As I look at the calendar today, my mind is befuddled by the date. It’s July 22, 2006. Almost one year ago to this date, I was standing on the edge of a precipice known as “my first Ironman”, waiting for the adventure to begin, thinking that, in many ways, I was already well into it.
July 24, 2005 came and went. It was a special day, a day of realization, of serenity, of calm inside. It was but a mere moment in time - and it was almost a year ago. How times travels oh so fast … when you’re living it - fully.
I look back on that day fondly, not only for the completion of the task at hand, but having the opportunity to experience the beauty of life itself. It was an experience shared with my best friend, which just added to the enjoyment of the occasion. Of course, it wasn’t in my plan to finish 13 minutes behind him, but I digress! At least he was still hanging around the finish area when I got there!
I know it's hard to believe, but there is actually new material online today! I've put up the first poem (from many many moons ago), along with some great quotes from some great folks. This should be the start of a steady flow of material from the first 4 years of writing. The Library of Congress has it, so now you can read it!
I’ve always maintained that if you pay attention to life, it can teach you many wonderful things. Perhaps it teaches you about humility … or love … or suffering … or karma.
Along those same lines, sport is, without a doubt, a metaphor for life … and in sport, we have the opportunity to learn many lessons of life. Whether it’s the preparation for an event, or the span of the event itself, we are presented with strong life lessons that can make us much stronger, more sensitive to the world around (and within) us, and much more at peace with ourselves.
In the task of preparing for an event, be it a 5K run or an Ironman triathlon, you are always pushing the edge of what you think is possible. It’s a mental challenge - perhaps even far more so than the physical challenge that is presented to us. Within this mental challenge, we go places that perhaps we never thought we’d go, revise our beliefs of ourselves and our limits, and “push the envelope” (with all due respect to Chuck Yeager) of our existence.
This website started as but a mere concept, a fleeting thought in my mind. I have been writing for years … and I have been creating in the most basic sense for even longer. It was time to pull it all together - and now, with small and steady steps, it is progressing down exactly that path. My labor of love is growing, expanding … and today you see the latest tweaks to my little piece of Internet creativity. The format has evolved - and soon you will see content in the form of poems, songs and photos appearing here. All of this in the Land of Rhubarb …
I’ve come to understand (and believe) over the years that most things in life are quite simple. In many ways, it comes down to a “yes” or a “no” - which is oftentimes defined merely by how important something is to our survival - or our success.
It’s the ability to see the simplicity for what it is - and to avoid complicating the issues - that is the essence of our daily life.
Living in Austin, we are very fortunate to have an extensive network of trails and greenbelts that traverse the city and surrounding area. This allows us to be in the city - but not.
I decided to run on the Greenbelt this morning. It was an overcast and humid start to the day, and traffic, as always, was a tad ridiculous. But within minutes, I was stepping foot onto the Greenbelt - and it was like walking away from the world as I know it.
The Gaines entry point starts out at the roadway, but within a few feet, you’re on a narrow path leading you into - tranquility. The only sound is my breathing, my footstrikes, the occasional bird, a rustle here and there … and little more than that. As springtime is upon us, everything is slowly becoming “green” again. The trail is alive - and yet oh so quiet. Tranquility is upon me as I run hard through the trees, feeling the exhilaration of effort - and solitude - and peace of mind.
Here I am … standing on the side of the road less traveled. I am a little weathered and there might even be some rust around the edges. There have been a lot of miles on this trip. Suffice it to say, the odometer has rolled over a number of times - or so it feels at times. The message on the sign says to go forward and explore, to live each day to the fullest, to exist in full color. It’s just a sign … one step on a journey of a thousand miles …
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Smart Physio posts are on professional and career-related topics such as health, fitness, training, and health care.
Rhubarb Diaries posts are commentary, perspectives, opinions, humor and insight on all of my favorite topics: music, sport, and politics/current events.
Allan Besselink, PT, Dip.MDT has a unique voice in the world of sport and health care, one that has been defined by his experiences as physiotherapist, mentor, McKenzie practitioner, coach, innovator, author, educator, patient, and athlete. Read more about Allan, contact him, get updates via email, or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.