Wednesday, May 9, 2012

By any other name

Every once in a while one needs to slow down and smell the roses. This, instead of our normal 'run or ride past as fast as you can'. The slower you travel the more you can see. A lot of time we are so focused on the outcome that we fail to witness the beauty of the here. We miss the moment. It all becomes a blur with the sole clarity on the finish. 

As you know I am a big believer in the power of the path. The process. The Holy Road. By default that means every foot strike, every pedal rotation and every high-elbow torso twist in the pool. It also means that with each of these repeated movements something else (everything else?) changes, namely, our location. We move. We pass through time and space where other things are present. We get to momentarily share that space. If there are flowers there we should appreciate their beauty. If there are big dogs sleeping on front porches we should let them lie. Because, as I used to joke, if you wake them they'll be mad and hence, won't tell you the truth. If there are hamburger stands, it might be a good time for some fartlecks. If there is violence, oppression, injustice or anger, put it in gear. Or, stop and do what you can to add some kindness, compassion or calm. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE ADD KEROSENE TO THE FIRE. 

It's a big challenge, I know, today's world is complex and filled with paradox, irony and hypocrisy. Toss in fresh greed and a kilo of tyrannical power to control and you have a salad that even Caesar would appreciate. 

Did we wander off the path for a moment there? That is another skill we can develop. The ability to stay with a focus. The flow of a series of seven minute miles. Keeping a steady state wattage number. To stay clear when myopia narrows our higher vision. Or when we notice that our thoughts have made yet another jailbreak and are now vacationing in Cabo when our bodies are cranking out hill repeats in Seattle. Notice the duality, appreciate your mind's sense of adventure and wanderlust, and then politely ask your thoughts to return to the task at hand. Sync up. Combine the power of the mental with the power of the physical. Feel what is taking place. The present is where it is at. It is a gift. Everything is right now. THIS moment. There is only one moment in time where you can affect both your peak and your average. 


The choices we make now create our then. The fuel we take on now powers the quality of the journey. The work we produce and sustain in training provides the rewards and success' of our lives. If you want to win, you have to do everything right in preparation. If you want optimal fitness, wholeness and good health, it all starts with your next selection. Your next choice. 

A burger or beans?
A pizza or peas?
Meat or no-meat?
Cola or water?
Drive or walk?
Cruel or kind?
Expand or constrict?
Laugh or frown?
Fatigued or confident?
Loving or not?
Doing or not?
TV or PR?
Yes or No?

All found along the way. Sometimes we need to refresh. Sometimes we need to ease it off, lighten the pressure to pedal, de-accelerate. Stop and smell the roses. 

Here are two outstanding articles on fueling the fun, or effective eating strategies for athletes. First is from the No-Meat Athlete and the second from my pal The Triathlon Coach, Simon Ward. Both are excellent reads full of great ideas. 

Take the time. 

Pic is from this morning after class, after a squall and after the work had been done. By any other name, fragrance as pink.

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