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 tone I developed in my upbringing was anger, ego, and dominance. Excess yang was my norm.

I’ve spent over a decade investigating, inquiring, and even reworking my focus; fostering vulnerability, intuition, and patience. In other words, supporting the feminine energy that, in combination with the masculine, formulates who I am. Recently, I realised that I succeeded in cultivating an excess of yin energy.

Further insight into my query came just the other day when seeing a picture (FB, IG) of Rich Roll and his coach Chris Hauth swimming together while training for ÖtillÖ World Championships. My comment included, “Living life with gratitude and presence.” …Then today when setting intention for my morning yoga practice, Grace clearly implanted, Courage, and followed it up with, Confidence.

With only a few days remaining before Ironman Sweden/Kalmar the workouts this week are designed to infuse energy into the body and mind. The competitive spirit is rising! …But, I ask again, is that compatible with my wish to investigate stillness, quiet, compassion, and empathy for all beings?

The answer arose when I sat down to meditate. “Rest in and with Focus.” The warrior is both peaceful and strong, calm and confident, moving in harmonious balance of yin and yang.

So that’s one reason I’m competing on Saturday, to live full out, experiencing the way that life expresses itself through me in that arena. Present. All in. With courage and confidence. …Game on!