Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ironman - I Don't Understand

The next three weeks will decide. The really brutal high-volume part of my training is over the next twenty two days. If I can survive intact for just twenty two days, I feel I will have my best chance to attempt Ironman Texas, April 22nd.

I can't believe I am doing this; so tired already. But, in the morning I will probably be on my game, to come crashing back down to earth tomorrow night; day one done, twenty one more to go. And, this is where and what God led me to and for the life of me I can't make sense out of this. What and how can He possibly use something like this ironman sufferfest? Can't I just teach Sunday School or do mission work or something? Sure would be easier that to face this beast head on.

But I doubt I am the first believer to not understand. "My ways are past fining out." I can surely believe that. Maybe I am like Jonah, spending my three weeks in the belly of a whale - the belly of ironman beast - so to speak. Maybe good things for God will be thrown up and thrown out on land when this belly of the beast time is over with. Yeah, I'm in, but I don't understand, and I may never know why.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Somebody's Hero


When she was about six years old my granddaughter told me: "Pop-Pop, you are very, very brave, and you are very, very, strong, and you are never afraid." Now she is eight years old and I think she still thinks I am some kind of hero. I wish I were totally the person she thought me to be.

I am in the belly of beast in my training for Ironman Texas April 22, 2017 right now, and really don't feel all that heroic. http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/texas.aspx#/axzz48IRjLSXJ
Mainly, I just feel tired, sore in spots, and thinking with half my wits it seems. Last weekend I couldn't complete my long run. Today, I find a piece of my tooth fell out. There is construction on the road to go ride my bike. Now it makes my trip over 30 minutes each way. Not another trainer ride. The fatigue and the tedium are oppressive. It is a fight to remain civil to loved ones sometimes, and I don't like that. They are my support and don't deserve any of that. I am vulnerable at this time to any reason to pull out of this whole business and ease up on myself.

However, the other day, I showed my granddaughter my Ironman Texas notebook - where I keep my lists, my training plans, race reports, instructional, and inspirational material - and she asked for a piece of paper to draw on. She drew the illustration below for my notebook.





This picture is worth a thousand words. It tells that no matter how old I am (73) or beat up and beat down I get, I am still somebody's hero. That's nice at this age when accolades are few and far between; when winning one can be defined as getting from the bed to bathroom without falling down, or not being last in a race. That is not how she sees me. I think she sees me as strong, capable, brave, and enduring with an unshakable faith in God. She knows I am old: God knows I'm old, and neither care.

So my quest is not just to complete the training or the event within the time limit, but that I remain steadfast to be that person God has defined me to be; like my granddaughter, sees me to be. May I keep refreshing my perspective by looking on this drawing many times over these last few weeks, and never forget that somebody is watching my witness. May I never forget that I am still somebody's hero. Praise God .