Trolling through the web, I stumbled on a blog entry by Chrissie Wellington, the reigning Ironman World Champion. She was discussing a race in Kansas and mentioned meeting women from GOTRIbal.
GOTRIbal? I had to look it up.
Turns out, Wellington is involved with this mix of real and cyber social community on GOTRIbal.com which, on its main page, describes itself as an "organization aimed at empowering women and promoting triathlon around the world."
While groups of women (or "tribes" as they're called) form in different cities around the world to get together for training and support, there also is an online social community that offers advice and support.
On the forum was a topic on anxiety and one athletes quest to battle anxiousness during a race. The topic caught my eye and while not a long thread, I took the time to read it. Many (if not all) of us suffer from being anxious at times and one woman suggested that knowing the anxiety will come before every race regardless of distance or surroundings can be comforting. The anxiety? Normal. And so, you don't necessarily get caught up in the downward spiral and can manage your anxiety.
Another woman went more detailed, giving some suggestions on how to manage anxiety from visualization to relaxation to soothing music and food triggers. All very helpful stuff.
Shortly after, I opened up a book of short, daily meditations and today's entry was on stillness.
Nice synergy universe.
The idea of stillness (or peace, or solitude even) is not about the absence of noise or chaos. It's not about turning off the TV and sitting without movement. Not about going away to a cabin the woods. Not about being calm and centered and spiritual away from the every day world.
Stillness is a place within you. It's a place you access whether you're alone on the couch on a Monday night or with hundreds of people at the start of a race.
It's a place many of us have to practice finding. But you know when you're there. It's the place where things flow naturally, without much thought or effort.
it's the anti-anxiety place.
And a great thing to practice finding during training so that I can easily find my way back on race day when the anxiety gremlin decides to try and rile me up.