Saturday, May 5, 2012

In Orbit

(Hawaii Redwood Magic)

Spring winds have blown in a little piece of solitude that has been elusive the past several months, letting my mind swirl with the stars around the night sky. I have been trying to re define my own concept of normal; swimming and biking have been added to the mix along with steady running, surfing, and paddling.

“We must try to whole-heartedly embrace the whole of our experience, even when we judge it to be hideous. Over time, we may find that we are far more than we thought we were–we may touch our own pre-existing sovereignty, our capacity to see and receive others and the whole of life, before we became subject to the cruel rule of our habitual thoughts and fears. We begin to realize that this mindful awareness is not separate from our innate capacity for wisdom and compassion.”

I have been thinking about the process of running, swimming, and paddling, embracing the inner and outer experience of each. Each calls for absolute absorption in the act and true immersion in the experience and it is there where I feel the most fluid and sane. When I first moved to the island I heard of the Captain Cook challenge and finally decided to give it a try. I have always been cynical about triathlons but this one seemed like a lot of fun! I bought an old road bike and kept it SIMPLE. One big reason for my cynicism about triathlons is the amount and price of gear that seemingly takes the soul out of all three activities. All together the event included a 1 mile swim across Kealakekua Bay (One of my favorite spots on the island), a 2 mile trail run climbing 1,300ft, a 34 mile bike ride and a 4 mile run. I was the most nervous about the swim and I figured the bike would be easy and the running would be fun. I was surprised to find myself gliding through the water almost effortlessly and before I knew it I was on the other side of the bay excited to run!

The night before I discovered the front tire on my bike to be wobbly and brushing the brakes. I could only laugh and hope it would hold up for the ride. I had a blast riding but was definitely ready to be off by the end of the ride. At one point I jumped off and started running with the bike up a steep hill because it felt more natural to me. All in all I laughed with joy throughout and was stoked to be out there with friends.


zoe said...

That's a great quote. Where's it from?
Inspiring blog.

Billy Barnett said...

Thanks Zoe!! I think the quote is from a back issue of Parabola magazine with the theme of solitude vs. community. I am not sure, I found it scribbled on a piece of paper and it felt fitting.

Anonymous said...

keep shining, bright star!! -k

Tash said...

I really enjoy reading your blog Billy, you have some beautiful pictures and seem like you are really loving the world we live in. I feel so energetic after reading about your adventures! thanks!