Several years ago, I decided to do my first triathlon. It was a sprint distance course which is the shortest distance. For a rookie triathlete, a sprint may as well be an full Ironman.
For years, I had been a hard partier. I drank, smoked and partook in various extracurricular activities (ie. drugs). In high school, I was a varsity swimmer, I wrestled and played lacrosse. In my first two years of college I was an athlete, a swimmer. However, the party animal lifestyle is what I pursued.
Somewhere along the line, I stopped being an athlete and pursued being a party animal.
I became what I pursued. We all do. Most the time were are unaware of the change until we look back and have an ‘ah ha’ moment.
Training for my first triathlon revealed the damage of my pursuit of partying. My lungs didn’t work properly, my swim sucked and I could not run more than a few miles.
After my first race, I realized something had changed. I had become a triathlete. Today, I enjoy longer races, like the half Ironman. I can run a marathon, swim two miles and bike 60+ miles if I want.
Finally, I was transformed from a broken-down partier to an athlete because I became what I was pursuing.
- If you want to be a good father or mother, you must intentionally pursue it.
- If you want to be a good spouse or friend, you must pursue it.
- If you want to know God, you must pursue him.
However, if you pursue worthless things, you will become worthless. If you pursue material things, you will become lifeless, just like material things.
In Jeremiah 2, Israel pursued lifeless idols of money, sex and power (Baal). All of it was worthless. They became worthless. Today, people pursue idols of self-gratification, self-deification, money, sex and power. Not much has changed.
What or who are you pursuing?
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*Above photo from DC Rainmaker’s blog. Excellent piece covering his Galveston 70.3 Ironman experience.
Have you ever walked out of a large shopping center in the middle of the summer and forgotten where you parked? It’s blazing hot and feels like its 150 degrees. You’ve already had a long day. Forgetting where you parked your car among a sea of vehicles is just the cherry on top, right? This happens to me more time than I’d like to admit.
Several years ago, I raced in my first triathlon. A triathlon consists of a swim, bike and run (in that order). The area where athletes transition from one sport to the next is called, you guessed it the ‘Transition Area’. The transition area contains racks with hundreds, sometimes thousands of bikes and it is swarming with overworked athletes trying to move from one sport to the next as quickly as possible. Each athlete gets less than two square feet of space for all his/her race gear. Each space is marked by the athlete’s race number. It can get a little tense in transition. (more…)
Last Sunday afternoon, my foot landed across the finish line at the Ironman 70.3 Galveston.
6 hours and 28 minutes earlier, I entered the 62 degree ocean to begin a 1.2 mile swim. My training season had been riddled with illness, injury and a minor surgery in late-January. Life had crowded out over half of my training time. I was unprepared and having a little pity party right there in ocean. A lesson was coming my way.
When the the race started, I remembered that I was committed. I was going to finish this race or die trying. There were two things I was depending on to carry me across the finish line. The first was God. The other was the chance to see my wife, kids and family at the finish.
Twenty minutes into the swim, both of my calves cramped up. I pressed on.
Thirty miles into the 56 mile bike, I started having GI issues. I pressed on.
A couple miles from the bike finish, my back tire went flat. I pressed on.
Six miles into the 13.1 mile run, my legs were giving out. Then, I witnessed the most amazing thing.
I saw two men tethered to each other with a chord as they ran. I wondered what was going on. In mile 7, I saw them again. Then I figured it out.
It was a blind man competing in an Ironman 70.3 while a sighted man guided him through the grueling course. Try to imagine it for a moment. Close your eyes and imagine swimming over a mile, riding 56 miles and running a half-marathon all without sight and completely dependent on a guide. This is rich on so many levels…
Is there really anything left to say?
PS. I beat my 2010 time by 3 minutes. God has a sense of humor 🙂