The Name Of The Pain

Training Insights

When we visited Utö, the most outer island of this beautiful archipelago in the place we call Finland, I allowed myself to be guided by the incredible energy of  Inca, the daughter of the family we were visiting there. She took me to a series of abandoned bunkers from the times this island was a military strategic point and there I found this graffiti that represent very well  the feeling of all that has to do with military, war, conflict and drama. 

With love from Korpo.
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor / Unsplash

We are pretty good at applying technology to the training equation, and we then feel like we are doing something proactive, and we are in many ways. We have a never ending curiosity about the data that comes out of the suck that we label discomfort.

From there, we make calls about the measure of the suck and we tag and label them as good, bad or meh! It doesn’t really take us into the suck though, it’s how we dissociate. This is the wedge we often use between us and the direct feeling of discomfort in it. The measurement is great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a yardstick that is outside of you. It should be the second layer of confirmation.

The first layer of confirmation comes directly from inside you. You know, that drawing feeling as the body is responding to the effort, that is the first layer and, realistically, it’s the only real layer.

So, as the feeling of the suck really starts to make its presence “felt” inside you, get curious. Feel right into it, find out what it’s made of, get intimate with the discomfort, allow it, invite it even.

Avoid trying to run away from the suck or trying to reframe it, just leave it alone and watch and feel what happens.The suck is offering you two pathways, resistance or acceptance. That’s the choice. One offers you freedom and the other resistance.

It’s a fact that science is gathering your knowledge faster than you are gathering your own training and racing wisdom. That’s because we try too hard to think about it. The embodiment of the thing comes through attention, focus and intention of the body, not the mind.

The body is the tuning fork through which all of this information is passed. This is why I love ocean paddling so much. There’s no room for your head. You learn quickly the body has the con and you need to get the mind out of the way.

This is true of triathlon too, though. We just make it more head orientated than it needs to be, or should be. How does the body know?We only think we know how to do something.

Photo by José Pablo Domínguez / Unsplash

The body is doing it without you, just like it does everything at night when you are asleep, without you. You don’t go to sleep worrying about whether your body knows how to keep you alive during the night or not. But, then we spend vast amounts of time during the day worrying about survival while we are awake, right?

Which realm is really more intelligent?

If the body could speak, it would laugh at the mind's naivety. Realistically, it’s the empty attention that teaches the body, not the words, concepts, ideas, philosophies, and no, not even the numbers. So, don’t become a victim to the suck, it’s all going through you.

The real you isn’t going through anything. It’s a vast empty space that has more than the capacity needed to hold that suck.

Let it come and you will just as quickly learn how to let it go.

That’s real power.