sherpa’s book of the week

In their book Fit Soul Fit Body, Six – Time Ironman World Champion, Mark Allen and Huichol Shaman, Brant Secunda, elaborate on nine Keys to a healthier and happier life.

Like most people I became aware of Mark in 1989 when he beat Dave Scott, (then defending Ironman Champion) by a mere 58 seconds. In a foot race this may not sound like a lot of time until you realize an ‘Iron distance’ triathlon (there are shorter ones) is 140.6 miles long. It starts with a 2.4 mile swim, then transitions into a 112 mile bike race, and finally ends with a 26.2 mile marathon. At the Kona, Ironman World Championship the swim is in the Pacific, where the salt content is higher and scrubs you like sand paper. The bike ride is through blazing hot lava fields, with scant flora to break the blazing hot wind. The marathon also takes place through the lava fields where the rocks hold the days heat in, and radiating it as if you are running in an oven. The distance alone has shattered the mettle of the worlds strongest men and women. Kona’s surf, wind and heat rob your resolve to continue. To make it more insane, the privilege of descending into this pit of hell is an honor you must earn. You have to qualify for a spot in the Kona Ironman. Typically you have to win your age group in another Ironman race run in another part of the world to qualify. It is the World Championships and not just some church’s 10k followed by a barbeque.

Just to finish this test of human endurance is something most will strive to do once or twice in their lives. Mark won this race six years in a row. How? It takes athleticism, nutrition and sacrifice, but it also takes a certain spirituality, a connectedness to your inner self, and the world around you for endurance of this magnitude.

His nine Keys are:

#1 Balancing your responses to the six types of stress

#2 Quieting your mind

#3 Transforming Fear, Anger and Jealousy

#4 Reconnecting with the natural world

#5 Honoring yourself

#6 Knowing and Setting your Quest

#7 Living what you ask for

#8 Slowing down to get faster

#9 Inviting your inner caveman to the table

In approaching yourself as more than just a physical being, Mark and Brant set out some easy and thought provoking tasks that I have personally found helpful in my longer endurance events, and truthfully in my general life.

It is a great read by a man Outside magazine called “The World’s Fittest Man.”



One Response to “sherpa’s book of the week”

  1. Wow, that is truly impressive — to do it once, but WIN it and six y in a row. Impressive isn’t even the right word for that. I like the steps, too. Thanks for the inspiring post.

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