motivationI signed up for Axtri, Aurland Extreme triathlon that takes place 8.15.2015. The triathlon consists of 1900 m swimming in the fjord, 98 km cycling with a total elevation gain of 3050 m and 21 km running with 1100 m elevation gain.

Normally I find such challenges exciting, and that is why I signed up for this almost a year ago. However, this time I experience a lack of motivation. I do not look forward to swim in the cold water, which probably has a record low temperature with the late snow melting and this year’s cold summer. Why should I expose myself to this? I have not prepared myself very well either. I know I can get into my 8-year-old wetsuit, but otherwise I cannot brag about my swimming preparations. Five swimming sessions this year. Will it be enough I wonder?

I think back at what motivated me in previous competitions; adventure races of various length, the longest with a duration of three days, various mountain bike competitions, Norseman that I attended in 2007, which is the toughest I have ever conducted. What was it that motivated me? One thing was to master all the downturns on my way. Being able to turn negative thoughts into positive, to be exhausted and then find new energy, to make sense out of something that seems meaningless. The great mastery feeling when you complete.

The problem is that it does not trigger me this time. I have more than enough challenges after starting my own business. More than enough new subjects, I have to learn and master. I do not need more challenges to master. I would rather have fewer!

What can then motivate me with this competition? I got the answer while listening to the recording of a lecture by Eckhart Tolle, author of "The power of now". Presence! The presence I experience when I participate in competitions of longer duration that challenges me both mentally and physically. I like to stop thinking, just focus on what I am doing now, like swimming, cycling or running. I know that if I start thinking about all that remains (the size of the elephant) it can quickly make me demotivated. However if I manage to stay focus on being present, I will reach the target. Being present is something that can motivate me to participate!  

So we will see on Saturday if this is motivation enough for me to show up in Aurland in neoprene cap and wetsuit ;-)

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