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The Inner Fire

My entire life has been about connecting to, or perhaps the search for, the inner fire. What drives me? What sustains me? What keeps me going?

Since early childhood I’ve felt drawn to superheroes. Spiderman was my favourite. I also identified with the Hulk’s internal rage, although I’ve never achieved the raw strength he embodied–maybe that’s a good thing. Included in the metaphor was most definitely a desire for escape from my environment. (Notice the transformation theme in both of these heroes.) But there was also the yearning to connect with my internal strength, energy, awareness, clarity, balance and wisdom.

Being a full-time athlete this last year has been the realisation of a childhood dream. It has, in part, included connecting to that inner superhero paradigm, a very stimulating and fulfilling experience. But the mental and physical grind was much greater than I expected, necessitating a daily recommitment to the process. After finishing the Ironman World Championship my tank was empty. In fact, it’s only after six weeks of down time with no actual workouts, lots of time alone, some rejuvenating soul-brother time, and a ton of rest that I’m ready to slowly work back into a regular schedule of training.

I’ll be honest. There’s a part of my brain that wonders what the hell I’m thinking. The resistance comes from… hmm, to be honest, I’m not sure where it comes from. It just questions if I really want to work so hard and drain the tank again.

A-ha, no, I don’t want to drain the tank like that again. I’ve written before that my focus now is on longevity–by building strength, continually increasing vitality, and as Chris Hauth expresses it, “it’s an ultra-endurance lifestyle.”

When I snapped the featured image of this post it dawned on me that what I’m doing is connecting to the inner fire. I can’t get bogged down by the segment of myself that want’s to just chill. There are embers radiating red hot, feeding me with energy. Flames of a fire are flashy; they look nice, but they aren’t what sustains the blaze and gives the heat. Goals of winning my age group, racing hard in 70.3’s and competing at IM Kona again are still present, but they are parts of something deeper, hotter, more enduring.

I feel the glow inside. Perhaps, after fifty years, I’m actually connecting to the inner fire… or maybe I’m realising that I’ve always been connected.