This blog recounts my fitness journey into the sport of triathlon and the gifts God has blessed me with while on it! May the movements of my life boldly proclaim that the sparks we encounter in scripture will kindle hope in our lives!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Swimming in the Rain

As far as sports go, I'd played some volleyball growing up. I was a jv basketball cheerleader, so I'd watched some basketball. Thanks to my dad I'd seen some NASCAR on TV. I had never watched a triathlon (Whoops, I take that back. I do remember watching some of an Ironman on TV when I was a kid.) and had read just a little.

Good thing I signed up with Charis to take the triathlon prep class through the YWCA!

The class would cover four elements and help us know what to expect about each during the race: the swim, the bike, the run and the transitions. Having no desire to be competitive, I wondered if I'd be overwhelmed by information. My goal was to simply finish the race!

After my first open-water swim on Memorial Day weekend however, I was more and more excited about discovering what I was capable of. So it was with nervous excitement that I picked up Charis and headed off to our first prep class. The topic for the night- the swim!

There was a gentle rain as we headed out, but no one had called either of us to tell us the class was canceled.

We got the call as we were coming down the main road along the lake. The instructor told us to come and talk with him anyway. Maybe we still wanted to swim?

We pulled in and met our instructor. They'd gotten a hold of everyone else. There was no lightening. He was prepared to swim anyway, but not by himself. Did we want to go for a swim?

Charis turned to me while shaking her head yes. It felt great to say, "Let's go!"

Neither of us had wetsuits yet, but the lake was warmer than the air or the rain. We swam back and forth for a while between the buoys just outside the swimming area and got warmed up. We were just expecting to swim. Then the instructor started talking with us and showing us everything we'd be doing in the class. He had us trying out all the techniques! We got a private session!

We worked on sighting. He showed us a few different techniques for staying on course while swimming. He had us practice them. Then he had us close our eyes and head for a buoy to see how close we'd come. I went straight to it! Talk about a confidence builder.

He showed us how to maneuver around a buoy and had us practice it.

He talked about drafting and had us practice that. (Which I've never used by the way. But it's cool to know how to do it!)

We talked about strategy and mindset for entering and exiting the water and practiced a few options. Including dolphining! (Digging your hands into the lake bed to propel you forward while diving in and out of the water.) I haven't done any races yet where dolphining would be advantageous, but I'm prepared for the day I do!

I remember thinking that I didn't want to forget anything about that evening. Not just the strategies, but the way I felt. It marked a moment when everything from that point became vibrantly alive with promise.

I was swimming in the rain. It was real. Triathlon wasn't a dream I was thinking about some day. I was stepping into it - right now.

I'd made many physically and emotionally unhealthy choices in my life. Willful choices distrusting God's plan. Here I was walking out, with that same drive, one of the most physically and emotionally healthy choices of my life. It felt really good. Supernatural.

I sent Paul a text when we got in the car to leave. Something like, "Class canceled. Swam in the rain anyway. Embracing the athlete!"

Philippians 3:13&14
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I want to forget, put off, the mindset I've had in the past and grab hold of all God has for me in His service, in His name for His glory while I'm in this life. That's what was bursting from my heart toward Him when I laid my head on the pillow that night.

I needed my rest. My girls were headed to VBS for a week. Three hours a day for me to train!

And shop for a wetsuit...

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