Does anyone else feel like they're caught in a downpour of doom and gloom lately? And no, I don't watch TV or follow any mainstream news outlet. I'm talking about the relentless barrage of negativity that seems to sneak its way into my Google and Twitter feeds, feeds which I thought I had curated to offer an objective, informative and uplifting view of the world.
Everywhere I look, there's talk of recession, the climbing cost of living, a looming AI apocalypse, rampant conspiracy theories, the ongoing COVID travesty, wars and polical unsettlement, global warming and the list go on... It's enough to make your head spin.
Can we just hit the pause button, just for a moment? Long enough to catch our collective breath and remember to appreciate the good times? To cherish our friends and family, and soak in the beauty of the world that surrounds us? To marvel at the magic and mystery of the universal laws we've discovered and the ones we're still exploring, and to recognize the progress we've made from our cave-dwelling ancestors to the marvels of global connection we achieved today? To immerse ourselves in the mystical elements that whisper in the wind and ripple in the water all around us?
When the gale-force winds of apocalypse seem to howl at my door, I lace up my shoes and go for a hard run. The hard breathing and rush of adrenaline tipically clear my mind and help me gain perspective.
But then, sweaty and exhausted, I often find myself pondering - why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we let ourselves be swept up by all the negativity? Who holds the reins to this runaway narrative? And more importantly, how do we take them back?
Simply turning a blind eye, pretending everything is ok, or running until you're ready to collapse - none of that really solves the problem, does it? It's like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg.
So? I'm all ears.
Courtney Dauwalter is an ultrarunning legend, her capabilities seemingly out of this world. Her recent win at Western States is just one shining example, she has been crushing it for years!
Her philosophy towards the "pain cave" is, I believe, a major factor in her phenomenal success. And her ability to express it simply in a minute-long interview with Rich Roll is particularly impressive and inspiring.
I often find myself avoiding the "pain cave" - in running, life, work, relationships, and in the pursuit of dreams. However, therein lies the issue - it's within the "pain cave" where the real work is done, and consequently, where the magic happens.
It's been a 13-hour day of managing the home front solo with one child, and I find myself profoundly inspired by the resilience and grit of single working parents. Actually, the admiration extends to all single parents, regardless of their work status.
It's 8:30 pm and I am, admittedly, feeling defeated! This is despite my daughter spending the afternoon at the beach with our neighbours! My day has been crammed with seemingly simple tasks - a quick workout, work, a few household chores, some play time, and preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner without a minute free.
Honestly, I'm not sure I could juggle this routine for more than a few days. I tend to become deeply immersed in my work, easily interrupted by the noises of everyday life and requests. The sight of incomplete tasks or items out of place gives me shivers.
Today has got me pondering the strategies employed by single working parents to keep all the balls in the air. How do they ensure they are not just surviving, but thriving, maintaining their happiness, being good parents, and even carving out some 'me-time'? I imagine they must possess formidable time management skills, an ability to optimise every minute, and an impressive reservoir of patience.
To all the single parents out there juggling life's many demands, I bow to you.
Please, share the secrets of your superpowers!
I started the day by dedicating a few tranquil minutes to meditation to set the tone.
A peaceful family breakfast follows, with the morning light casting a warm glow around us and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee filling the kitchen.
Then I run to school with my son Lorenzo. Our conversations, sprinkled with ideas, stories, and dreams, creating a thread of shared memories for the future and connection in the present.
My journey back is my time for personal growth, listening to a carefully selected episode from my favourite podcast to engage my mind, filling it with fresh perspectives and stimulating ideas.
Before diving into work, I squeeze in a few exercises, a refreshing shower, and some time to pen down my thoughts, accompanied by the calming harmonies of classical music.
And then, the inviting aroma of coffee fills the air again, a comforting reminder of the morning and a gentle transition into the work day.
These might seem like simple things, but their simplicity is what makes them special.
While it's rare for my day to unravel so perfectly, when it does, it's worth a celebration - a celebration of life's little joys.
I know what you're thinking. You're not the type of person who starts tribes. You're more of a lone wolf. You prefer to run by yourself, and you don't need anyone else's support.
I'm here to challenge that notion. All it takes is the courage to express your passion, and others who resonate with that passion will follow. When the right people come together - not necessarily because they believe in what you do, but why you do it - a tribe is formed.
This is my tribe.
The anticipation of our Wednesday morning training sessions has become the highlight of my week. The night before, I meticulously line up my gear, plan the session in detail, and am filled with genuine excitement to "hang out" while pushing myself to run harder, farther, and with more passion than I ever would on my own.
Wednesday is the day I run with the "Tewantin Runners," a group that I realized this morning has already become my tribe. And with a bit more courage to share our collective passion, I am confident it will grow.
To the moon! :D