A distinguished athlete with nine years of competitive experience, Paula Newby-Fraser is known among a growing circle of fans as a “Zen triathlete.” Often called “the Ironman competition” because of its great demands on physical endurance, a triathlon is a long-distance race that combines swimming, bicycling, and running. The triathlon will be formally recognized as an Olympic sport at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
Born in Zimbabwe in 1962, Newby-Fraser spent her childhood in Durban, South Africa, studying classical ballet for many years. Her interest in Buddhism began when her mother, enamored of Asian and African religious culture, took her to a lecture by a Tibetan lama.
Newby-Fraser, who describes herself as a “total dabbling yuppie Buddhist beginner,” practices with a Tibetan lama and is an avid reader of Buddhist books. Presently she lives in Encinitas, California, where she owns and operates athletic-training camps that emphasize “practicing right regimen.” This interview took place in Encinitas and was conducted by Tricycle’s Consulting Editor Allan Hunt Badiner.
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