These Tri-series articles have almost become as long as the race! Well, we are on the final stretch here-As Gail and I got back from the bike and changed in the transition area, again, she informed me that she was not and could not do the run. I was trying to encourager her, but she would hear nothing of it, she simply felt that she had exhausted all of her energy. Her legs felt like jello. I tried to convince her to finish, but she was probably afraid she would have to listen to my mouth the whole way, and she couldn't take it anymore! At the moment I was going to have to go on without her, the lady that was behind us in the bike came over. This was divine intervention as I know it! The woman said to Gail, "Please, can I come with you, I can't do this on my own. If I don't stay with you guys I know I won't be able to finish this race." (paraphrasing,here) That was all it took, maybe I should have felt offended , but I was so happy that this was the deciding factor for Gail. She knew she could not let this woman, a stranger down. This is what life is about, reaching out to someone, anyone in need. Knowing that you will make a difference in their life. That her decision to say yes, decided not only her fate, but that of a stranger's, on whether they would have completed the triathlon. I am thankful to this woman(Rebbecca),whom we befriended on this last leg. She told us that this was her first triathlon,she was doing this with her father.(who by the way had, had a stroke and did not wait for her,but was finishing his race,Awesome!)
So off we go. As we start to place one foot in front of the other something happens. It begins to get easier. Our legs relax, the blood flows back into the right places, our energy is once again revived, we can visualize the finish line, we believe once again in ourselves. This is also what happens in life. We give up far too easy, on ourselves & on others, instead of pressing forward, pushing past the pain that feels intolerable & unbearable, to see it through, to cross that finish line, we decide too early we are defeated, to not finish our race. We convince ourselves that we are not going to be victorious.
Until, we decide to pick ourselves up, and lean on someone to help us go that extra mile and that is when we learn that we are stronger then we think, we remember our goal and we make it, together side by side-Victory,Winners,Tri-Athletes!
Yes, we were almost, well okay, dead last, police escort and all. But, life isn't perfect, our races are long, and tiresome, with many aches and pains along the way, but with God's grace, love, patience and the kindness of strangers, it can be completed victoriously, wonderfully and full of exhilarated joy!
I can not wait to do another triathlon, I am already training. I have learned a lot from this first one, the mistakes, things that need improvement and things that worked. I will take these lessons and apply them to my next one, I will probably forget some of the mistakes and make them again, I will try to do better on my times, maybe I won't come in last,but Whatever happens I will continue on this journey, trying to learn from my mistakes, maybe make better choices, take advice from the ones who have done "it" before, pressing forward, reaching towards my goal to live life in victory, in the "winner's" circle, enjoying all that Christ has to offer me, unabashedly giving praise to him, who has never stopped believing in me, loving me, or forgiving me.
So, run your race, run it in victory, because you have already won the "prize"!!!