Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Ironman Diary Day 2

Ironman Texas training was hot today.  A 37 minute run was a chore and was perhaps the hottest run I have done this year.  I guess the perservering heat has cut me down a bit.  I was so tired on my bike ride (trainer) after that and my swim was not that good either. 

But, I have learned through years of training for something:  Don't believe the moment for the real deal.  If it is going good:  it will change. If it is going bad: it will change.  Of course it is disconcerting when it is a day like today.   So, when I got back from the swim, I got on my small tractor and starting mowing pasture.  There is something about that activity which has a calming effect; calming to the extent that I can truly pray for thanks that I got through this day and am blessed to be on this journey

Monday, August 20, 2018

Ironman Diary Day One -

Ironman Diary Day One - 

Officially, I  began a formalized training program for Ironman Texas 2019 two weeks ago.  However, sometimes ideas come a little late such as this one.  But, I want  to track the thoughts and experience of the Ironman Life if only for myself.  If someone else gets something positive out of it, that would be great too.

 For me, the Ironman Life is not just about the training and the event.  They are just parts or benchmarks of the journey. The discipline and letting go required of living the Ironman Life and how to effect that is the larger story; the Miles of the Journey.  If I go through all this without learning some  profound things about myself, without it positively impacting the quality of my life and the richness of my faith, then the journey will not be quite as successful. 

The past two weeks have been good and motivation has been high.  Today, again I am making a late start I am sorry to say and I have a 6 mile run and a 20 mile bike.  The run will be tough in the heat.  I haven't done my morning exercises -  I have been doing these daily for 80 +days now and running everyday as well. My bad knee is only getting stronger, praise God. 

I have been keeping myself motivated by posting pictures of my last Ironman effort on my desktop.  I see these and the feeling of that comes back and I so look forward to the experience.  God bless me this day and every day on my Miles of the Journey.

T                                                        The morning of: need that coffee

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Moments to Cry About

I can cry more now that I am an older person.  Perhaps, I have matured enough to let emotion express itself  and not try to control.  Perhaps, I am not as afraid.

Looking back as I round the bend to become 75 years old this year,  I find that I can easily tear up over the loss of a loved one,  special memories, children who get hurt or abused, moving music, a total surrender prayer, things of my faith, and all kinds of things I let inside more easily now with age. And I can mist up over endurance sports as well, especially ironman - my own ironman quest, and the quests of others .  Today I watched the trailer of the movie coming out, We Are Triathletes  https://us.demand.film/we-are-triathletes/ and again, I was moved to tears.  It wasn't sadness that brought the rain, but passion, feeling, inspiration all just bubbling over and out my eyes.

I smile to think that I am so blessed to have things that reach that deep into me and make me feel truly and fully alive.  I think it is a gift from God - one I shouldn't ignore or take for granted. In looking back at the photos of my last attempt, I still feel that tearing up, that welling up of emotion, that pull toward wanting more, wanting it again - gift and a calling from God

This all  says to me  that regardless of age, and  beyond all doubt, there really is no other good choice but to go on until God says stop.   What would be the wisdom in giving up on something that makes me  feel this much alive, and this close to God. 

Times it seems embarassing that I have failed at this so many times and here the old thing goes again is what folks may say.  But fail or succeed, I'm going  go at  this ironman thing again, and build upon the moments I can't put into words," Making   moments and memories to cry tears of joy about for the rest of my life.  Thank God, I am blessed with the quest.

Follow up:  Yesterday when I saw the email to sign up for Ironman Texas, it sort of caught my breath, a flip in the stomach. 
Again, I am in. Praise God.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Shoe Seems to Fit

I will be racing as a 75 year old this year and still I find my resilience amazing.  No, I don't want to brag on myself.  I want to brag on God. He has put this in me.  He has put this in you.  The abundant life is within us all, raw material from God, to develop, to use, to feel His presence in what we, mere mortals can do. 

I find it amazing that I can keep doing this year after year, that I get down, injured, turned aside, but somehow I get picked up off the canvass to fight another round. I am thankful.

Just got in from a windy 30 mile bike ride with hills. Yes, I am tired, but the fatigue has a sort of soothing effect to my being, remindful that  this is what I am supposed to be doing; who I am supposed to be.  The shoe seems to fit.  I love it and feel blessed beyond measure, even if it should end tonight. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Dusting Off, Continuing the Journey

And the pain of just getting out of a chair or rolling over in bed was excruciating at times.   Walking was a bump and drag along affair: not pretty.  Like I wrote, I was in a hole.  And it gets down to what do I believe is lasting; the hole or the light above the hole.  The realization is that no matter how deep the hole, there is always a light at the opening; a calling to pull you toward the Light; the Light from above. 

God has put His brand upon me and in the hole or pulling up to the Light, I am His.  I am good for the journey - whatever.  The back pain is practically gone.  My activity level is back to normal.  I am dusting the dirt of the hole off my clothes.  And, with a smile, the Miles of the Journey continue.  Praise God.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Embers of Hope

With so much practice I should be good at this by now.  It should be easier but it isn't.  I suppose that if it were easy to quit, there wouldn't  have been the requisite passion to begin the quest.   Last week I dropped out of Ironman Texas 2018 - again. Again, my bum knee couldn't stand the piled on training of the last few months of Ironman preparation.  Sometimes I just get tired of all this; tired of hoping the knee holds, and then it doesn't.  And I wonder:   Will I ever get tired of being disappointed by all this and just quit this silliness and do something different? 

This time was different.   I could never get the motivation for those long runs and rides going.  It was almost as if I knew that I wasn't going to make it.  But, when it happened it was a big shot of disappointment nonetheless.  So much so that I didn't train at all for over a week.  I have never done that.

But, I did do physical stuff around the place here, like working up large chunks of firewood.  And in throwing some of these chunks short distances, I pulled my back.  Now, it is painful to walk.  Yeah, I guess I am in a hole about now. The event schedule came out for Ironman Texas yesterday, and not only am  I not in the event, but I have trouble walking.   Where does one go from here?

In this hole I find myself in, I can only look up and pray for a strength, courage, endurance, and commitment greater than my own. 

My own is obviously not enough, but I am 74 years old and how many other holes - some worse than this - have I found myself in and somehow got out of?  I love the quote: "Difficulties give birth to miracles," and there have been many miracles in my life. Indeed, there could be more to come along this wonderful journey of hills and valleys. 

Down there in the ashes of my fire that once burned big and bright, lay embers of hope yet unfulfilled.  My place at Ironman Texas was not withdrawn but only deferred.  Will I capitalize on that deferment:  probably.  Success or failure I probably won't pass up the opportunity for another miracle.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Training to Be Who I AM

It is almost February and the time has flown since Ironman Texas 2017.  I am not certain that Ironman Texas 2018 can come up to meaning experiences as compared to last year.  But, the Miles of the Journey go on.  The days have become weeks and the weeks, months, and now it is closer to event time than I had realized.  Of course, I am scared.  I doubt I would do this if it didn't scare me some. 

Most in my circle have seen me attempt this year after year:  it is just business as usual.  Folks don't ask any more.  Marvin is training; ok, what else is going on.  In a way  it might mean I have assumed the identity of an ironman already  and I am always in training for something.  I suppose my training  has become as much a part of who I am.  Training and trying has become a huge part of who I am and like to be.  How could I change that?  Why would I? And  who knows that someone out there will take notice and be encouraged in their own journeys of  courage for faith. 

And that  makes it harder not to try, more difficult to slack off.    If I take it easy, if I bow to the constant temptation and impulse to quit, would I not only let myself down but let those who  might be encouraged  down as well?  In doing that, would I not be letting God down, that when I have the opportunity to be light, I chose to "hide it under a bushel"  because it got too hard and I got too weak?

So the journey goes on another day and, God willing, another day tomorrow.  Hoping and praying to remain the person I am, and to continue to strive for the person I am called to be.