Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Believe I Can

Never known been to be conservative, the first thing my son signed up for was an olympic distance triathlon. He could barely make headway in the water. I was no swimmer at all and even I was a better swimmer than he was. Now, he planned on swimming 1500 yards? No ! What was he thinking? He explained that all he had to do was swim a 100 meters, hang on the buoy until rested, and then move on to the next buoy. All he had to do was swim a 100 meters 15 times. I didn't like the plan at all. I prayed hard, really hard. His wave went off and and I watched him make the first buoy. Thank God. His wave left him and the next wave readied to start the swim. He didn't move. I could see his yellow swim cap still near that first buoy. The next wave went off and swimmers came to the first buoy and went on to the second, and my son still seemed to be hanging on that first buoy. What is wrong? I started pacing about the shoreline feeling like I am about to come apart. Long moments passed and I still could see, what looked like his yellow swim cap near that first buoy. My wife told me to calm down. But, it is my son out there. I want to go out to that first buoy myself but I'm wasn't that good of a swimmer either. A race official told me he didn't think anyone was on that buoy, but I had not seen my boy leave it. From the crowd of spectators on the shoreline a man stepped forward to talk to me. I told him my story abd he said, "let's pray." We joined hands and he prayed a simple, yet eloquent prayer for my son and my sanity. I gained a measure of calm and peace, I had not had before. Most of the swimmers were in except for three or four scattered about the swim course, plodding along. One of them came in, and it was the wife of the nice man I prayed with. It was easy to cheer her in. Then I thanked and shook my friend's hand before he followed his wife up to the transition area. I turned back to the lake and see a tired swimmer muddling along to the shoreline. Could this be my son. I think it is. I hollered out and he lifted his head from the water. He had a huge smile all over his face; so glad to be getting out of that water. I was so impressed, so proud of him, Wow! That spirit of adventure and challenge that my son exhibited was motivating, inspiring, and contagious. I can do that. I bet I can. Sure, I'm no swimmer---yet. I am no cyclist--yet. But, I believe I can. Four months later, on my son's birthday, I did my first triathlon. And we did it together. Forty triathlons later I am training for and awaiting my first ironman attempt. I'm not that good of a swimmer, not that good of a biker or runner, but I believe I can. Somehow, praise God, I can.