Not all meditation is done sitting down... | The Forge

The Forge Corwen

Finding inner peace doesn't have to mean sitting crossed legged humming on a beanbag. It can be anything that allows you to be completely present in the moment. And for me, that is absorbing myself in exercising in extreme weather conditions in the most beautiful scenery in the world...

Yesterday I completed the Slateman Legend Triathlon. It involves swimming in a really cold lake for 1.9km, cycling around the mountains for 90km, and then running up and down the old slate quarries for 23km. Not everyone’s idea of a relaxing Sunday but my absolute idea of heaven. When else do you get the opportunity to have 8 phone-free, child-free, work-free hours in the mountains?

I say completed rather than ‘raced’ as I went into this not to chase PBs, break records or beat any previous times. My sole race strategy was: Not. To. Die. And also to enjoy the race banter with the other competitors.

Although not strictly meditation, here is a flow of some of the thoughts that drifted in and out of my head as I made my way around the course, enjoying my eight hours in the hills… (many of which were spoken out loud so apologies to any fellow competitors who overheard and questioned my sanity).


[Soundtrack in my head: Cake By The Ocean by DNCE]

“Am I supposed to be heading for the pink buoys? Or the red ones? Or the yellow ones? Or the pink ones?”

“Ah, this feels amazing, I am cutting through this stunning lake with such ease and grace.”

“Oh god, I can’t breathe. I’m actually going to die in this godforsaken lake.” [coughing up water]


[Soundtrack in my head: Riptide by Vance Joy]

“Have a got a puncture? Are my brakes sticking? My bike feels fckd” [cycling into strong head wind downhill and barely moving]

“Oh this feels amazing. I’m selling everything to buy a really fancy go-faster bike.”

“Wow Wales is so beautiful. I am so lucky to live here.”

“Why does it never fcking stop raining in this awful country. I’m moving to somewhere hot and dry and soon is fcking race is over.”

"Is it June? IS it June? Is it actually fcking June? Have I entered some kind of weird time warp that has spat me back out in the middle of winter?"

“Oh look, another gorgeous swim spot.” [Repeated about fifty times].


[Soundtrack in my head: Walking On A Dream by Empire Of The Sun]

“Why is slate so uniformly the same colour? Why is it so GREY?"

“I wish I knew more about geology.”

“Why have I just been lapped by someone twenty years older than me?”

“Why are these kilometres SO much longer than the ones I run at home?”

"God, I LOVE these trainers."

"Why are my feet so freaking sore?"

“Wonder if I can wear my ear buds in the sauna to listen to my audio book?”

“WTF am I doing up here in the freezing cold driving rain when I could be snug in a pub somewhere down there? When will this end?”

“This feels amazing. I never want this to end.”

But end it did. In just under 8 hours as it happened. I got another piece of slate for my collection (in the same identical colour of course) very sore legs, and an insatiable appetite for crisps.

Could this even be described as meditation? Probably not. But one thing I know for sure is that I have never felt more truly present in the moment and AWARE of the world around me doing anything else. Nor have I felt the same level of calmness and relaxation in the days following the race. I realise that these kind of races are not for everyone, but finding something that gives you the time away from everything else to be present in the moment is the very best kind of self-care and one we should all take time to find.

If you are interested in learning some tools and techniques to help you become more aware, check out our Come To Your Senses Retreat which past participants have described as truly life changing!

Posted: 11.06.24 | Activities | Local Events | Health and Wellbeing

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