Monday, May 18, 2015

Ending With a Whimper: Beginning With Prayer

It wasn't what I worked for but it was what I got. Ironman week was a stress fest on several levels and got worse when I jerked my bad leg avoiding traffic, twisted on my bad knee, and pulled that leg from hip through hamstring to heel. My chances for finishing got even slimmer.

A walk to the finish line area the night before was the clincher. I would never see it. I knew it. There was a tightness in my chest. My breathing was restricted. My chest felt like it was full of fizz or something. I felt out of control. Back at the room, it became even worse: belching constantly; Excedrin did no good at all for the throbbing headache and I could not sit still. I was a mess.

All night long I wrestled with the shortness of breath, the tightness in my chest, and a few times I broke out into a heavy sweat. My wife cooled me down with wet towels and I tried to sleep. What is wrong with me? Finally, the wake up call, but I did not get up. I was sick, tired, and scared. I did not start.

After all I have been brought through, this is how it ended: sort of with a whimper. My heart and head down, I went to get my bike and gear bags. Coming back a nice lady saw me going the wrong way to participate and she asked what was wrong. Sick, I told her. She asked was I going to be OK and I told her I hope so.

"What is your name? I will pray for you." In the midst of my worst day, God is still in my life; God is still God. God still cares. I had met His messenger and she had prayed for me: I could feel the prayers. It will be OK.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ironman Texas Getting Close - Doing the Best I Can Do

Packet pick up today at Ironman Texas. Oh, it is getting so close. So much doubt. After years of training, why so much doubt? I didn't do enough 100 mile plus bike rides. I didn't run enough. I didn't do long enough runs. All I could do just doesn't seem to be enough. If I don't make this, it will be a brand new experience for me. I've done all I could with the hand that I have been dealt. If it isn't enough: it was the best I could do.

And, I think that is all God requires of me; requires of all of us: the best we can do. We are human. We fall short. We fail. But the pursuit of excellence is what I think is really required of us. This Saturday I will be in hot pursuit of doing my best. The results I will leave to God.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Journey Continues - Last Week Before Ironman Texas

And the journey continued today when I took my bike in for a tune up. After being on this taper for three to four days, something is coming back. I want to ride. I want to swim. I want to run. I want to pour myself out. I want to even fail to finish, if that is the case. Whatever—I want to begin the end of this marvelous journey.

This has been a three year journey over personal mountains and minefields, but I am still standing and I am here prepared as best I can for Ironman Texas. Praise God. I’m not that talented, or dedicated, or persistent, or consistent on my own to have come through all that. I had help, leadership, and strength. I had God and He had me. And, I have God now for my event- win, lose, succeed, or fail; “nevertheless not my will but Thine be done.” This event in my life is because God got me to it, so-this event is for God, no one else: this ironman effort is for God.

When I enter the water it will not be by my own courage and determination but by the God who gives me that courage and determination to begin. I cannot fail even I can’t complete the event; finish the course. This is my hope and through that hope and faith may I give it all I can, and to God be all the glory.