09 October 2007

Regret and Personal Power

Mat and I spent a couple of hours sorting through email and admin yesterday. I'm currently on my way back to Boulder for a night before heading to Kona in the morning. In Hawaii, I'll be working with Albert and the rest of the Coffees of Hawaii team. If you see me then come on up and say 'hi'.

The piece below was written in early September. It is more about how I feel than what I plan on doing. Mark and Brant didn't have any magic advice but the retreat (and the two weeks completely off-line that followed) provided the space for me to consider a bunch of different things. As the physiological peak from the summer waned, the magnitude of the last year's mental commitment became more clear. I'm still pretty tired!

I'll share more over the next little while. I also have a list of topics (not all about me!) that I'll be writing up.

Mat told me that the Planet-X site doesn't have my Power PodCast live any more. Give us a couple of days and you will be able to access Endurance Corner Radio by clicking -- HERE.

Also -- you'll be able to download my PowerPoint presentation (on Power) by clicking -- HERE. Should only take a couple of days for us to get live.


A man who has a vision is not able to use the power of it until after he has performed the vision on Earth for the people to see.

-- Black Elk

The above quote is from a book called Black Elks Speaks. It’s an interesting story about an Indian Shaman who lived through a turbulent time in American history. There is quite a bit going on in the book and, I’m guessing, that I will see something if I continue to read the book as I age.

Sitting here, at 38, and considering the lessons of the old man’s story. There are a few things that stand out…

***Within his circle he was a famous and powerful healer. Across his life he was able to help a great many of his people. However, as an old man, what he most regretted was his failure to do his best to follow a powerful vision that he had as a youth.

The parallel of this in my life is clear. The September that was filled with the most regret was 2005, when I didn’t race Ironman Canada. We receive far more personal peace from action than than not trying at all.

***Within his tradition, the power of visions/dreams can be diluted by sharing them widely. When Black Elk told his story to the author, it was the first time in his life that he shared his complete vision. Even then, there were elements that he wasn’t able to put into words and remained his alone.

Here I think my lesson could be to temper my desire to constantly, and publicly, prove my ability to achieve my goals. I’ll need to ask Mark and Brant about their thoughts here.

What I'm getting at here is immediately publishing my "best stuff" (spiritual/physical). Mark mentioned that I might want to absorb them for a bit before sending them along.

As a first hand account of “how the West was lost” – the book made for informative reading.


Throughout my life, I have had callings, often ignored, to go on a solo retreat in nature.

The last one that I did started on September 11th, 2001 – a personal retreat in Olympic National Park. That retreat had FAR too much exercise for immediately after an Ironman but was a great experience for me. The solitude on Day One had me hearing voices in my head that didn’t settle for hours. I thought that I was losing my mind!

Aside from Peaceful Listening, a goal for 2008 is to complete a series of retreats close to nature. I haven’t decided if these are going to be formal, informal, solo or group. Brant and Mark have a fair amount of experience here so I’ll ask them for guidance.

The recurring drive to get close to nature needs to be heeded. It is a big part of what led me into endurance sports.


So what’s next? Well, I’ve sorted out my goals of learning to listen and retreats.

Athletically, I’m not really sure. There are some things that I can improve. I have no idea whether I will enjoy, or be able to sustain, the work required to achieve them.

Will I head back to Penticton in August? I have no idea right now.

No regrets,


PS -- If you are looking for an interesting read on investment theory (much shorter than Rubin's book) then CLICK HERE. Thanks to JS for sending along to me. Interestingly, EV is one of the lessons that was hammered into me by the McGill finance faculty. It's also why I've sold out of successful (highly leveraged) investments -- I wasn't willing to live with the slight probability of a highly negative outcome. Borrowing from Taleb, even if you are playing Russian Roulette with a gun with 10,000 chambers -- losing remains a highly unattractive outcome.



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