What Get’s Us Across the Line
October 29, 2012 Devotion
On this new site; Ironmanfaith I will be reposting several articles I wrote on my other blog DoxA and well as past race reports. I will do this bit by bit and over time should have most of those postings here. Ocassionally there will be new, original posts as well. But for now here’s a post that applies to all of us…
It’s the same thing that gets us up in the morning. It’s a doubt, perhaps fear, within one’s mind of personal limits. It’s a destination never been. It’s an accomplishment to impress others if asked. It’s a disruption of the mundane routine of life… it’s not the start of the race but rather the finish for which we strive.
But what if the finish has become too common or mundane itself? What gets us across the line?
I have competed in triathlon now for eleven years. The first race I did was a short “sprint” race at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, CA. With 20some guys in my age group I took 4th. I was wearing a ridiculous skin suit that was given to me which was probably used in the 80′s. Some folks actually commented on the “retro” look. I didn’t care. The next race was San Diego International; a popular race that brings out many of the local pros racing for pride. In that race, your bike is positioned in transition by age group. When I finished the swim my bike was the last one on the racks, when I finished the bike… my bike was the first one on the rack. Although I finished 12th in my AG, having been run down by a dozen guys, I had the 4th fastest bike split of the day! My next race… a full Olympic distance race on Camp Pendleton, where in the middle of the ocean, amid massive swells, I got kicked hard in the eye! I saw stars, my eye-socket swelled up and I had to keep clearing my goggles just to get to the shore. Trying to look professional and cool in that race I had heard it’s faster to take your shoes off while riding into T2. I started the process a little early, accidentally unclipped my right shoe and lost it along the road while avoiding a nasty crash into spectators… I looked anything BUT cool.
Since those days racing has settled into a somewhat predictable experience. I mainly race long course races because my weekends are limited; being a pastor (most races are on Sunday). Eleven years later, races come and go.
Someone once told me regarding a race I was about to do, “Oh, you can do that race in your sleep!”
Well, I’m not worried anymore about finishing. I’m just worried about being too casual. You see, the challenge, the newness, the novelty, the purpose, those things no longer exist. To say I don’t care about a race would be untrue. I do care about every race. But to say I don’t care what happens is true because it’s just another day. But then again… not really. On race day, it will be whatever I want it to be. I will predetermine through as much mental training what the day will be because I choose to think of it as just a day or a race. Whether I am physically ready or not won’t matter; what will, is my mindset going in. I have seen many, including myself, start a race physically in tiptop shape and have a horrible race. I have also seen several, including myself, start a race under trained, yet so excited to be there, end up having an amazing finish!
What gets us across the line… isn’t just our arms, lungs and legs. Those things get us across the line faster. What gets us across the line (period) Is in our heads. So, now in the off-season, I’m going to do a little mental training. I know I can, I know I can… but I’m going to appreciate my life; my freedom, my health, my family and friends who look to me for some inspiration, my stuff, my past, my future, my present. I’m going to…
Fix my thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all I learned and received… Holy Bible : New Living Translation. “Text edition”–Spine. (2nd ed.) (Php 4:8-9). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.
- What is IF