Friday, December 1, 2023

"I Am In"

 The last few moments before the start of a triathlon are the most tense.   Sure, you are trained.  You are ready.  You can swim OK. But even knowing all this, there will be an element of doubt and tension.  The devil will bring his worry to the party for you.    But it's practically too late.  He should have tried harder, and inflicted more doubt early because now you are in, no going back.  The training, the waiting are over, and something big enough to scare you and inspiring enough to make you grow is about to begin. As they count off the minutes for your swim wave to thrash water, it seems like it will never begin. 

 Then, the gun sounds and it is on.  You are in!   Water is splashing on your face. You are bumping and rolling against other swimmers in the forward motion to the first buoy. How great.  It feels like it's where I should be at this very moment in time.  Take another hard swim stroke. Yes!  let’s go, I am in.  

Thank you, God for this passion to follow, to be challenged, by and to ultimately enjoy, and grow from it.  But, most of all thank you for the Faith journey I am on, for the passion, to be challenged by, and to grow from.  And, when I cross my final finish line, I can look to heaven and say, "I am in." 

Saturday, October 21, 2023

80 Years Old 81 Push Ups ...God Has Been Good to Me

God has been good to me


Last year in September I had a bad bike wreck, with multiple injuries. One was the right wrist. I wore a brace on it for a while and eventually, I could use it a little. My morning exercise at that time included 30 push ups and I gave that up as the wrist would not support that activity.

But God was good and eventually I managed a couple push ups on the wrist. I kept adding pushups as I could stand it. On December 7th of this year, God willing I will be 80 years old. I had this goal of doing 80 pushups before my 80th birthday. Well today, I did 81 - one extra in case I won't be here next year. They weren't pretty but I got them done. I have been trying without much success to lose weight and today I certainly wished I would have had more success.

Praise God.


Friday, August 25, 2023

Pray for Courage or My Song Will be Left Unsung?

 The day before Labor Day , will mark one year since my bad bike wreck.  During that year I have only been on a road bike once for about a mile.  Seems I left something back there on that road:  my courage.  The thought of riding on the road again makes me quite anxious.  it was a long and painful journey to recovery. 

Yeah sure, I know the rah-rah and all the dialogue regarding this issue like, "All we have to fear is fear itself."  The Bible is full of "fear nots" that I skim on by.  Maybe now I have a better understanding of the fears other people, but it doesn't resolve my own.

Some braver day I will have to do what John Blaise said to do on that Ironman video:  "Face your fears and live your dreams."  As I approach 80 years of age, most of my athletic dreams involve a road bike to some extent.  Sure, I know, the memory of all the pain must be dealt with or part of life will go unlived.  I don't have the time left to be weak of heart, to leave my song left unsung.  

Perhaps my first real road ride could be planned for the day before    Labor Day, the one-year anniversary of that bad wreck. Maybe that day can be as much a beginning as it was an ending.  I'll pray about that.  I'll pray for courage.

Monday, August 7, 2023

The Whisper Seems to Say

 Every fiber of reason in me tells me let this go.  And I have prayed fervently about this and finished with "Nevertheless let thy will be done."  Surely His will is for reason to prevail.  "God is not the author of confusion."  However, I am confused.  So, who is writing this script; me or God?  Even when not thinking about doing Ironman Texas, the possibility creeps into my thoughts like a siren song.   I don't get it.    I am not terribly motivated to do Ironman Texas anymore.  There are all kinds of good things I have planned to do during that time, that seem good and satisfying.  Why do these haunting thoughts continue to disturb my peace?  

The thought that keeps coming up is to do a "Give it to God" training campaign.  That is, despite being 80 years old, haven't ridden the road bike outside in almost a year, haven't ran farther than 4 miles in the past six months, having a perpetual "train wreck" of a left knee, despite all this and more, the whisper seems to say to go on, sign up and just let God handle this entirely.  Give it to God. 

The whisper seems to say this:  "You are right.  It is a mega-longshot, pretty much an impossibility. You are pretty well done before you start. So why not give up to begin with and give the outcome to God.  Go on! Step out in faith. Let God carry you until He says enough.    You could chronicle it for those whose interest might be peaked, who might be inspired and moved closer by what God can do with little or nothing.  The worst that can happen is that you wear yourself out and fail for God."

And I think:  wouldn't it be better to pour yourself out and fail for God than to succeed for yourself?  Now I am scared as well as confused.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Please Tell Me Again.

 Tell me again.  Tell me again that I am too old.  Remind me again that I have AFIB.  Tell me again I have a train wreck of a left  knee.  Runing or even walking 26 miles on that would be a horror show.  Oh Lord, Tell me again.  I don't seem to get it. So, tell me again. Remind me again of the struggle I would inflict on my family.  Tell me again I have not been riding my bike outside in over a year. Oh Lord, put some sense into me and tell me again to forget this triathlon stuff.  

Oh I need to be refreshed on all the good things I could be doing for God if I didn't bury myself to brain-dead in ironman training.  I need that one word for God.  "STOP"   Or how about three words, "LET IT GO!!"  But I haven't heard it and I go on sort of mentally disabled with "What if" thoughts.  It doesn't do me any good to  go on hungering for the opportunity to do an expensive self-destruct. Oh Lord quiet my heart.  Tell me. Tell me again.  Maybe this time I'll get it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

When I Am Me Again

 The Miles of the Journey seem tedious and weighty at times.  A departure to a rest stop seems soothing at first.  However, there is a tension over time that builds and builds.  The antidote to that tension, for me, seems to be vigorous exercise, letting go of worldly responsibilities and other people's issues, and just go out with your hair on fire, and start again on the Miles of the Journey.  There is a sort of a peace that comes with that afterwards and it is like I know, beyond any doubt, that that was right. It was right where I belonged in that moment in time.  I was truly alive in my life.  I was me again. 

This is crazy stuff, I know.  And I could gloss it over with smattering of normalcy, but all the cover up won't make this any different.  No apology; I am just this way.  I must move and move regularly and purposefully to be at peace with myself in the long haul. 

But age says slow down and I feel so out of place with others my age.  I don't take any medicine. So I don't have that  in common with most my age.  I don't go to doctors very often or have procedures. Common ground is hard to come by with people my age.  If I say to much about how I feel about things and what I do, the curtain ggoes up.   How could I ever convey the joy of pouring yourself out in training  to those who are disabled to greater or lesser degrees?  And I don't think they really want to hear it.  At my age, fitness and health can put you in a lonely spot. 

However, the end game is that I am grateful for my health and fitness.  I am immensely grateful, grateful to God for given me this life and this health.  And the lonely nature of my lifestyle pulls me closer to Jesus as a friend.  "What a friend we have in Jesus,"  the song goes.  Indeed, what a friend who has been my friend during these wonderful Miles of the Journey

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Born-Again Loser

Is that me out there?  Was I out there rocking and rolling in the water and waves with other souls of similar nature?  Will I ever be in a crowd like this again?  Do I REALLY want to be out there?  Does it hold the same passion, the same challenge, the same adventure as it did in younger years?  

This doesn't look as comfortable as my recliner does. This is a lot more tiring than visiting, sitting, and discussing how the world is going to hell in a handbasket or the latest in dietary considerations.  Yeah, this looks like it could hurt and there could be a risk involved.  Why take risks when you don't have to?  Save your life from that distress.  You are old and worn out.  What are you thinking anyway?  Do I  really want to do this anymore? 

The photo below stirs an old musty memory of being out there in the fray, feeling keenly alive.  This memory is so unlike recliner and conversation duty where I feel somewhere between very comfortable and very tired, half alive and half dead and ready for bed. The comfort of going through life, even at my age, and just checking the "being  good" boxes of life is  obviously not going to be enough for this old and restless  spirit.  The Bible says, "Whosoever shall save his  life  shall lose it. And,  whosoever shall  lose his  life for my sake shall find it."  I will have to find this again or something  else of similar passion and challenge.  Yeah, maybe I am to be a loser for God and "run the race that is set before me."  Praise God, I am a born-again loser.