Health

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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Winter

Winter

It’s a love-hate relationship. I could say the struggle is between me and winter, but that would be a lie because wintertime is just doing what all seasons do, expressing life in their own way. The tension, and the ease, are within. Part of me contemns the cold, and the darkness. Simultaneously, I appreciate the tenderness in nature’s quiescent. She invites me to join her. Creation whispers, “Slow down, my boy. Be like the seeds preparing for rebirth. Nourishment and strength enroot in the repose.” And when I relent, accept, and embrace… She smiles. “That’s it, my son. Breathe. Feel

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Yes

Yes!

Yes! Today was my official return to structured training after some time off. It feels Grrrreeeeeat! I’m a big believer in the importance of taking time away from one’s primary sport (or career) to allow for regeneration of physical tissues, to provide time for the mind to absorb all that has happened, and to grant the spirit space to charge our batteries. Room is required in order for growth to occur, and when that gap is mindfully provided it fosters cultivation of positive change. Development doesn’t always happen exactly as–or when–desired, but we can arrange our environment in a way

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Always Becoming

Always Becoming

That’s a wrap for this maintenance week (a lower volume week that followed a build cycle). There were still some very solid workouts in the disciplines–swim bike run, but with enough room for the body and mind to recharge ang repair for the next cycle. Five weeks to IM Los Cabos where I’ll give ‘er all to qualify for Ironman World Championship, Kona 2018. I’m in the best health and fitness of my 51 years–mind, body & spirit. What’s more, I’m happy. Sure, there are aspects of my life that aren’t exactly as I want them to be, but I’m

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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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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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