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Some distractions are good, right?

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Hey Yogis, it’s Trav here. You hear me a lot in your yoga classes talking about distractions of the mind. Often it is to suggest, that as a result of them we tend to be less connected and present than perhaps otherwise we could be.

However a distraction that I have thoroughly enjoyed recently, has been the Tokyo Olympics. Put aside the disaster of Covid-19, the inability of the residents of Tokyo to be spectators at their own games and the financial cost and burdens placed on the host nation.

And for a moment, let’s revel in the exceptional result of the Australian team. From the pool deck to the running track, to the diving board, to the water parks, to the newly included skate parks and beyond, we have once again excelled above our station as a nation.

But I wanted to talk particularly about the Decathlon. In the seventy year history of the event in the modern Olympics, Australia has never placed a medal in the mens event. Indeed we have never been close. That is, until the other night.

Picture it, athletes have to compete in ten (deca) different events which athletes participate in over two consecutive days. Decathletes win points in each event. The winner of the Olympics decathlon is said to earn the title of the "world's greatest athlete". I honestly didn’t and still don’t know much about the decathlon, other than that what Bruce Jenner use to mention in KUWTK. But cut to me with a tear in my eye watching the replay of two exceptional Australian athletes competing in the games.

A very young man named Ash Moloney claimed a bronze medal and his teammate (and competitor) Cedric Dubler finished out of the medals. Ash’s bronze medal in the decathlon is Australia's first ever, and it may not have been had it not been for the help Cedric provided his much younger teammate. The final event of the decathlon is a 1500m sprint. Ash was exhausted, he was currently in third place but an American was less than 10 seconds behind him. If he didn’t beat him by 10 seconds it was all over and he wouldn’t get a medal. Cedric knew this and he put aside his own race to shadow his team mate in the final event, to provide pace when he needed it, encouragement when he needed it and to make sure the young Aussie won a medal.

As we head into another period in lockdown, this story reminds me how the Aussie spirit is alive and well. I encourage you to take time and check in on friends and family, to share the practice of Yoga through the encouragement of positivity, by focusing on the things that we can control. We can control how much news we consume, how much social media we browse, our kindness and grace, our positive attitude and finding joy and happiness in our everyday, by being present. Now & here.

See you on the mat soon, Trav.

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