Sunday, June 18, 2006

You Are Here

If you're not into introspection read no further.

I have posted in the past about the physical changes training has made in me, and I really enjoyed the cyber oggling and tri-chica commentary about my race photos. (The guys were very kind too, but somehow it's not the same. Not that there's anything wrong with that.) I have also posted about some internal changes, how endurance sport has made me more engaged with the people around me. Another type of internal "adaptation" has occurred to me.

Remember that old saying, "If a tree falls in the forest, but no one is around to hear it, does it really make a sound?" Take it one step further. If you live without seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling, touching and experiencing what is going on, are you really alive?

I have spent far too much of my life wanting to be somewhere else, feeling like I was waiting for something, preparing for something, saving for something, looking forward to something. When I graduate from music school, I will . . . When I win an audition, I will . . . .When I get into law school I will . . . When finals are over I will . . . When I graduate from law school . . . When I finish my clerkship . . . When I change jobs . . . When I'm a partner . . .

When what? Why not now?

In swimming, biking or running, such foolishness is not possible. I have no choice. I can either live here and now, or I can suffer. As soon as I pine about the rest of the workout or the rest of the training program or the future race, I gag, gasp, and bonk. If I just enjoy the stroke, the glide, the wind, the hill, or the stride, all is well. When you're strong enough to turn the earth under your feet, you actually know it and feel it. You remember those days because they are written on your character. When the wind kicks your ass, anesthesia and excuses are not available. It is what it is, and you are there. The ride is experienced and you remember it forever. It is the badge of honor that propels you even further.

The trick, on which I will probably be working for the rest of my life, is getting the now in my now, even when I am not training. There is nothing wrong with planning, preparing or saving. But you are here. You are here now. You can either choose suspended animation, or you can have a life. Don't let life be what happens while you're making other plans. "Only that day dawns to which we are awake." Henry David Thoreau

11 comments:

TriBoomer said...

G'hound,

Imagine a life not of unfulfilled wishes or concerns of the future but of never ending here and nows. I believe the best way to learn about the future is to get fully engaged in the present.

Nice John Lennon quote too.

Stay tuned...

Deb said...

What a great post! How awesome to be 'here' in your life. Nice place to be!

Veeg said...

Man, triathletes are all so Zen. Living in the Here and the Now, and recognizing the timelessness inherent in that. . . that's a goal that kicks the heck out of a sub-whatever-your-poison. :)

Scott said...

Great insight. Though it is absolutely true, I too often lose sight of it... to my detriment.

Habeela said...

The challenge is to live in the moment without forgetting about the future. Great post.

Carrie said...

Amen Brother!!! FYI--You will kick BUTT at BSLT this weekend. Ignore my post about the flats :-)

Nytro said...

"If you live without seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling, touching and experiencing what is going on, are you really alive?"

My new favorite quote. Well done.

Nytro said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
a.maria said...

well said.

WELL. said. thanks.

christine said...

Great post. Cheers to the here and now!

Wil said...

Perfect timing ...