So you may have noticed I tweaked my blog name a smidge and added the word 'Zen'. What is zen, you ask? Well, if we go by the Mirriam-Webster dictionary version, it is a noun that means 'A Japanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism that aims at enlightenment by direct intuition through meditation '.
So why did I add it to my title? Well, first off, I think we are all looking for enlightenment in some shape or form. I know I am. And I think I can gain some knowledge about enlightenment through my beloved activities - triathlon and yoga.
Obviously yoga can be very meditational, but I also find this with triathlon training. Heck, I even managed to find my big race this year meditational.
Although I am not yet back into triathlon training just yet, I am practicing yoga regularly and hope to be running on a more regular basis too, now that some committments have been fulfilled. Good timing too, my half marathon is but a mere two weeks away. Yipes.
Yesterday I went out for a run with the intention to make it a zen run. At the start it appeared that the wee gerbil in my brain also wanted to get a run in. Therefore, he hopped onto his treadmill. I decided to amuse him for a short while before I sent him packing to his cushion corner with his hookah pipe. Admittedly he did resist...it took a little convincing but finally he acquiesed.
This left me with a clear mind so I was able to focus on my breathing, my footfalls, and just take in the beauty that surrounded me.
I love the fall colours. It makes the transition to winter a little less painful. The trees that hover over the pathway in town are all glorious colours of orange and red. Of course there are still some green leaves around too, which adds to the beauty! I just love the crunching of the leaves under my shoes as well. Crunch, crunch, crunch!
Oh, and let us not forget the smell! Why is it that the smell of decomposing leaves is so divine?! When one thinks of something decomposing, one typically does not think of a pleasant scent - and yet it does smell great.
That reminds me of a thought I had! Now here's something that will just show how wacky my little brain gerbil can be. Here I am running along surrounded by all of Mother Natures glory. I am happy. I feel great. I decide to run on a somewhat remote little path that follows close to the rivers edge. For whatever reason it is now that I think to myself....'You know - this is the kind of spot where a lone runner would come across a dead body. Why is it always the lone runner or hiker anyways that finds the dead body??'
How is it that my brain can go from divine beauty to such a morbid thought? I know not. I do know that I love Max Haines and his true crime stories. Mainly because he has a very dark wit, and most of the stories are from the days long gone by when violence was a little less prevalent. Perhaps thats why I had this thought pop in?? Ah well, I digress.
I realized these were not quite zen thoughts so I let them pass and then continued on my merry way along the river.
The majority of my run was indeed zen like, aside from the body thoughts. I absolutely love it when I'm training and I get in the 'zen zone'. It's brilliant. My hope is that if I continue to practice this in my off season, that by the time my triathlon season comes around it will be a little less challenging to find that zone. Granted, this is likely not the type of goal most athletes have when training. Most are focussed on results. And that is okay in my books - it just really isn't for me. I realized that this year.
So from now on I will aspire to be the zen triathlete! Someone who focuses on being in the moment at all times and who finds enlightenment through meditating while swimming, biking and running. Who knows, maybe I'll be starting a trend or something?!
Peace out my superb friends!