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
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>