Tuesday, 16 July
A Strong Sense of Place and Belonging
I am blessed to have lived in some very beautiful places in my “triathlon life” - Kona, HI; Lake Placid, NY; New Paltz, NY; and (presently) Ithaca, NY (in the Finger Lakes Region). Training and racing in my hometown area has been vital to my physical, emotional and spiritual integration with my home.
This integration - this experience of belonging is so vital to my sense of well-being. Its difficult to describe the nature and the depth of this connection and the feeling of well being that locally-based training and racing have brought me. Often, when I am out in the quiet countryside on a solo training ride, I feel it as an opening and pulling in my heart. Its as if my heart is pouring out into the land around me. I feel as though I lose my boundaries - my sense of self. I become the landscape - absorbing “her” energy.
The Mighty Mussel
On Sunday 14 July, I participated in my 5th Musselman Half-Iron, here in the Finger Lakes region. This year, the race was even more “heart rendering”: There was a fatality on the bike course during the “Mini Mussel” on Saturday that brought an air of sobriety to Sunday’s race. We honored Chris Coyle with a moment of silence, and then carried him in our hearts as we began our race.
Throughout the race, I reflected on all that I am grateful for in my life - including my sense of home and connection with this beautiful area. It is an honor and a privilege to live this life and to live in this place.
I was not hungry for a podium. Far more vital was focusing on the honesty of my intentions, and the sacredness of my actions. I was satisfied to finish the race, to really feel the elements - the heat, the topography, the wind and the verdant energy of the Finger Lakes. And I was grateful for all the volunteers who provided us with the vital support enabling us to experience our quest.
Looking at the results, I made 4th place in my Age Group - less than a minute out of the third place and the podium, less than 2 minutes out of second. Disappointed? Not in the least! Sure, it would look good on my “rap sheet”, but I won’t diminish my appreciation for this heart-rendering connection with my Finger Lakes home just because I didn’t to step up on the podium.
A New Paradigm for Winning
I have a new paradigm for “winning” at races: I want to claim that I know more people racing/volunteering than anyone else. My ultimate goal is to truly feel that I am among my “o’hana” - my family - when I race. Wealth is integrity - with place, with community, with health, with our food, with all our relations.
Man-oh-man! I am one wealthy tri geek!!
I will compose another entry this week to discuss how I am integrating my racing into my training as I build from one event to the next.
BTW: I did indeed follow up Musselman the next day with a 5:40 mountain bike training ride.
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