Meeting of the Elder and his charge; yes folks, those of you old enough in WF to remember, Master Student Ken “Flex” Armstrong of my video; “THE FOUR KINESTHETIC TEACHINGS OF WF” will surely smile at this picture! this is Flex and i, reunited at the Finish Line of the IRONHORSE Road Race several years since seeing each other. i had not seen my Cherished Warrior Flex since leaving Durango probably 15 years ago. the Chi has seeded well within Flex; he finished 7th in the 40-44 Age Group! photo by Ananda.


if you EVER create the opportunity to race this event, do so. only on this day of days, do the convoluted powers of local, state, and national government come together to close this section of the “Million Dollar Highway” to cars! Imagine riding the ‘ceiling of Colorado’s San Juan High Country’ – the birthplace of WF – with hundreds of other cyclists and nary a car exhaust pipe fume near you! incredbile!!!

Top Photo: i approach the Finish Line in Silverton, Colorado on Saturday…i made it to the Start Line, i struggled gamely, i Learned, and i Finished. The Spiritual Residual Training Effect from such Noble Effort IS NEVER NOT AMPLIFIED WITHIN OUR PRANIC FIELDS! most importantly, i am coming to Realize that friendships, sculpted from years of Sweat and Karmic Sacred Loops IS THE PODIUM! bottom photo shows Andrew Ferguson on my right. he and his lovely wife, Lana, are putting Ananda and i up in their beautiful Durango home this great weekend. Andrew threw down the hammer on Coal Bank Pass after a slow start (for him). no way i could keep up with him! on my left is WF Devoted Friend and former Online Student, the world class mountaineer Marc Twight (READ HIS BOOKS!!!). Mark (of Salt Lake City and a DL Subscriber) eventually bridged up to me on Molas Pass as i was pedaling like the wrinkled weenie i became. we descended like playful kids into Sliverton together and held hands across the Finish Line; do the Math on the synchroncity of THAT one! ironically, though both Marc and i were in the mountaineering circles and shared the Work together, we never had met face to face. when we did on Saturday by “coincidence” we Recgonized each other as the spiritual brothers we are. you can’t escape Tribal Sacred Hoops even if you want! great photos by my great Swollen Belly Support Teammate; Ananda!

i want to THANK YOU, my devoted WF and DL Sangha, for sending the CHI during Day One of my IRONHORSE BICYCLE RACE WEEKEND!

i fought hard and dug deep and came up short Saturday. up, up, and along the giant passes of my hometown, i did battle wisely and bravely. at the end of my 2 hour and 40 something effort, i finished in 33rd place out of (get this) 120 entrants in my first ever; 45-49 Age Group! and if you think my Age Group is ‘slow’?
1) no
2) you try racing these grizzled warriors
3) the guy that finished 9th in the PRO Race, was in my age group and the guy who finished 3rd OVERALL IN THE PROS was Ned Overend (51 years young…see page 94 of this month’s issue of OUTSIDE MAGZINE).

rarely have i been so happy to have finished so poorly.

in fact, a shock of Realization swept over me as i struggled gamely up past snowline after losing contact with the leaders.

“Ilg,” came a Voice from within my head, “how many more podiums do you really need? What, precisely do you think you can prove by gathering more podiums?”

It was a New Voice. One that i have probably, subsconsciously, tried to push away beneath several tiers and tears of spiritual veneer. However, up here, so Close to my Beloved Throne of the Mountain Gods, this New Voice felt as though it was Fathering me…myself a new Father…

above, sign in went as usual; nervous and checking out my competition. being so undertrained this year i felt a twinge of pressure; i wanted to live up to a standard of performance that i have set for myself. especially racing with my hometown brothers and sisters!

As i raced, i kept myself in the Pain Cave, allWays encouraging myself regardless of the dismal placing that surely i would receive at the Finish Line. i never stopped battling, i never stop dancing upon the pedals. i never stopped looking within.
as a result? a wonderful wave of Witnessing transpired…not really an out-of-body experience, rather a decidely IN THE BODY WITNESSING EXPERIENCE. i was calmly motoring up the passes at 8 mph, about 1 mph less than what would be needed for a high placing. i simply did not have the Fire Power in my legs this spring due to my Asthma-Induced Wreck Of A Pre-Season. During the calm pain, i would find myself inwardly smiling,
“Yep, right here is where i used to attack.”
“Yep, i used to use my Big Chainring right here.”

Instead of being bummed, pissed, or frustrated at my inability, i accepted it as part and parcel of the changing scape of my incarnation. i have lived more sports at a high level, as the OUTSIDE MAGAZINE wrote of me recently, then most people have ever even tried. so, what’s the big drama of letting go of a high finish in a bike race where i have podiumed before?

Warriors know…there IS drama as time and age dwindle our capacities during certain phases of our life.

Our job as Spiritual Warrior’s devoted to the Inner Teachings of Sweat and Spirit? to Enjoy the Ride, wipe your butt after racing, and Be Not Attached To The Fruits Or The Bum Deals Along This Beautiful and Precious Life. Let Us Live To Fight The Go(o)d Fight Another Day…

like i did, yesterday in the Downtown Criterium, Event Number Two of my birthday Weekend in my h(om)etown!

yet, THAT, my Warrior Friends,
is another story…

be go(o)d,
do go(o)d…

love to all,

the mountain yogi

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