Health

Shinrin-yoku

Sanity is a walk in the forest: · Terpenes· Quietness· Nature’s timing Autumn scent and feel is in the air.Birds are much quieter than even a month ago.The species have changed a bit too. Green remains the predominant colour,which isn’t a surprise given the amount of rain recently.But once cold nights settle in the leaves will quickly reflect a different spectrum. Nightfall arrives sooner in the dayand with deep darkness; perfect for sleeping.And the sound of a fire in the wood stove rejoins my morning meditation. Without a doubt, spring is my favourite season.Yet, there is immense beauty as summer

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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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Twist of Lime

It was a miserable, miserable day at Ironman Ireland, Cork. Nearing the finish line, I was tremendously grateful that it was over. Yet, a few days later I began to taste a sweet twist of lime that I had missed during the 11+ hours of heavy rain and wind. The pelting downpour, cold temperatures and poor logistics management by the race organisation were challenging, to say the least. However, the continual outpour of well-wishing and support from the spectators was heart-warming; for them, I kept digging deeper. Deluge The Youghal and County Cork residents are perhaps the most wonderful people I’ve

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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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Unravelling

Nature is always there for me, exactly how I am. Upon rising yesterday I was pulled away from the meditation cushion and encouraged instead get outside directly. After stuffing a thermos of tea in my pack of swim gear I set off for an early walk around the lake, returning to the dock where I’d swim and meditate. It was clear that the Universe was inviting me into a healing space with fresh air, bird songs, rising sun, and movement that was different from my regular stretching and rolling. For over a month I’ve been struggling with incapacities in my

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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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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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Recovery

Nature for Recovery

A walk in the woods is an excellent way to support recovery from a myriad of life events. Recently, I strolled through the woods after finishing a long run and three days of back-to-back larger training volume. Fresh air, sunshine, forest terpenes, nature’s quietness mixed with soothing sounds of wind in the trees and bird song, and a distinctly grounding energy are very supportive. One of the reasons the best athletes in the world can absorb a lot of training is that they rest between sessions like the best in the world. Not everybody has that opportunity. We devote time

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Skog

Chop Wood, Carry Water

If you’re seeking balance in your life, I submit that developing and nurturing consistent, healthy practices will provide what you’re looking for. Often advocated as an optimal state, perpetual balance can become stagnant. Far more important is steadiness; durability that bestows a degree of internal calm, or stability in the midst of disorder, noise, turmoil, chaos and stress. Through consistency, we promote dependability, firmness, and perseverance that provide the ability to act clearly, perhaps even with wisdom, and to do so from the perspective of personal care and wellbeing. The human body does not seek balance; instead, it pursues homeostasis—the

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Frodo

Frodo

It is said that the frog is symbolic of cleansing and that we can call on the frog spirit for support in clearing negativity and “toxic” energies, perhaps by renewing perspective or vision, and by encouraging us to clear old opinions and beliefs. The frog totem symbolises the cycles of life, in particular, the rebirth stage. Its own journey through life, from tadpole to the adult state, reminds us of the many cycles of transformation and rebirth in our lives. It is an amphibian, moving easily from water to earth during its life and is thereby revered as a symbol

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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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Unsettled

Unsettled

In my last post I shared a feeling of ‘settled’. I knew that it would pass. All conditioned things are impermanent–transient, evanescent, inconstant. My autumn training camp has come to an end. There’s been tremendous growth in fitness, with nutrition, emotionally, and relationally. Nevertheless, upon reflection to the start of my trip, there are decisions for which I wish I could have mulligans. Play the course as it is, and the ball as it lies. Mammaw Undoubtedly, in the quote above, my grandmother was only referring to golf, but it does reflect the practical side of her nature. I have blinders that

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Nature. Silence. Energy.

Reflections

In a recent blog post Shawn Bearden was brave enough to write and share his deeply personal reflection. Now it’s time for me to step up and say, “me too”. His first two paragraphs echo almost word for word thoughts I had from ages 10 to ~40. And that feeling of finally being heard, yes; that was the changing point for me as well. Not the bottom, but the start of change. “Sometime in my early 20s, I thought about my future self. It was a little unsettling that I couldn’t imagine myself after 40-45 years old. It wasn’t that

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Simplicity

A Simple Life

I’m learning that the simpler my life is the happier I am. Yet, there is renitent energy. Even while acknowledging my happiness-simplicity experience, there’s something inside me that is resistant to living increasingly simply. What is that element? I can hear the addictive patterns scream out in fear of answering the question. Fear/Addiction: Don’t look closer, don’t inquire. And, God forbid, don’t even think about asking the question about what it means to live a simple life? Me: Why not? Fear/Addiction: Because you might have to give up something? Me: Um, well, isn’t that kind of the point? (In order

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ÖtillÖ

The Rich Roll Podcast

“Intimate, deep and often intense, these are not interviews. They are conversations. A weekly aural dance designed to provoke, educate, inspire and empower you to discover, uncover, unlock and unleash your best, most authentic self.” ~The Rich Roll Podcast In autumn 2012 I suffered a pilon fracture of my right ankle in a freak accident. During convalescence from ORIF (Open Reduction and Internal Fixation) surgery the universe conspired to help me. While sitting on the balcony reading and Internet-surfing I stumbled across a video by Rich Roll, Finding Ultra :: Reject Middle Age. “Anybody can be the Ultraman. You just

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