Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 The Resolution to Be Oneself

This was my New Years Eve post last year. 

How did I do?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Years:  Getting Up One More Time

New Years Eve: I have failed at getting to the start of the ironman many times, yet as I listen to the fireworks out there in the night, I yet have hope, and I yet have the will to keep trying. God just won't let me quit, Somehow, I still find it inside to keep training: to keep hoping. I get older and older and fail and fail. Yet, in the end, I somehow still hope. That Hope is more than I could muster on my own. I like that quote: "The miracle is not that I finished but that I had the courage to begin." So this New Years Eve I am thankful and feel blessed that I have been given the courage to begin and begin again and begin again, and again. Tonight I am thankful that God pushed me to simply have the will, the hope, to get up one more time, to have the courage to hope. In the process, doubt and fear had to be dealt with and overcome and all the arguments for mindless moderation must be argued down. To me it sometimes seems that the world would level us off into clones of one another. And if we are not "acting our age," or following some less courageous predetermined pattern, it is as if a violation of the natural order has been committed.

So my resolution is to be myself. To hope where there doesn't seem to be a reason to; to keep getting up to reach for more. Who knows. I might just inspire someone else to step outside the preordained prescription for their lives. You never know who is watching or reading this post; someone waiting for inspiration; waiting to see if I will get up yet one more time than I get knocked down, and finish the "race set before
me."
 
So went was my New Years post last year.  I ask myself;  how did I do?   I ask God: How did I do?   The training for Ironman Texas really beat me up.  However, I made it to the starting line for the first time in many, many tries.  I finished the swim and bike but couldn't go on. It was the hardest thing I have ever tried to do.  The support was amazing.  An experience of a lifetime.  Maybe I should quit here, I had thought.   I signed up again: in training now.   How did I do last year?  The answer is in the smile I have at writing this, in the feeling of the "peace with oneself" feeling in my hearth thinking upon last year.  So I didn't do too badly, I guess.  I am still standing, still trying, still dreaming and hoping, getting knocked down and getting back up.  Praise God.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

December 3rd - Going On - Life in the Present Moment

It wasn't a big successful run yesterday like I planned.  But the week was a good one as far as ramping up my training.  I was tired.  It could be much worse.  We buried my dad on this day many years ago and so much of him remains in me.  In fact, much of the endurance mindset I have, I can tell it was his first. Thank you God for a great father and an example of manhood.  I wish I could tell him all this and I guess the take-away is:  don't wait to tell it.  All of life is in the present moment; seize it.

 And so it is with my ironman effort. Sure I have failed at this many, many times. Sure, I will be competing as a 75 year old; an age group where no one finished last year.  Sure, I have a gimp knee which could blow at any time.  Sure, sure, sure.  But, life in the present moment brings a gleam to my eyes, a hope to my step.  What have I got to lose that won't be lost.  How many much more disabled than I would love  the chance; just the chance, to be on this beautiful journey I am on.  To  live the life of the present moment with just a sliver of hope of achieving the seemingly impossible.  For this opportunity; for this journey; I am truly blessed.
 


Friday, December 1, 2017

December 1, 2017 - I Go On

Bearing down a bit on training.  It is time. Last weekend did a 3 and 1/2 hour run.  Yesterday did a 61 mile bike.  During all this I have had an upper respiratory congestion which means a lot coughing amid the workouts.  It is OK.  I feel blessed to even be in this league of participants. The congestion will go away and probably some new obstacle will appear in the path.  I am ready for that too. Mentally I seem to be closing ranks in preparation for the onslaught of massive training.  A lot of things get sifted into their rightful bin of true importance.  God remains. I go on.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Terminal Sanity


No, just old, not terminal.  Not yet. Hope still courses in my veins buoyed by the passion for the kind of experience not normally sought for one this old:  I want to do an ironman.  It's crazy.  Yes, of course.  And it's crazy too to think that God is behind it; wants me go for it; will bless me even in likely failure. 

Oh yes, times I really think this is crazy myself.  Times I really want to lay this journey aside.  The temptation to quit this altogether haunts me like a ghost, And maybe someday I will buckle and go under, but not today.  Tomorrow I will wake up and fights the demons again that say quit this silliness and become terminally sane. Do the sane thing here:  live, follow the beaten path, check all the proper boxes, and die quietly without too much noise or trouble. 

There is only quiet in the cemetery; dreams lay silent with us there.  What is to be lost in failing at something far over our heads?   What do we have to lose  that won't be lost ?  And  how much hope, passion, and life itself  might have been squandered if our end finds us  in a state of terminal sanity.

https://milesofthejourney.blogspot.com/2014/07/i-lied.html


Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything----
Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you----
so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.



Saturday, October 21, 2017

Close to the Ditch Yet Again

After six years this is still true: still going on. It seems that we repeat ourselves.  Or it could be too that things that matter repeat themselves in our lives giving us the opportunity to readdress, and reconstruct ourselves to our betterment. 


October 2011
 
It seems to be coming apart. Ever since signing up for Ironman Texas, it seems like I have incurred the wrath of God. The schedule this week is in disarray and I feel like I am coming down with something myself. What a rotten way to start!

Life is like that sometimes. The Bible says, "In the world you shall have tribulations----" It doesn't say you "might" or that it is a "possibility," it says "you shall." So, like in the last miles of the marathon, I just try to keep moving forward, knowing as long as I do that, I will not be yet defeated, and each step forward takes me closer to the finish.

"All of life runs unsettlingly close to the ditch."
Joseph M. Stowell
"The Upward, Inward Look," Decision Magazine 1/09

Friday, October 6, 2017

Called to Be


An outdoor ride was refreshing yesterday.  I did 30 miles without too much difficulty and on the trip did a hill several times to get the feel.  What feel?  The feel of the overpasses on the toll road which is the ironman bike course. And, I did it into the 5-10 mph wind; not like the more severe wind speed it will probably be, but it is race specific training, nonetheless.  This felt right; like a slipped into the groove and caught my pace. 

Is it unreasonable to think I have reconnected - in one sense - to myself, to  who I am and who I am called to be>

Sunday, September 10, 2017

How Do You Respond?

Went to a sprint triathlon today (Rose City Triathlon in Tyler, Texas)- my 51st triathlon - and it was quite revealing. Not revealing in the limitless possibilities out there, but in revealing a lot of truths about myself. Today was a sprint triathlon for enhanced self-awareness.

For one, in looking at race photos, I became aware that I don't look as good as I thought I did. In fact, I could be labeled fat without departing too far from the truth. In addition, I  am not as thorough and into preparedness as I had perceived myself to be. My bike computer didn't work - I should have know that. My front skewer was loose on my bike and the headset was loose - where have I been? My T-2 transition wasn't all that long but terribly sloppy and disorganized. And my run, in a word: stinks; absolutely the worst 5k I have ever ran in my life - and I thought I was holding it together pretty good; reality says "no way." I  thought all my run training was on target and doing some good: how wrong was that? There was an overweight guy, walking with a bad limp up ahead of me and I couldn't catch him.  There he  was up ahead,  walking, limping, overweight, and he was pulling away from me while I was  allegedly running. My heart sank.

Time for some reality therapy here. Oh sure, people are all amazed that I can do all this stuff at my age, but God isn't amazed. He gave me this window of opportunity and it seems I have not lived up to His or my own expectations. So, tomorrow, when I might be thinking more clearly, I will indulge in some serious reality therapy about my endurance sports life. Today has been most humbling and perhaps now I am ready for God to use me in whatever reality I am given.

 
 
So, I wrote down all the reasons I shouldn't even think about doing Ironman Texas on April 28, 2018.  Below are the reasons:  reality to either   accept and give this crazy stuff up, or accept, put my face into the wind, and "Face the Giants." 
 

THIRTEEN REASONS NOT TO DO THE IRONMMAN
1.     The “Bad Leg”
2.     My awful run speed
3.     Wife’s physical problems
4.     Financial expense
5.     Lack of motivation
6.     Lack of a consistent place to swim
7.     Asthma
8.     Present level of deep fatigue
9.     Present overweight problem
10.   Time away from family
11.   Time away from work to be done here on the place
12.   Time and mind to write
13.   Urinary tract problems.

Now put  all those good reasons up against the one overarching reason to keep trying;  in spite; to keep on trying though I might look like a fool yet again attempting this at this age (74).  How does all this  stack up?  I knew the answer before I asked. 
 
 
 
How do you respond when you sense the Lord is calling you to a task that seems beyond your abilities? Do you list all the reasons you can't possibly do it? God already knows everything about you and the situation. He's not asking your permission to proceed; rather, He is calling you to move forward with faith and obedience. He didn't make an error in choosing you for the task, but you will make a huge mistake if you refuse to do it.
 
God will equip you for whatever He calls you to do. Because the Holy Spirit dwells within every believer, we have all we need to fulfill the Lord's mission. Instead of letting inadequacy hinder you from obeying, let it drive you to your knees so you can arise with renewed insight and power.
Charles Stanley

God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try. -Mother Teresa