Balancing Your Inner And Outer Journeys, A Key To Successful Aging And Lifelong Endurance Training

Willbe, our yellow lab., looking for deer.

Willbe, our yellow lab, observes. I’m convinced that his attention is on only three things out of that window, squirrels, deer, and other dogs. But his stomach is always listening, too!

Inner Journey Body Meditation by FitOldDog: sit cross-legged and interlace your fingers. Fine! Now reverse your legs, upper knee lower and vice versa, and reverse your hand interlace, lower thumb to upper – it will feel very weird, even uncomfortable, at first, but relax, watch the tension melt away over a period of 15 mins. You’ll discover areas of tightness in your body you never knew were there, and they’ll melt away given a little practice. Classic Feldenkrais work I learned from Karen.

Hi folks, welcome!

Cover of Triathlon Lifestyle magazine February 2014

Joni returned from an intense inner journey, due to a serious accident, to set women’s Ironman records in Kona – I was delighted to tell this story, Body of Steel, in Triathlon Lifestyle Magazine, as it sure inspired me – click image for link.

Balancing our outer with our inner worlds, though they’re both inner really, is critical for mental, physical and social health in my not so humble opinion (humility is fine, but not to the point of being unheard!).

I recently created a new landing page for our Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis product, selecting orange as the background color. I wrote about this color selection in the February 2014 FitOldDog newsletter. One of my readers replied (I managed to lose the message, sorry Lisa!) to say that it was actually peach, not orange. This reminded me of my mild red-green color blindness.

This mild issue resulted in my selecting pink trousers years ago, thinking they were pale green – wouldn’t wear either now, as I live in running gear and some thick wooly pants for cold weather. But I clearly see a different world to that experienced by Lisa. I fixed the website issue by looking up the code for orange and allowing my computer to repair the problem. Which brings me to focusing on both our inner and our outer worlds during training.

Number 2

I can’t see anything apart from random red, green and yellow bubbles.

In one of my recent training diary entries, I received a comment from Walt saying,

“Hey Kevin, really glad to see that you are recovering and making progress toward your 2014 goals! I see that you use a Computrainer and am wondering why you don’t use the 3D software and at least occupy your mind somewhat by riding with the virtual training partner who I affectionately refer to as “metal man”. I use the sufferfest videos as well as the 3D virtual software to make indoor training somewhat bearable. Not sure I could just stare at a wall like that.

Anyway, keep up the good work!”

Thanking Walt for his encouragement and input, and being only to familiar with that ‘metal guy,’ my response was as follows:

“I abandoned this visual input as I realized it was interfering with my real training, which is internal.”

Cat playing with Willbe

Much of the time the outer world drags our attention away from our inner world, so you have to schedule time for meditation each day for mental health – don’t worry, they are only playing! Willbe teases, cat fights back!

Why would I do that, for as long as 4-5 hours, even without music? Because you have plenty of distractions out on the road, so the only time that you will really be able to focus on the inner aspects of cycling is on the trainer.

Group riding comes close, but your attention is really on that six-inch gap between your front wheel and the rear wheel of the rider in front of you.

Just try it, Walt, after doing the meditation I provide at the top of the page. As you ride, undistracted by unnecessary external sensory input, explore which muscle groups are working when, how much body, especially shoulder, movement frees up your legs, how tightening your jaws tightens your hips, slowing down your cadence – there is endless internal education and entertainment to be had once you tune inwards!

6000 feet up Mount Lemmon small file

AIMP Tucson Training camp, 6000 feet up Mount Lemmon. What a climb, what a descent!

Final note: when I’m riding the trainer at higher wattages I imagine climbing Mount Lemmon in Tucson. When I do my recovery spin at the end of the ride I imagine the final stretch of the Lake Placid bike course along the shores of Mirror Lake, as I prepare mentally to run the marathon, relaxing my legs for the work ahead.

Creative visualization is pretty effective, I find.

I’m convinced that one’s internal life is as vivid as one wants to make it. When I’m riding the road it’s a different story – I love looking around at nature, whilst avoiding death as best I can.

-k @FitOldDog

PS Thanks again, Walt.




  1. Thanks for including my post in your blog! I’ll think about trying the meditative indoor trainer experience. I do feel that music can kind of be a crutch when training. For me, the right music can provide extra motivation and even energy. Since they don’t allow iPods etc while racing however, I do most of my training without it.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.