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."

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Cable in the Dirt

At first the thought was sort of frightening. Then fear evolved into something else, and I knew I must do it. Almost three months ago I had gotten off my bike to relieve myself and fell crossing a cable across a dirt road. The fall broke my hand and I had not biked outside until today. I had driven by this spot several times in my automobile to see the cable across the road that had taken me down. I must climb over that cable. This was stupid. Why? I just need to do this. Crazy, but there is something in the back of my mind that says fears should be faced; and if possible, overcome. Yeah, I know. It doesn't make sense.

Up ahead I could see where the little road entered the road I was on, and there was a slight quickening of the pulse. I will not fall this time. Yeah, let's do this. However, when I stopped my bike and successful got off, I could see there was no cable across the little road anymore. It had been there just days before; what? Just like before I pushed my bike to the dreaded spot. There lying impotent in the dirt across the little road, was the cable that had disabled me. There was no barrier to cross. It had been laid down for me. I didn't have to reach down and overcome the trepidation of crossing the cable safely; the cable had already been taken down. It was as if God was clearing my path; making my way for me. I know I read a lot into this but couldn't help thinking that maybe this time, maybe this time, I will be at the starting line for my ironman. After all my failures,perhaps, God is making a way for even me. Yes, even me, this no talent ancient.

And I thanked God for the cable in the dirt; thanked God that I had come through the injury intact; thanked God for the opportunity, the thrill, the adventure, and the opportunity to serve Him in my journey. But, even in my gratefulness, I became aware that the cable was not removed from my path, but it was just much lower now, there in the dirt. It can easily be raised again. I can be injured by this or any other cable thrown across my journey. But, the cable in the dirt tells me that God is with me, and I must continue to nurture and maintain a grateful heart to begin and finish my journey for Him: Ironman Texas.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Birthday Grip on Life

Tomorrow is my birthday. Last year at this time ironman training was skidding from slow to stop. It was a tough time. Back pain, muscle and joint pains in various places made me unable to train without the session being a suffer-fest. But my greatest concern was that I might soon be physically disabled. A few weeks with very light, and finally no training had no effect. The pain was awful. It was a somber birthday and Christmas. Finally on January the 5th, I agreed to go to the doctor.

An X-ray of my back revealed that I had the back of a twenty five year old, but blood tests revealed that the statins I had been taking were having huge side effects. The doctor suggested I take another kind of statin that he thought might not have as bad of side effects I considered it, then gave the pills back to him and went on a plant based eating plan. After a week or so off the medication, I could tell the pains were lessening. Hope began to creep in. Could I still train for Ironman Texas, even yet? I had had so much down time; missed so many workouts. But, why not at least try? What was there to lose that I haven't felt the loss for already? Sure, this was too much too soon, but six months or a year from then would I regret pushing hard and failing or would I regret more that I settled for less and played it safe? What would God want me to do with this renewed grip on life? No brainer: I tried. I piled on the training volume. The scary back pains subsided. Yeah, I was pushing the limit, but I was out there, alive, not disabled, only beat up from the training. Eventually though, my old injured knee began to feel the strain of the too rapidly increased training volume. In spite of all I could do, the ramped up volume took me down. My bad knee took me as far as it could; until I could barely walk. However, when it was all over, I still had my smile. I had had my time.

Now a year later, no meds, plant based eating and my blood numbers are good without any medication. I am running and biking without pain. I am recovering faster from hard workouts better than ever. And, I am entered in Ironman Texas 2017. I have my grip on life back, and I can only thank you God for that. So, whatever happens with Ironman Texas; as far as I take it, all the struggle, all the pain, all the success, all the glory is for God. Take me out of the loop Lord; this journey is just for you.

Below is last year's birthday post -