Being a part of unlocking something within can offer disparate aspects. It can mean exploring spiritual self and our senses, going through psychotherapy, or simply unlocking physical potential. As different as we humans are from one another, evidently we all age and having a say in how we go about it is a powerful thought.
The Land Wights, or Landvættir in Icelandic, are known from the Viking era as the great four protectors of Iceland, displayed on the coat of arms of Iceland. Landvættir consists of a bull protecting Southwestern Iceland, the griffin is the protector of Northwestern, the dragon protects the Northeastern part, and the giant is the protector of Southeastern Iceland.
The Saga's tell us that King Harald Gormsson of Denmark and his witch were sent to scout Iceland’s strength in the form of a whale. When the King tried to come on land he was immediately attacked by various beasts in each corner of the island. He summoned the witch who delivered the sorrowful news to the King that Iceland was overly protected.
Borrowing the name Landvættir, and elevating the translation to The Avengers of Iceland, is an athletic group competing in a quadrathlon, a fearless union that I happen to be a part of. With our physical strength and power we cover each discipline in a geographically applicable corner of the country. The race consists of a 50 km cross-country ski marathon, a 60 km bicycle race, a 2.5 km open-water swim and a 32.7 km trail run.
Being an avid avenger of the five hundred qualified athletic group I find myself further proving the notion that anything is possible if we fully apply ourselves. And I’m proving to myself that becoming a high-performing athlete at fifty is not an oddity.
I’m at a time in life where I’ve developed a grander patience and find myself treating long-distance running as a form of meditation, learning that it’s not a novelty to compete at an older age, but a blessed opportunity to target my full physical potential.
The motivation for competing is the same for anyone who runs races and competes in a tri- or quadrathlon, whether it is beating our opponents or ourselves with faster times and fuller performances. Through this physical journey I find my life experience to be the ultimate price, as it constantly motivates me to push through the pain while avoiding suffering.
“I'll be happy if running and I can grow old together.” - Haruki Murakami