Friday, June 28, 2019

The Open Door

Back pain, sometimes spasms seeming coming from out of nowhere, Now with  5 days of this under my belt,  I am sick of it. But there is a lesson here even in bothersome back pains if one pays attention.   When I got through feeling sorry for myself because I  just didn't feel perfect, I got to realize how many people must live in pain like this and much worse daily; moment to moment with not much hope of relief.   And in this realization, I got to feeling a bit ashamed.  I still have health and strength enough to be training, riding, running.  Yesterday, I did a good swim in open water.  Sometimes in our self-absorption, we seem to see life through a keyhole.  When we stop lowering ourselves to look through our keyhole at life, we can stand firmly and open the door.  We can see life in its totality and our place in it through the open door.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Turnaround Will Be OK

My ribs still hurt from that turnaround bike crash and  I was on that same course yesterday.  It wasn't the same turnaround but it was a turnaround that brought fear.  Memories and present pain, warned me of what could happen and as I approached the turnaround. I could feel the shakiness and insecurity making it more likely I would fall in my fears.

"Help me here Lord."  "Help me here Jesus"

I keep repeating that in my mind and my prayer became reality.  The turnaround went safely; no problem.

This morning the ribs seem to hurt worse and in the long term, I wonder; I feel insecure in that here I am again, a confirmed Ironman failure trying this again.  And my ribs hurt.  The moment has obscured my future and at present I believe the pain and lack of ability. I feel inadequate for this task God has called me out to do.

Then I read a devotional  this morning  by Charles Stanley which spoke right at me.

Feeling inadequate is not a sin, but using it as an excuse is. When the Lord challenges you to do something that you feel is beyond your abilities, you have two options. You can focus on Christ and proceed in triumph or focus on yourself and withdraw in defeat.
It's really a matter of faith. God would never ask you to do something without empowering you to accomplish it. This doesn't necessarily mean you will do it perfectly, but each step of obedience is a victory. The alternative is to play it safe, but then you'll miss out on God's best for your life.
It is again, really a matter of  faith.  The turnaround will work out OK. 

Friday, May 31, 2019

Feeding Your Faith II

A large part of this post is from a previous post back in 2015.  Not much of my spirit had changed, it seems.  And I still have that bum knee.

Yesterday my run cut short due to lightning. But, that's OK. The knee is painful at times and that crack in my armor gives me doubting room. I like the saying, though: "Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death." So, to do that, I have to go about setting up conditions to starve the doubts.  You can shut down the fire in a stove by cutting down the air and by shutting down the air to doubts, we  can starve our doubts. Don't let them breathe. Don't let the doubtful thought in. Don't give doubt air but give air to the times God has brought me through. The time He saved me out when I barely escaped from a burning vehicle or the time He saved me out when I had some sort of allergic reaction and couldn't breathe; the time I had hyponatremia a the end of a marathon and thought I was dying.  He brought me through so many trials in life and in numerous endurance experiences, training sessions, when I could not see my way through. 
"Feed your faith and your doubts will stave to death"

So, if you see some doubts out there, weak and emaciated,  staggering around choking to death, know that I am out there, still training and  feeding my faith well.

Monday, May 20, 2019

It Wasn't My Plan

The battle was over.  Arms were more or less laid down.  Resignation to no more than a half ironman at best had been made.  It was almost good enough. The nagging sense of being unfilled was being dealt with successfully.  I had almost convinced myself.   However ironman, for me,  is like one of those dormant viruses, there just waiting for the right stressors to activate it again.

So it was with ironman. I wasn't going to sign up until:  I got my book by Mike Reilly, Finding My Voice.  As I started reading it, the inspiration, the hopes started bubbling back up to the surface.  I began to get my own voice back; my ironman voice.  Then Ironman Texas this year was held and the social media was full of information and inspiration about the event.  Then there was that email that offered opportunity to sign up before registration opened.  Oh how could  I withstand all this?  Like an alcoholic going off the wagon I stayed up later that night and just went on and took that first drink.  I got weak.  I caved.  I signed up.

God help me.  Of course, I am in way over my head. God help me.  Of course, He will.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Who Am I Listening To

No, I wasn't paying attention making that turn-around and my bike fell over and I land squarely on the back of my ribs. Do I have a broken rib? I am not sure.  But it hurts. But it is getting better slowly.

All this pain and limitation make me cognizant how important capability is.  When I was in good health I had to fight the mind games I played on myself to get out of doing my morning strength and flexibility exercises.  Now, I wish I had the capability to do them all.

And, get this, all of the injury stuff happened within 24 hours of me signing up for Ironman Texas yet again.  Does God want me to stay home or is this part of game plan of evil to thwart what God has called me to try to do?  Who am I listening to?  I think I know and therefore, I am going on.  Something really great must be in store for me at the end of this journey.   That's what I am going with; my story; my song.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

God Is Not In This

Several weeks ago I pulled out of the ironman effort.  Health issues were the final straw that broke the camel's back.  Come to find out the health issues weren't that serious but bear consideration under the extremities of ironman efforts right now.

The water at my swimming location was so cold I had to wear a full wetsuit in the pool.  The weather has been so wet and cold that outside bike riding was all but nothing.  The wet conditions had made the trails I run on slick and dangerous to falls.  The county road I used to run on when my trials were wet and slick has been taken over by a pipeline construction project creating bad running conditions there whereas I spent a lot of time on the soggy ditch dodging 18 wheelers going back and forth on that narrow road.  No mas!

Sense and sensibility seems to be coming back.  Right now I am more rested than I have been in many years.  I haven't been afraid of taking days off and sort of broke that spell.  In short, I guess I am getting accustomed to being on an ordinary journey leading the ordinary life expected of me.

Truth is that I am proud of all the recovery; proud of the things I have accomplished since backing off, but I am staring to get tired of trying to jump up high enough to see the world outside the rut I am in.  Yes, I know God was not in my ironman effort, but I know also He isn't through with me yet. I will continue to jump to see what is the over the edge of the rut;  what God has in store for me.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Four Months Later And Still No Wiser

Four months since my last post.  It seems I found myself saying the same thing and just got bored with myself.  I can imagine how the readers felt.  But, here I am on January 5, 2019 talking about ironman training once more.  What's to say?  It is going well, physically.  I am not injured and a lot of the larger workouts have  been done.  But, many have not and I am concerned that I just don't have it anymore; that I can't grind it out like I once did  I look at the hard, long training and think, do I really think I can do this?

I guess  self doubts are the villains of any project, purpose, or goal.  If that is true, it at least proves that I am partially normal.   Tonight I writes while in sweaty shirt from a trainer ride.  Lots of trainer rides.  Just got a wild hair to post on my blog.  Who knows, training delirium, I suppose.  The last post talks of rain, rain, rain.  That was in September and since then what have we had: rain, rain, rain; the wettest year ever here. I have ran on slick and mushy trails at a safe pace that can barely be called movement.  Riding outside is so limited that I go for weeks now without an outdoor ride.

It won't rain always, they say.  But they- whoever they is - say a lot of things that - as they say - ain't necessarily so.