August 23, 2021 - This just came up on my facecrack memories, and because of some of the comments, I am re-posting it here, even though I have no idea what it says. (Raw writing)
I wrote this quickly by the water a couple days ago. It is kind of the aftermath of my race weekend in Penticton. I whipped it off in one shot without re-reading a single word. I still don't know what it says, but it has moved the few I have shared it with. I don't have time to go through it and properly put it into my webpage for now, so just putting the raw version here and letting it speak for itself.
when i was on my way to the okanagan on friday i felt like i was doing the thing that i am meant to do. y6ou know when you do something and it just feels right...like you're walking in balance on the proper path set out for yourself? Well, that's what it felt like for me. That's what triathlon had always felt like for me.
When i got to the transition area before the race on Saturday i felt like a total outcast. i am used to that though. if there is any familiar feeling for me in triathlon it definitely is that.
After being away for so many years though, my feeling of outcastness was magnified. the old same feeling was there for sure, the one where i am surrounded by people in head to toe spandex and heart rate monitors talking about intervals and stuff like that, where i walk in barefoot, with ripped and stained shorts with a worn out Grateful Dead shirt full of holes. I didn't need my hobbling body to always stand out at a race, I had the person that i am, who is so different than the masses who fill up a transition area. i always embraced that and enjoyed the difference in myself. this weekend was a different sense of feeling like an outcast. nothing in me felt like i belonged there. Maybe I once did for a host of reasons outside of finishing times and such, but that seems to have faded away...at least for me.
This weekend left me with a feeling of loss. Like the last little bit of who I am is trying to slip away and I am holding on while it fades into obscurity.
i have had virtually everything taken from me that i love in life through no choice or fault of my own. Triathlon was kind of the last thing I had left and now i feel like it has all but vanished. This weekend showed me that there is no place for someone like me in conventional triathlon of an organized setting.
It is strange because i never cared about competing, i never cared how I stacked up to others, I never cared about placement, or how I looked. i never cared how I was perceived by others; and although I always appreciated the support as far as how my racing has inspired and touched the lives of thousands upon thousands of people, I never felt I deserved that kind of attention and was brought to a new place of overwhelm I have never learned how to define to myself.
So I look at what is left in front of me with the last linger thing I love to do slipping away through the grasp of my ever clinching fingers and all I feel is a compounding sense of loss, spiraling into a dismal spin towards an infinite abyss.
As I write this it is not lost upon me the fact that this is where I am and what I am facing, and i have to carry this weight into the next races standing in front of me. Forget about anything I have ever had to endure with pain in my body and the mental place i had to go to, to navigate my way through it all, at least then I had everything firing me within to propel me forward; but now i feel like I am staring down the hardest challenge my life has yet to throw at me.
Do I look at my past as a reference on how to move forward? Do i draw on all the answerless ways in the countless scenarios i have found what wasn't there to pull myself through? somehow that seems both lazy, and the wrong way to go about things. This time feels different. I truly don't know what to do as the feeling of loss feels more debilitating than anything my body has thrown at me so far.
Where do i draw upon to find the strength once again? what is even the point of going to these next races when I know i no longer belong in that world? How do I live up to my own impossible standards for myself to complete something I should be letting go of?
Is the whole reason behind any of this hiding the truth in the depth of my mind that I cannot see?
How do I even go about finding the answer? The only way I can see at the moment is to keep going...to go to Kamloops this weekend and see what is next despite the fact that I am likely gonna get pulled from that race too.
It seems like so far to go just to have things crumble apart, but maybe that is where the truth to who I am resides...beyond the rubble of my crumbled dreams.
is this how I shed the veil of fogginess cloaked over me to see clearly again about the true nature of the path that lies in front of me. Is all this torment just the teachings I need to find the courage to shed what I love to find something deeper within myself, about myself? To give way to the torment and embrace the infinite abyss it takes me upon? If I do, I know I cannot get lost in my mind trying to control any kind of outcome because that can lead to only chaos in too many circumstances I do not know how to see.
A little bit ago this afternoon a part of a message I sent to an old friend said something along the lines of me feeling like a skipping rock being lost in the ripples. Sitting here pondering whatever it exactly was I said, I am now wondering, am I the rock, or am I the water, or am I the ripple? Perhaps I am somehow bigger than that and one with them all living in the motion the three come together to create in the environment they live within surrounded by the mountains, the singing songs of the birds and crickets with the warm breeze and sinking sun. Perhaps I am transcending the notion of what i thought all this was without seeing it happen but knowing something is there.
Maybe loss isn't so bad after all.
(Time to go swimming)
While I was in the water I was hit with the thought that maybe my journey through pain was never what I thought it was. Perhaps it was never about using my mind to transcend the constraints on my body, but rather using the pain in my body to transcend the constraints on my mind...and it only took me 25 years to wake up to this thought.