Day 3 of Personal Multi-day: solo race against myself.
Today I met what I came here for. It was a challenge to get out of bed this morning. Not because of tiredness or soreness, but because of a recalcitrant ego. My ego is worried about the why of this personal multi-day and thinks it can win out by with excuses, and saying it doesn’t matter. No one will know. I will know. I am accomplishing something in the mental and spiritual realm, precisely because it appears so valueless in the material world.
I faced a little battle of no vs. yes. I weighed the excuses vs. the plan of action. I listened to the insidious question of “Why?” The question is allowed to defeat the soul or answered by the will in support of the soul. My life blood, my vitality, is dependent on the outcome of this mental and spiritual struggle.
It must be spirit who ascends above the ego in the darkness as I choose to get out of bed. To get up and work out for a third pseudo-50k-of-sorts, for no recognition, is antithetical to the ego. How is it that some transcend these ego cesspools and some sit in them? How did I want the spiritual sunlight enough to get out of bed and work at the foolish task of endurance?
1. Somewhere I developed the desire for spirit above all else in life.
2. I surrendered to the call and began to follow it wherever it went.
3. I have tremendous gratitude to spirit for the feeling of Presence I find whenever I stop to consider it.
Way way back, as a pre-teen, I knew I wanted “something more.” I could see light from somewhere beyond my ridiculously shallow and tormented existence. I felt the pull at age 14 as I looked at pictures of B.K.S. Iyengar and tried to stand like a mountain, or swam laps by myself, or rode my bicycle in the Berkeley hills. I could hear a call even though I had no idea what it was or where to find it.
Back to the present. First thing in my kitchen this morning, I considered downing some vitamins and protein; but realized, “I am not going to die.” That is, my endurance task for the day was no longer so daunting that I had to carefully plan calories and electrolytes. I could mainly just go do it. As I completed the first 30 minutes on the ex-machines, I felt the inner doors of power flow open. I gave them permission to open. I allowed higher power to flow into my consciousness. The acceptance of this higher power is not magic powers but an attitude of connectedness to a power which provides all for all.
After 2 hours on the machines, I loaded up my hydropak and drove to the park. I had to park a ways away, due to a parade in Parkville, hence was carrying 50 oz of drink. It was starting off a humid 77F. I began my 8x2s at a slow pace. After 6 laps, 16.2 miles, I decided to just keep jogging instead of going back to do another hour on machines. I was in the running longevity zone: aches and pains were stabilized, I put more water in the hydropak and had 2 Gu stashed on me. I felt I could run forever. I felt oneness with ultra-runners all over the globe. This decision to keep running could have been a function of a heat deranged mind, but I just felt like I could gently keep going. I approved myself for another 80 minutes. When I finished, after 4h24min, it was 88F. I had done 21 extremely slow miles.
The sock combo worked great again and I had no heat rash on my legs: excellent. Oh…I love the new Nike swim bikinis under my shorts.
I have never worked out for 6+ days in a row before. I have never had my current level of fitness before.
More about commitment: my pondering during my run. What I am doing with this personal multi-day is keeping a commitment to myself. I thought about my monastic education. As a novice prepares for vows, one of the things they talk about is the commitment to monastic profession. It is a public vow and it is thought that the publicness of it helps the person keep it. At this point in my life I am aghast at the teaching. If I want something in my soul, I’ll battle avarice and sloth (ego characteristics) to the death in order to obtain my soul’s desire. It seems so cheap and fake to think other people’s eyes would have anything to do with how I honor my soul’s requests. The blood and guts of my life is to defeat ego and support soul. And that is what my personal multi-day means to me.