10 Lessons From Finishing My First Triathlon: Part 2

Lesson 4: Quitting – is something I wanted to do 8 months ago when I started training. It’s something I wanted to do during every phase of my training. And, it’s something I wanted to do in the triathlon! Whenever you are doing something meaningful or hard the desire or thought to quit is present. The biggest battle I faced with quitting came early on while learning to swim. I had just accomplished a major goal, completing two laps (up and back) without stopping. When I was done I remember standing up in the pool completely exhausted and as I looked out at the pool and saw others swimming along like Nemo I got really depressed. The depression turned to sadness and the tears started falling. I rationalized crying in a pool because nobody could tell due to the water being all over me. Right there and then I wanted to quit. I had nothing left. There was no way I was ever going to swim a mile straight without stopping. That’s when I realized quitting was about choice. The desire to quit was strong but the decision to keep going was just that, a choice. So, I made a choice to stand there, cry, catch my breathe and then keep swimming. God showed me something else at that moment about quitting. You don’t have to be strong to keep going, you just have to make the choice to not quit. The rest of my swim was pretty pathetic but I didn’t quit and you know what? Today I am a triathlete!

            Lesson 5: Dependence – God made humans dependent. We depend on God for everything, humans for a lot of things and creation for some things. Dependence is inescapable. I told God that if I was going to complete a triathlon He would have to help me the WHOLE WAY! And, He did. I also realized I would need others. One of the first things I did was to seek the help of people who knew how to swim, bike and run. Danny Blackwell turned my shark attracting thrashing into something that resembled a swim stroke. Miriam helped me to become a biker who knew his gears, knew nutrition, understood climbing and just the nature of cycling. Running, let’s not talk about that. Actually I had help with that too. We need God, people and things to do God’s will and to accomplish our goals.

            Lesson 6: Body and Soul – God made us body and soul. When you think triathlon you think body. Getting the body in shape, mastering the 3 disciplines and executing the plan. The reality is my mind was a bigger obstacle than my body. This is true for you to. Training for a triathlon forced me to deal with issues in my soul that I wasn’t dealing with. Issues like comfort, laziness, unbelief, fear and peer pressure. Our psychology/soul is complex but with God’s help it can be understood and brought into submission to God’s will. When I started training I didn’t realize that I would need to “train” my soul as well as my body. There is a mysterious connection between the two. The body and soul are married. This triathlon taught me that any future success in my life would need to respect and understand how my body and soul work together.

            Lesson 7: Potential – this triathlon showed me that I wasn’t even close to living to my potential. Potential is about what I could be and where I could end up. Potential is about asking is it possible? A year ago I never saw myself as a triathlete. Abraham didn’t think it was possible to have a kid at his age. Moses couldn’t speak so the thought of going before the greatest ruler of his age and speaking was ridiculous. Few thought little David could bring down the UFC giant Goliath. We can’t do everything but a lot of us could do more than we are. Are you living into and up to your potential? Here is a list of potential killers: fear, guilt, shame, peer pressure, unbelief and unredeemed past issues. I would like to encourage you to begin to take the first steps towards living into and up to your God given potential.

            Part 3 is coming later this week