Funny I would get this bit of wisdom in my mailbox from Rigpa the day before a race. The main emphasis here is on emotional pain, but I think is some senses it applies to physical pain, like the kind I will be having in about 5 hrs from now. Read on:
Whatever you do, don’t shut off your pain; accept your pain and remain vulnerable. However desperate you become, accept your pain as it is, because it is in fact trying to hand you a priceless gift: the chance of discovering, through spiritual practice, what lies behind sorrow.
“Grief,” Rumi wrote, “can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”
Andy Potts (USA Olympic Triathlete) once said that when he feels pain rushing through his body he doesn`t resist or cringe or fight it...he embraces it. He absorbs it. He uses the pain as energy to push on.
Arrived in Coteau du Lac Thursday Night. I am staying with Patrice Hamelin, from Quebec City, at a great homestay only 1km from the race site. Luc and Nadine Chouinard have been superb and very gracious to have us both in their home. Their children Dorothy and Gregory along with their pets Balto (dog), and Alonzo (cat) have provided a great uplifting distraction from the race. We had a light day of training yesterday on the race course. The swim is a two lapper down a skinny canal that has a tough exit with some steep stairs. The bike will be a bomb path, really fast, out and back in an L-shape for 6 laps. A flat 4 lap run and there you have it. Phillipe Bertrand and all his crew have things running smoothly here and I look forward to a good hit out this afternoon.
Will update you after the race...