Monday, December 30, 2013

Rescue the Perishing

My motivation was at low tide. All my weaknesses were laid bare and I didn't like the picture. And then there was the down time of Christmas, the departure, at times, from good nutrition; I was tired already. Ready to quit if I just barely got tipped over. I prayed about the possible decision to quit.

My Christmas luncheon was with my 99 year old Mother in the nursing home. We brought her a good Christmas meal and her appetite is still zesty. She loved it. Then some more of my family showed up. The room got crowded and I found myself gravitating toward sitting near my nephew who is signed up for Ironman Lake Placid. The fire in his eyes lit up as mine surely did, as we told of injuries, experiences, hopes, and dreams in endurance sport.

Afterwards, driving home, I had a different slant on my thinking. No big explosions, no aha moments, but I unconsciously set about to continue my training. Three days later, I found that I done some great training, my motivation was back, and I really don't want to quit, if there is even a chance - even if it is a small chance. Perhaps, my nephew was my answered prayer; a confirmation. Perhaps, without his knowledge, he was sent to bring me out and point me up. Perhaps, without my knowledge, I am being used to bring others out and point them up as well?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Against All Odds - Christmas Story

Christmas approaching and as usual for this time of the year: training is in the toilet. Stuff comes out against me like one bad dream after another. My own motivation is tottering, about to fall. The big question comes out time and again like a haunting melody: Why do this anyway?

There are so many "practical" things I could be doing with my time instead of training or resting up from training. Why do this anyway? Do I really want this? And, my asthmas has messed with my breathing lately; my leg is painful to run on; family crisis seems a daily occurrence; Christmas expenses are off the charts, and I feel so out of shape. This whole thing seems to be going on against all odds. Isn't that foolhardy? Perhaps.

But, it is Christmas: a time when Hope was brought into the world to save. And so I go on right now, against all odds "O come all ye faithful;" a child of hope myself.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Who Do I Think I'm Kidding

It doesn't look good for the home team. That was my reply to a loud pop followed wobbling instability in my bad knee. Immediately I tried to brush back the negative thought, "who did I think I'm kidding?" And I remember the scene from "Rocky" in which he is in bed talking to Adrian the night before the big fight. "Who do I think I'm kidding?" he said. "I'm not even in this guy's league."

And who do I think I am kidding? I am in way over my head here too. The ironman is so much bigger than I am; than I am going to be prepared for. Who do I think I'm kidding? I will need to run fifteen minute miles on the run to make the cut-off. I can't do that; not even close. My knee still hurts a little, but the problem is that the injury has really messed with my gait. My run is so clumsy-looking that I try to get my runs in where no one will be watching. An ironman? Who do I think I'm kidding?
My biking is improving. The long rides are getting done, but it is doubtful that I can get my biking up enough to compensate for my ultra slow marathon.

OK, so there is not much of a chance that I will even get to the start of the ironman and even less of chance I will complete it. I have said that I estimate I have only a one in ten chance of completing the ironman. That estimate takes in all the land-mine family issues hanging out there that could blow up under my feet any minute. That takes into account the bad knee which I am not sure will hold up for the long haul. That takes into account for my age, which I don't feel yet, but with the level of training I need to do, I just don't know if age will finally show up.

Listen to me. Who do I think I'm kidding now? This is perfect. Of course the chances are only about ten percent, but if I keep on with the training there is a hundred percent chance I will immensely enjoy this journey. There is not much to lose that won't be lost eventually. If I spend my life trying to save my life, trying to save my effort and disappointment, I will lose the richest moments in life. I will lose my life by trying to save it. And for what? If I try and fail, I have had a great experience, a great journey, a wonderful adventure: I have the knowledge that I did my very best. My best; it is what supporters deserve and God calls me to, and I am not kidding.