FINISH THE RACE!
In life we a told to endure or to persevere… To never give up! My dad always said “no pain no gain”, or “never quit something you start.” Words that have always stuck with me.. Especially when I run these races. I was recently asked why I run these races.. I didn’t have a response at the time, but the more I thought about it I knew. I really want to give hope to others and why I dedicate each race to someone or something. I do it humbly to show that life, much like races, can be painful, but that doesn’t mean we just walk off the course..FINISH STRONG!! No matter where you are.. Within this past month I have been struggling just to make it to “Steelhead 70.3”. Coming off of foot surgery as well as suffering from a training injury I knew it would be tough, but this would only show people no matter how much pain you have not to give up!! I also knew if I was doing it for the right reasons, God would give me just enough strength to finish. Of course, not breaking any world records or a personal best, but just finishing the race! Sometimes even in life we need to walk, it doesn’t mean that you are giving up on the race.
I had been dreaming about doing the 70.3 ironman for a while, and here it was staring me right in the face. It felt like I had no time to even train for it, but it was now or never! AND Facing a couple of obstacles.. One being the obvious, physical pain, and the other mental toughness. I don’t know which is considered harder, but from this experience I am going to say mental toughness is the biggest hurdle. For instance, I heard support from many people, but I couldn’t help but be distracted by the noise of discouragement from others.. Phrases like “listen to your body”, “don’t you want to be able to play with your kids some day?” or “Bill, you need to learn how to get old”… HUH?? What about the amputee running with one leg. Or the father of three crossing the finish line with all of his kids running with him and cheering him on as though he was a true warrior! Or how about the the “60 year old lady” who flew passed me on the bike averaging 22 miles per hour! All I had was pain in the foot.. There are those who have far worse circumstances and who have probably been told many times to quit, but “they” chose not to listen. Those are the ones who truly inspire me and motivated me to finish. You would not believe the people who run these races.. I have seen blind people, men and women in their 80’s, along with “all shapes and sizes” doing something that only others would or could never imagine. Seeing them literally literally validates me to even be part of the race. This is life!! So many times we are told not to do something, or “think about it first, you might get hurt,” or “quit, it’s easier!” WHY???!??!!! How have we become a society that is so willing to quit when the first sign of pain comes??? I think of people diagnosed with disease, those facing divorce, or suffering from a job loss. If people are so easily swayed to think negative things about a race, what about those people facing far worse. Should they just give up and die??? NO!!!!!!!!!!! If you are still breathing you have a purpose!!!!!!!! Don’t even let the slightest thought get in the way of living your life to the fullest!! BELIEVE!!!
The more I learn about God and what He has done in my life I have been only wanting to experience more and that is exactly what is happening. For the first time, and after 35 years, I chose not to listen to the world, but listen to God and the words that echoed early on in my life. It, since has been an amazing journey! Starting with small choices and then leading to bigger ones, choices I never thought would be there. Many times the smallest decision can be the seed of something big! As simple as getting out of bed. If that is you, try it tomorrow! Just get up! That is the first of many accomplishments ahead!! I say this because that was me!! AND, Yes, it was questionable whether I was even going to be able to walk the 13 miles after the bike, but I felt something inside say “FINISH THE RACE!” – GOD I started running and 1 mile turned into 4, then 10, and finally after 3 hours and 20 minutes I was crossing the finish line. Something that seems like a blur now became a supernatural experience. Based on the pain I felt prior, it had to be only God getting me there.. Life is like this too.. So many times we want to just quit or give up to make it easy..DON’T!! If you are feeling pain don’t worry, pain is temporary, but if you give up that will stay with you for the rest of your life. No matter what you face. Believe! God is real! You have a purpose! RUN THE RACE WITH PERSEVERANCE AND FINISH!! HEBREWS 12