Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Moments to Cry About

I cry more now as an older person.  Perhaps, I have matured enough to let emotion go 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 with age. 

And I can mist up over endurance sports as well, specifically 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, caring, inspiration all just bubbling over and out my eyes. 

I am so blessed to have things that reach that deep into me and make me feeling 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. 

These times say that regardless of age, and  beyond all doubt  there really is no other good choice.  Why give up on something that makes you feel this much alive, and this close to God.   So fail or succeed, I must try  this ironman thing again and build upon the moments I  love, moments to cry about for the rest of my life.  Thank God, I am blessed with the quest.

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.

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
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.