Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Preparation

"When you see a swordsmen, draw your sword. Do not recite poetry to one who is not a poet."
-Ch'an Buddhist Proverb

Japanese Samurai talked about the sword as extension of your person, as a forge upon which to mold focus, discipline, and training into a whirlwind, yet paradoxically calm energy. All of your being honed in on the moment and task at hand. Us runners can get in this zone at times before a big training run or event, even back-of-the-packers like myself.

With McNaugton being just 10 days away, I'm loving getting the eye of the tiger these last few weeks during buildup. A large part of the beauty of running or more specifically ultras/long events, is that they often require a steel will and a resevoir of not only physical reserves but spiritual and emotional, the ability to tap into the flow and let the results fall where they may.

The physical training is done, the long hours in the woods, not so much "training" as communing. It sounds a bit tree-huggerish, but being on the trails is as good a vehicle into the self as any I've encountered. For me the retreat into self is a need that runs deep, and as much as it's required at times, can be difficult to attain--it's usually found is segments of a few hours or days here and there, the privilegded times, sometimes hours into a long journey on foot, perhaps in the preparation, hidden in the lingering endorphin high of days following.

And so we retreat inward, the eyes narrowing to slits for the battle of will--this is the space where the passion resides.

Soundtrack: The Weakerthans "Fallow." The acoustic and emontional side of Propagahndi, more introspective and less overtly clever than later albums.

4 comments:

kent said...

"And so we retreat inward, the eyes narrowing to slits for the battle of will--this is the space where the passion resides."

Very well said. While most people hate the taper before a race, I use the time for mental training - visualizing the course and how I will perform to the best of my abilities. I find that if I've played out every possible scenario in my mind beforehand I am truly prepared for anything I encounter, freeing my body to do its job - getting me to the finish line!

Good luck at McNaughton.

dirt_trail_runner said...

thanks, kent! are you doing the race? see you there perhaps...jason

Bob Crothers said...

Jason,

This is Bob, the Bearded One from the Race.

I think you've captured the essence of why I run/walk trails. I love being out with a group. But I treasure my solo trips. Thats when I "Become One with All that Is".

I'm not a tree huger either...but I am a "Hippie in disguise" who still firmly believes in What Goes Around Comes Around.

Bob

dirt_trail_runner said...

Bob,

I couldn't agree more! You did awesome at the race, pleasure chatting with you. See you in '07. -Jason