In 2010, I fell in love with the sport of triathlon. The year before, Liz was part of a relay team at a local ‘sprint’ triathlon, a shorter distance race for both competitive and novice participants. When I went to watch the race, I wondered, “Could I?”
In 2010, I competed in 2 races, 11 in 2011 including a Half Ironman (70.6 miles), and 9 in 2012. However, this year, I decided to take some time off from competitive racing as it can be a demanding training schedule.
Every fall, the Wilmington YMCA sponsors and SetUp Events puts on the Wilmington YMCA Triathlon at Wrightsville Beach, the same race Liz relayed in 2009. It has been a fixture in this area for 20 years and draws over 1,200 participants and bills itself as one of the largest sprint triathlons on the east coast. It has been a staple on my schedule until this year. However, on Tuesday of this week, I decided to continue the tradition and this morning, I will complete the race for my 4th consecutive year. I simply felt the urge to continue a fun, healthy tradition. Additionally, my Dad (57) has gotten into the sport, so I’m racing with him.
Last night, as I was getting my gear together, I couldn’t help but think of this verse from Hebrews.
Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Here’s my take away:
1. Throw off what hinders you – What is it that is holding you back? What sin entangles your life? I love questions and these are some good ones. Take a minute and dig into them. Sin HATES to be recognized. It likes to hide in places you don’t like to go so it can stick around. Once you’ve found them, throw them out!
2. Run YOUR race with perseverance – We’re told to run a race marked out for US! There is a purpose, a race marked for you, but you must remove the things that hinder you to find it! Once you do, persevere; a reminder that its not easy! When you throw off your sin, RUN from it! Running is very active, not passive. We’re not told to dabble in it or walk away from it; its a sticky mess.
3. Focus on Christ and remember his sacrifice on the cross – As I run triathlons, I encounter struggles. Flat tires, cramps, falls. This is a reminder that Jesus did too, he was the author and perfecter of faith! As you run your race, focus on Christ. He is the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our path. He has been down that trail and knows it so well, focus on Him.
4. Do not grow weary and lose heart – God’s not worried about you losing the race, He doesn’t want you to lose heart! Stand strong and do not let the struggles you encounter knock you from YOUR path.
What race are you running? Where are you growing weary? Throw off what entangles you and chase after truth!