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Surprised and stoked, i hold my 2nd Place AG award after returning home from the Soulstice Mountain Trail Race which featured spatterings of rain, sleet, and as you can on the Sacred Peak behind me, snow! Perfect Nordic weather for ‘turning on the ilg trigger’ i reckon. i finished 8th Overall.

once again, the WF Gods smiled upon ilg, perhaps granting me a m(om)ent of recognition for my attempts to maintain Practice during the steep terrain of new Fatherhood. riding up to the Start on my MTB, my legs felt queasy and i could easily hear Mr. Ego thumping on the door of my Mantra, attempting to gain a toe hold into my Race Mentality. one of the benefits of working a Blessed Mantra for so long is that Ego Thumping becomes more easily assimilated by Buddhi or Higher Mind. thus, as i steered Grunt (my MTB) up, up, up the world class singletrack of Schultz Trail, i could at times see and hear the parade of cars and SUV’s thunder up the gravel road toward the Start. alone and happy in the woods, with only my breath and Mantra upon Grunt, gave me ample time to feel so appreciative for my long and varied life spent among rocky heights. the only true wealth is chi. and there is something about the WF Lifestyle that simply and effectively amps and re-amps the Chi. there is a Transmission inherent to our Jeweled, humble Path which impacts our souls far beyond words…especially from such a feeble messenger as i.

arriving at the Start, the gathered mountain runners were huddled together like sheep from a roaring wind and near freezing cold. into the forest, behind a stump i took my own shelter, changing from my sweaty thermal cycling clothes into dry running clothes, including a pair of running tights from the eighties!…hey, somebody has to stand up for the golden age of running! i had timed my arrival near perfectly and spent only 10 minutes in pre-race nervous chatter among my friends. i was utterly, utterly happy to see no less than 5 HP Yoga Students of mine on the Start Line! i am always peppering my Yoga Teaching dialogue with how important it is for ‘studio yogis’ never to separate endurance training/racing from their notion of ‘yoga’ and to see my students up there in the Himalayan-like wind and cold made my DharmaHeart soar.

perhaps that is why my own race came together so beautifully…the near thousand-foot ascent of the Sunset Trail was hard, mind you, yet my Mantra was firmly entrenched and my Breath Anchored was stronger than the pain of effort. not once did i drop from the top ten. most surprising however, was how strong my downhills came. i hammered the extended downhills with a verve and firmness that i can only attribute to the HP Yoga PROP Workouts. remember, i enter these running races on just a fraction of the mileage that sport-specfic runners do, as my spine injury can only tolerate so much running. PROP, however, comes into my training and absolutely provides a hip/glute strength and stability that keeps the upliftment of my upper body carriage serene and smooth while my lower body mechanics can soar.

i used a two-mile technical descent to separate myself from two runners that beat me last year and pulled out the stops on the final kilometer climb to the Finish. after all the challenges, the chronic fatigue of new Daddyhood, and the Outer World stresses that make up my life these days, flying along those beautiful forest paths with their changing aspens and scented pines with scores of warriors pounding after me, restored and restoked my Faith in my humble Path, the WF Deities, and the Mantra.

54:09 was my time for the 10k’s which is only 9-minute miles…you gotta love mountain running…9-minute miles can sometimes get you a podium. not to say ilg doesn’t have a loooooong way to go to improve; the winner in my age of 40-49 also was the Champion of the 10k course who sizzled the same route as i 10 minutes faster!

receiving my award from Race Director Neil Weintraub after the race and preparing to ride back down the mountain. photo courtesy www.natra.org

May your Practice be fueled Higher by my humble efforts to test my own Practice to insure that which i attempt to Teach and Transmit

i thank my sponsors and my sangha for this amazing season of footracing…something which is so hard on my injured body yet so dear to my heart…the Path works,
when you
work the Path
and again,
and Endlessly again…

i bow to Thee,

your loving coach who still toes the Start Lines

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