Posted by: David D. Daggett | August 6, 2007

Going to the Cathedral

        Going to the Cathedral

     Ironman racing is great fun to me! But we all know that far more time is spent in training than racing. So, the training is what really has to have importance in order to have long term meaning and fulfillment. What deeper meaning does your training have? What other “routine” aspect of life can you use to further develop yourself?

     A frequent question is how I keep doing it all these years – I ask how could I not?! I could go very deep here in many different directions, but will save all but one for future thoughts.   Let’s briefly explore the “Cathedral of Nature.” This photo from the start of Ironman USA in Lake Placid 2005 is one of my favorites:


     Fortunately I live in an area where I can be out in the country, in the foothills, and even the Blue Ridge Mountains fairly quickly. I love to ride my bike. Regardless, of your spiritual backround and beliefs it is hard not to be awed every time you head out. Every time I train I am heading into the “Cathedral of Nature.”

     The Cathedral creates an interesting Pavlovian response every time I head out the door on the bike, to the pool for a swim, or out the office door at lunch for a run. I seem to forget all of my troubles and immediately go to my inner most and most spiritual thoughts. I actually use the time in training to help (a lot of work!) make me a better person.

     In Ironman bike training you end up spending a lot of time alone with yourself on the bike. My favorite ride is the 118.8 miles by back road to my in-laws house in Roanoke Virginia. An interesting question is when you spend long periods of time alone, do you like the company you keep? If not, work on it…..and then, keep working on it.

      I am reminded of the saying “If you don’t consciously create good habits, you unconsciously create bad habits.” Please don’t miss that the Pavlovian response has been conditioned. Create the good habit of automatically triggering positive self, family, life, and spiritual review and reflection during training. In doing so, you will more and more  “like the company you keep”…and others might too.

I’m off to the Cathedral,



  1. I enjoyed seeing your wife and Riley today. And I loved the quote in your blog. Great job in Idaho.

  2. […]      8. Going to the Cathedral […]

  3. […] to have sources of inspiration with my family, at work, in community activities, at church, and out in nature during physical activity. Working with students is inspiring. Everywhere we look there are sources […]

  4. […]       Spirituality includes the need to belong, which helps enhance the social anchor which we will discuss later. A spiritual environment should provide an atmosphere of acceptance, approval, worthiness, and unconditional favor. We will see a continuing theme of integrating anchors. Previously, we discussed integrating the spiritual and the physical in Going to the Cathedral. […]

  5. […] The sheer beauty of the mountains is awe inspiring. Previously we discussed the spiritual impact in Going to the Cathedral. We were fortunate to enjoy and be inspired by mountains our entire […]

  6. […] We hope we are introducing our kids to a healthy lifestyle that they will enjoy for life. The Cathedral of Nature calls us, refreshes us, and is part of who we are. The Physical Anchor is integrated in our […]

  7. […] Of course, on Friday I exercised my spiritual connection in the Cathedral of Nature on an over five hour bike ride. Although the last 3 1/2 hours in 48 degrees and rain were quite […]

  8. […] Lastly, giant trees are the stalwarts in the Cathedral of Nature for us to be awe of, motivated by, and an ongoing source of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: