Monday, August 3, 2015

Day 8.125 Then There Is

A few years back we conducted a protocol that spanned an entire quarter. Three days a week for three months.

I called it The Mountain.

It was a focused and consistent progressive indoor cycling experiment. We started fast and finished strong. Wherever those places were found on each athletes physical fitness timeline - a rough way of saying - do your best, where you are with what you've got - we began. In earnest.

The outline is a simple one that I borrowed from a famous Zen proverb. So popular, in fact, that it became the lyrical accompaniment for a couple of rock tunes. Here is the hook:

First there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
There there is.

From Donavan P. Leitch to the Alman Brothers, and of course, the Dead, we have long pondered the meaning of these sparse but juicy lines. Sometimes we ponder with folk, sometimes with the blues and often with rock.

My take is this (with apologies to DT Suzuki): When we begin an endeavor there is challenge. We are not sure it - whatever IT is - can be done. Think marathon or Ironman or Grand Fondo here. That is the uphill struggle associated with its accomplishment. It can seem Sisyphean At first. We begin, committed to the process along the path.

Soon a strange and wonderful, miraculous and magical thing happens if you are dedicated and disciplined enough to keep your eyes on the prize. Suddenly one beautiful day, the mountain is gone. The run, ride, swim or challenge is gone. You have flattened it out through your hard work and your powerfully positive attitude. You now see the results of your labour. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you are elated with this new gratifying topography. There is no mountain. You have earned the flat.

I would love to announce that this is the end of the story. But it ain't. Because once you have earned the flat, removed the mirage of the mountain keeping you from your goals, climbed it simply because it is here, adapted mind, body and spirit to the obtainment of your lofty goals, and flattened the course figuratively, metaphorically and metaphysically, you face this:

Another mountain. A bigger challenge. More work. Smarter work. Work with a smile, teeth grinning vice grinding. Your heart knows this as well as your spirit. Don't worry, it won't take long before our head figures it out too. And THAT my dear friends, is a major moment.

When your head, heart and humanity (mind, body and spirit) are all in harmonious alignment, YOU CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS.

First there is a mountain,
then there is no mountain,
then there is.

What are you experiencing today?

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