Sometimes–actually, fairly often–in the morning there’s reluctance to doing yoga. My approach is to key into the fact that I know I’ll feel better in body, mind, and spirit afterwards. That’s not always enough of an impetus to get me on the mat, so I invite myself to just sit down, start breathing, and begin simple seated movements. I know

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Foundation & Transmission

Foundation & Transmission

The concept of athletic form refers to a healthy foundation and correct biomechanics. What happens below affects what’s above, and vice versa. Beyond anatomy, form is also about embodiment; how we carry ourselves in the world, and the type of energy we transmit and express. For me, there’s a process of learning, letting go, testing, feeling, listening. * What I choose to wear and use. * What I invite into my life. * What and how I nourish this body. * How I actualise my authentic self and interact with the rest of creation. Being naturally pedantic (to put it

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Layers, or Illusion

Layers, or Illusion

As I wrote in my last post, I’m unpacking layers physically (inside), emotionally, and mentally. It’s about the search for myself–my true self. Paradoxically, as the layers are stripped away and there’s more balance, peace and harmony within, I note that there’s less of me to find. In retrospect, this makes perfect sense by reason that stratifications are removed, honoured for the part they’ve played, and set free. In other words, as I find myself I also discover that there’s less self that’s existent. But, in what could sound confusing if it’s not experienced for oneself, as this transformation occurs

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