Monday, May 26, 2014

For The Running Princesses

I apologize that this long but I hope you will bear with me.

First I need to say what an honor it is to be associated with such a wonderful team of Christian women!  Although you may not always agree on everything you support and love each other in the name of Christ and advance his kingdom, something most men could learn a lot from.

I am so impressed what you have accomplished as a club and as individuals. Many of you have stepped out of your comfort zone and have achieved remarkable success and I can’t tell you how motivating that is.  Many days when work is providing “challenges” I turn to The Running Princesses for inspiration and motivation. At the risk of sounding insincere, please know that I am proud of you.

Four years ago I was, to coin the title of a popular documentary, fat, stick and felt nearly dead.  I was overweight, out of shape and felt miserable.  On Christmas morning I had enough and asked God to help me find my place and help me get my physical life in order!  My dad died at age 47 and staring 44 in the face I was certainly a chip off the old block, in many ways I didn’t want to be.

As God so often does with me he hit me upside the head and made it clear that my body was the temple for his holy spirit and taking care of me was not a recommendation but a requirement.  May and I had been trying for years to get pregnant and I thought why would God bless us with a child when I wasn’t taking care of myself? 

The next day I committed to getting into shape but knowing how I am wired, working out for the sake of “working out” wasn’t going to happen. I am goals driven and a major goal was what I needed to help me on my quest for better health and wellness. I was watching the IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii and that day I made that my goal, to complete 140.6 miles of an IRONMAN competition.  While scared to death, afraid of the water, incapable of swimming and not able to walk to the mailbox without breaking out into a sweat, I asked God to guide me on this improbable journey.

Four years, forty pounds, thousands of miles, learning to swim and overcoming a fear of the water, God is answering a pray as I will compete in my first full IRONMAN on June 29 in Coeur  ‘d Alene, Idaho. God willing over the next month I am going to start that race healthy, something that has eluded many of would be participants. 

Today I wrapped up my last long training “Brick” and felt good about where I am at.  While having a strong workout, this week I received my office “Athletes Guide” which made it all too real and the butter flies began to settle in.  Can I really do this?  I

While I will never compete for the podium, I always compete as best I can and against myself and I am comfortable with that.  It’s been a journey and one that has been full of family, friends , fun and God’s blessings.

On June 29th at 9:00 AM EST (the start of the race MT time) I ask for your prayers for the following:
·         Pray for Elli, May and Martha Jo (MIL) or safety, fun and peace. While 14-17 hours is a long time for the competitor, it’s even longer for their families.  May and Elli have been so supportive of the last four years while I chased this dream.  She has been up at 3:00 am on numerous mornings as my getting up has disturbed her. She has moved her workout schedule to make sure I got my “miles” in, she has put up with the fatigue and moodiness that comes from this training and has even driven to the grocery store when I was too tired to drive.  I could not have done any of this without her. She and Elli are at every race cheering me on and there is NOTHING better than seeing both of them at transition points and at the end of the race. I love you both.
·         Pray for safety for all competitors
·         Pray that someone during that race knows the saving love and grace of Jesus Christ
·         And if you don’t mind, pray for me to be calm, in control, healthy and to finish that race strong but more importantly, pray that my effort is glorifying to God and to thank him for all he has given me.

It’s been a long, hard, tough and rewarding journey and thanks for letting me share this with you.  I think my mom actually got my name wrong because when people at work ask me “What am I doing this weekend” and I tell them my training or racing plan, they say ”YOUR’RE CRAZY” so crazy I am but it’s that crazy that opens the door to share a healthy lifestyle and the love and grace of Jesus.

You all have and can achieve incredible things.  Ask God for his guidance, is his love and his strength as you set new goals. Listen to his guidance, do it for HIS glory and enjoy the experience.  Thanks for your prayers and I hope I make you all proud on our trip to Idaho!