Being back outside for training seems like a cherry on top and something worth celebrating. But when going to write something about these thoughts, nothing came out. So rather than trying to force something to say, I thought I would share a piece of writing that I love and that says everything I would want to say at the moment. This is called 'Meaning' by Chris Hauth
"I feel as though there are so many out there looking for meaning. Not in a deeper spiritual way, but instead that they are missing something. Something fulfilling, something that sets their wires straight. I think that is why ultra-endurance and endurance world of adventures and expeditions has gained so much appeal of late. I believe it satisfies these needs, this sense of purpose, sense of living to our potential.
This self-realisation that there is more to us than sleeping, eating and working/career. Of course, there is time for family and in more rare cases, unfortunately, time for community and church and more. But one thing is missing in all of this, the self, the time for self, the time for self-health. The time for spending time with thoughts, reflection, elevated heart rate, muscular activity and most importantly fresh air, being in nature.
Endurance events allow for this and more, a connection with nature, with the environment, with its beauty, its ability to revive us. We are hardwired for nature, to be outside, to live connected with our environment to feel it, play and struggle in it. To be challenged by it and therefore challenge ourselves.
This sense of adventure, challenge, struggle and realisation is what pulls people to becoming endurance athletes, to discover their potential. At first, maybe not a huge step, but seeing what we are capable of and growing from there to a new potential and all the while committing to our truest, rawest inner self. How we are hardwired as animals to nature, to the outdoors, to a sense of feeling alive in it via activity.
Everything is active around us in nature and of course, we as humans are part of this nature, part of this growth and vibrant balance. As the athlete continues to grow to new challenges which then add some fear, curiosity and uncertainty to it, which again brings us back to our true, rawest self. That human living with the outdoors, surviving the outdoors and feeling most alive when we are truly challenged physically, mentally, via nature and our endeavours in it. Nothing can replace that as it is our truest rawest self. It’s buried deep down there.
But the more athletes connect with it, the more they realise that that dormant self-was in them and they want to unlock and unleash more. It makes them better, more energetic, healthier, happier, more creative, more efficient, more connected and therefore caring.
The stewardship of our environment and therefore nature begins with loving our self in it and feeling this connection to it. How can one relate to the environment and its destruction if one is foreign when in it? But when we have felt how we are truly part of it that it is a deeply connected and wired part of us, we begin to unlock this hardwiring and allow it to fire more and more. In order to feel alive and joyful and happy and motivated in our days.
Not only to get out and spend time in it again but revitalise for work and family and community and more. Because our own tank of self-care is full and we are connected and seeing and feeling our potential physically and emotionally. We need the fresh air for all of that to fire.
As I heard the other day, ‘in order to love others we need to love ourselves’. We can’t give more love than we are able to give ourselves. So knowing that we have this emptiness and missing component in our lives, makes living generously and giving very hard. We are missing something. That huge piece is our hardwired self for outdoor adventure and physical activity. With that comes curiosity about what we could be capable of, awakening the endurance athlete within. The one that is curious if they can achieve that goal and once seeing that, growing to a new level of appreciation to that better, healthier, more competent, more vibrant, energetic self that glows outward, because inside the fire of that missing component has been lit."