Welcome to Life in 361˚. This blog is an 'open journal' - a space where I keep notes on bits & pieces I come across day-to-day - including books and articles I've read that I feel are worth sharing, interesting pictures and photos (I'm a visual learner, you see), random musings - and anything else that happens to catch my eye or ear. It also acts as a kind of 'open experiment' in terms of developing my views and writing skills - and networking with other people of a like-mind.

If you've stumbled upon here randomly, then I suggest you check out my biography and other pages.

Please Note: This site, and the social networking profile pages connected with it, reflect my personal interests & views which do not necessarily represent those of organisations I am affiliated / associated with.

01/08/2014

Pilgrim in Asics

As I mention in my previous entry, I've spent the past two months running up and down the old canal near my house. And, as I said also in my previous entry, I find running has a meditative and contemplative aspect as much as I find it a physical and mental challenge. At times, I have noted down the odd passing thought that occurs to me whilst out running. They don't amount to much, but I do think they are inspired in the sense of drawing on some inner core.

~

"There are a hundred canal boats on the route, of similar size and shape. Many catch my eye but there's one that always stands out - the one named 'Bengal Tiger', painted in a light orange. It could have been any old boat but instead it has been gifted an air of prowess. It reminds me the names and subsequent identity I choose for myself, and others, really does matter."

~

"I used to undertake every journey to a soundtrack. One day, the device that provided the motivational backdrop broke - I felt a real sense of anger and loss. I had to set off without it and was suddenly confronted by having only my own thoughts to spur me onward. I quickly realised I had in fact broken free from a crutch, learning the power of positive self-talk and watchfulness of negative thinking."


~

"From my Thai-boxing days I learnt the custom of the 'wai' - a slight bow of the head, with hands pressed in a prayer-like fashion - as a sign of respect to your teachers, sparring partners and friends. I make a habit of performing the 'wai' at every bridge, showing humility to the force - sometimes called God - which animates my every movement. By admitting my appreciation in this way, I experience a real sense of renewed spirit and extra push onward." 

 ~

"I often find the last stretch to be a shaded, forbidding place - physically and mentally. There is a tendency to convince myself it is time to slow down or even stop, but the truth is if I do then I spend longer in the darkness. I have found it is better to dig in and simply slog through such places until I reach the light." 

 ~

"When the going gets tough, my head sometimes goes down and, in turn, my eyes become focused on each and every step. From this viewpoint, the journey can only become harder. I have found it is important during these times to consciously raise my vision upwards, taking in both the passing surroundings and looking ahead towards the destination."


"Old injuries can at times re-surface as I make my way on the routes. Funnily enough, I have found that these most often occur when I am tired, slowing and already worrying about my ability. A remedy that frequently works is to concentrate on steady, purposeful breaths whilst simultaneously speeding up. I find this jump-starts my body back into a natural rhythm and pace - and in doing so, dispels both the short term doubt and chips away at its long term source." 

 ~ 

"I have been greeted by a few hecklers whilst out on the route. Often this happens whilst struggling on a hill or a stretch where doubts have crept in. The gut feeling is to react with anger and lash out. Yet this state of vulnerability, energy expended and muscles spent, encourages me to simply grit my teeth and focus on the destination ahead - for the real battle lies within, as does the victory." 

 ~

"I try to make a habit of saying a hello to other strugglers on the route, a thank you to strollers for letting me pass and a salute to the staring ducks and herons. It's a reminder that the path is shared, we are all dependent on it for our coming and going."

No comments: