Like last year, I registered to the Ironman 70.3 of Rapperswil-Jona on 10.06.2018 (1.9km swimming, 90km cycling and 21km running) and like the previous year, after registering in October 2017, I began to follow the training plan.
These, however, were performed with a different frequency and intensity. Before Christmas, there were dinners and lunches with friends, families, colleagues. Then I went to Ecuador(1), then to the carnival, then I started having allergic asthma, more dinners, more clients(2). Then, two weeks before the race, during an introspective course, I injured my right knee(3). Let’s say that this year I had to change strategy and I had to focus on a “static” training.
This “static” training was a combination of moving while thinking. During this time spent on preparing myself for the competition, I had the experience of:
– feeling my critical and analytical mind sucking the available energy;
– stopping this critical and analytical thinking;
– redirecting the remaining energy to open my senses in a lovely way. At the same time to observe my body without judging and evaluating it.
So I did focus on feeling my body without judging or criticizing. Trusting its intelligence while opening my senses. Feeling the beating heart, the movement of my lungs without exceeding the threshold of pain or having to understand how my body REALLY works(4). Following its signals and trying to read between the lines of my skin, my fat, my muscles, my bones and my cells. This without letting myself be influenced by others’ opinion: after all, who knows my body better than I do? We’ve been together for more than 45 years, haven’t we?
This “static” training helped me to focus on the messages of my inner voice. Instead of listening to the other athletes’ comments on my swimming outfit: as I was not wearing my wetsuit! At that moment I heard also my own judgments and criticism. Later I was also hearing them when I was riding my heavy racing bike or when I was wearing my old running shoes. In those moments this “static” training helped me because I was aware of three things:
– that the part of the mind that judges and criticizes is an energy sucker;
– how hard it is to let emerge the part of the mind that enjoys and feels free;
– how rewarding it is to stay in the flow of movement, feeling and enjoying my all body. This last teaching was the basis of this year’s “static” training: redirecting my energies to the primordial need of my body and to feel free, to expand and to have fun. Being aware of my limits, respecting and loving my body.
This awareness needs to be practiced. Basically, during this “static” training, I went through my judging and critical mind.
The only one not wearing the Wetsuit for swimming.
At a certain point, I was aware of these critical thoughts and how much energy they were sucking. Then, thanks to Shiatsu, to swimming, to meditation, I redirected my awareness and I began to think on how to be loving to my body. So I could stop judging and I could use my energy differently. So I began searching for the flow and for the joy of being in movement.
Looking with eyes and heart clear from the clouds of judgment and criticism, “thinking” with eyes and heart ready to listen, being patient and confident. With free and open eyes, looking into my inner, trusting and loving the resources that enhance well-being, that increases it even during a prolonged physical exercise. Acknowledging that these resources are overwhelmed by the constant pressure of the “Zeitgeist”(5) who oppress my/our loving inner voice. When there is no difference between movement and thoughts, when the heart beats in the movement, in space and in time occurring now. At this moment there is no more room for judgment and criticism. There is only room for the sensations that come from my senses.
Cheers! Finisher in 7 Hours and 4 Minutes.
Obviously, it is easier to get into this state when we are all equal, uniform in movements and in appearance, when we feel we are “NORMAL”. When I feel different from the others, it is easier to be trapped into the grip of the critical and judgmental mind. Thanks to this “static” training, I trained myself to feel the resonance between being present, feeling different without the wetsuit, redirecting my awareness to what I love in my body. So I can involve my energy and my body in the self healing energy and in the present moment(6)!
I am sure you experienced your own judgmental and critical mind, isn’t it? Then give space to the sensations and trust the body(7) without judgments and criticisms. Acknowledging that the body needs to move without being busy with doing better or worse than the others. That the body needs to move fully aware of the movement of its own breath, of its own center of emotions, of its feelings of joy and love.
(2) from May 2018 I work at the Lake SPA of Enge
(4) The Essayer – Galileo Galilei in English – “I could illustrate with many more examples Nature’s bounty in producing her effects, as she employs means we could never think of without our senses and our experiences to teach them to us-and sometimes even these are insufficient to remedy our lack of understanding.”
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it in German or French, let me know if you find it.
(6) as I watched myself judging and criticizing, I have the confirmation that I can observe my energy sucked by this attitude. Hence this awareness gives me the chance to observe how I am doing it and that I can also let the energy flow into what I love. So instead of judging, which sucks my energy, I can redirect my energy in loving what nourishes my wellbeing.
(7) brain, heart, belly, legs, nails, smell, sight, touch, liquids, skin, hair… and all the cells that are one with the body and that make the body one.
Shiatsu provides a space for self-awareness. Letting go judgments, assumptions and expectations