Nothing like pain brings one into the present moment
I don’t see myself different than anyone so what applies to me applies to all humanity.
My first ultra was mostly mental work for me and I used my meditation practice to help. I practiced seeing it, practiced being absorbed in it, and practiced feeling it deeply. For example, “What would it feel like to win? What would it feel like at mile 40? I then, in a way, sowed these feelings into me.
I’m not a monk like meditator but I’ve been working at it for a couple years. I used a lot of the principles I’ve learn and applied them to running, especially while I was pounding the pavement. A big insight was during my training runs I was able to go further and see how deep our story of “pain” is and that most of the pain we feel is just a made up story. Because of this I can more easily and thoroughly apply it to my ‘everyday’ life.
Perhaps to better illustrate what I mean; while out running the Bear Canyon Loop I saw myself say something like “I’m so tired”, and I was tired at that point. But this statement of “I’m so tired” lead my mind to all different ideas/justifications. So I started practicing seeing this story even while I wasn’t running. I noticed that my mind is always giving a story in all aspects of life. However, it’s with running it becomes so much more clear because of the actually physical pain. Not extreme pain but enough to know that it’s there (I’m not a sadist). I see great value in story but also I see that I don’t need to be so caught up “in it”. This insight wasn’t new but I was able to internalize it at a deeper level than before. There is something about using some pain in a productive way, rather than running from it.
As we are in our everyday thinking, moment and living it’s hard to see that it’s a story, so I don’t blame those reading this telling me that I’m off my freaken rocker! My story (part 2 Click Here): Finished 5th overall with a time of 9hr:48min:(and some seconds).