Monday, 16 January 2012

Pushing the limits

I am surrounded by running p0rn. There's glass shelves full of trainers in front of me, gels and jelly beans to my left and behind me books on everything from how to get the most out of your heart rate monitor to a guide to races around the world. They could close on the door on me now and this could be all I need in life.

I'm at London's Run and Become to hear from three amazing athletes: Former Great Britain Ultra distance international champion (Adrian) Tarit Stott, multi-day race Abichal Sherrington and hill climb (cycling) champion Tejvan Pettinger. I'm struck by how unusual their names are and while I was previously inclined to think that's a Celtic/Gaelic thing, I found out later that Tejvan is a name given to him by his spiritual teacher, Sri Chiminoy - and that's a link to all three, as well as their amazing achievements. Run and Become was founded by Chiminoy and if I have this the right way round, he was an advocate of achieving spirituality through sport. Those of us on a long hard run can probably relate to that. There's a whole load of blogs and information about him and self transcendence out there; I won't talk about that too much as nicely the Run and Become folk didn't get all hippy on us either! But here's a little way that one of the guys described transcendence:

"when you're in a place where you don't have to deal with things on a day to day basis and became more aware of the core of what you are"

Anyway here's some of the random snippets these guys said that I wanted to share:

On encountering difficulties:
"Each problem you have has a source, find the source and find the solution. If you can't resolve the problem you need to reach a state of mind where you can deal with that problem whatever comes up."
"Have a mantra you can repeat to yourself. Use it to create an anchor point to create stillness so you can overcome the difficulties"

"Find a calm space (inside yourself) to deal with what is happening"

On going faster or harder:
"Keep a silent mind. Don't have any other thoughts. Controlled breathing. Focus your efforts 100% so that everything you are doing is devoted to going faster."

On race preparation:
"Get to the start in the best condition possible, the race will take care of itself."

On focus:
"Don't switch off and forget why you're there. Be in the moment."

On effort:
"Whether we are trying for our first 5km or our first 50km we are all pushing the limits."

On failure:
"There's no such thing as failure, only experience."

And finally
"Without a brain to react to deeper stimulus we are just a bag of bones and muscles. Use the brain"

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