Finish lines are to be crossed marking the completion of the event. But it occurred to me today after crossing the line at the 70.3 ironman in Auckland that it can be a bit of a mirage. The ‘Oasis’ of these events I believe is in the connections and small moments that forever link you to another human being. Be it through the shared pain, excitement at the start line, encouragement from spectators, it dissolves the illusion of individual competitors and reveals the stunning beauty of the shared experience. You can ‘feel’ the love, it matters. Spectators are a form of aid station. We drink deeply from the kindness, warmth and enthusiasm and often look like we don’t appreciate it, especially when we are experiencing a metabolic meltdown and feel like our legs have been injected with lead.
I would like to hear people talk about their experience more rather than splits, times, number of events they have done. Why? Because we have a preoccupation with individuality and elevating the performance of one over another – fuelling that ever hungry monster called the Ego. Its a philosophical, psychological and spiritual challenge or declaration I suppose. I’m not saying we need to get rid of the finish line, or push ourselves, have a hope or time we would like to do. But if thoughts are forces, and emotions are energy in motion – then we are missing an opportunity to generate a different kind of collective consciousness through these events.
So I suggest a new form of ‘results’ list. One where athletes and spectators can record thoughts, observations, experiences and moments. I would like to kick off this list by saying – 1: Epic sunrise seen through my goggles during swim 2:Getting to ride in the bus lane was cool 3: The dude who said I was running ‘steady’ – nice! (he was fanging it) 4: Good effort from spectators reading my name…even the finish line announcer struggled but they persevered and I think got there in the end.
And I have to say – crossing the line felt FANTASTIC!