Friday, October 12, 2007

A devotion for inspiration

Iron Man
by Jon Walker
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10 NIV)
Although I don’t recall anyone ever specifically teaching me this, somewhere along the way I embraced the idea that “You have to play hurt.” It’s the philosophy in sports that your commitment in competition is such that you don’t let the pain from injuries – even some of the major ones – keep you from playing, and playing to win.
Brett Favre, the long-standing quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, who we discussed yesterday, is an extraordinary model of this “play hurt” mentality. Often called an iron man, Favre has played through broken bones, sprains, concussions, and a myriad of other injuries – major and minor – making him one of only two NFL players to start every game his team has played over the last 15 years (and the other guy is a punter, not the heart-and-soul quarterback of a team who plays on every offensive down). And Favre is still at it even though he just turned 38, which in the dog-years of 9-to-5 work is like 68.
He certainly doesn’t stay at it for the money because he’s made plenty of it, and he doesn’t do it for the records because he’s already broken most of them. You get the sense from Favre that he’s chasing one more championship, but that he also stays in it for love of the game.
In a similar way, Coach Paul (of Tarsus) teaches us to push past the pain of becoming like Christ. For now, we carry this eternal treasure in fragile in jars of clay as we learn to be wholly and fully dependent upon the all-surpassing power of God.
Therefore, Paul sees our pain and heartache – the difficulties in life – as a way to identify with the pain and heartache Jesus faced when he died on the cross for you and me. It is a suffering as close as skin that allows us in a small way to experience, through the glass darkly, what Jesus experienced when he took in all the brutality, ridicule, and abandonment that was meant for you and me. This is how we carry the death of Jesus around in our bodies, allowing the life of Jesus to be revealed. (2 Corinthians 4:7-10 NIV)
No matter how well intentioned we are – no matter how Brett-Favre-Iron-Man-like we are – we incapable of carrying this death of Jesus within us without being desperately dependent upon God. But the Good News is that our pain, our heartache, our confusion, our doubts, our mountain-sized difficulties can push us – if we allow it – into the very center of God’s all surpassing power.
And this supernatural strength allows us to say, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10 NIV)
What now?
• Your problems help you become like Jesus – When you experience pain or heartache, talk it out with God, but also thank him that he is making you more like Christ. Let God encourage you – that this pain has a purpose: “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV)
• God has his Father’s eyes on you – Yes, your pain and heartache are real. In fact, the increasingly complex struggle to keep you family together, pay your bills, and live out your faith can be overwhelming. Paul’s message of pressing on is not meant to minimize the challenges you face; rather, it’s to give you perspective: “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Hebrews 12:4 NIV)
• You’re weakness opens the door to his strength – Even as you feel yourself hard pressed on every side, crushed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down, you can boast all the more about your weaknesses, allowing Christ's power to rest on you; for when you are weak, then you are strong in his power and protection. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV)
• Ask God for a vision of what you would be like if you were more like Christ – Ask him to show you his purpose and his plan for your life. Ask him to make you more sensitive to the difficulties of those around you. Ask him to show you how to encourage them as they feel hard press, crushed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down. Finally, pray for Brett Favre, who appears to be a very good man, but still a man in need of a Savior.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My good friend Chris just finished The Four Hour Work Week. I read it a couple of months ago, but just found the guy's blog. I highly recommend it as it will help all of you triathletes and commuters with time efficiency which is the main struggle for all of us.

I found an awesome commuting story on his blog. You can read it here

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Combining my two favorite hobbies - skiing and cycling!

A 33-year-old Austrian hit his prime last week when he smashed the world bike speed record by 14mph and set the new one at 130.7mph. Apparently snow makes an ideal surface for these kinds of downhill runs. The whole thing reminds me of the year they had speed skiing as an Olympic exhibition event. The guys would dress up in speed suits with mushroom hats and get in a tuck until they either blew apart halfway down or threw the brakes on at the bottom. They all had the same equipment except for the guys from small countries who would outfit their skiers with bike helmets.

via Wired
By Rocky Thompson
"Vermont ... Just Stay Away. Don't Bother."

This is Awesome!

This is Crazy!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Great Quote!

“Once a man has made a commitment to a new way of life,he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. It’s something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing can stop him short of success!” (Vince Lombardi)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Motivational Quotes for the next year!

Yes, I know it's early but you should at least be thinking about them right now in my opinion.

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action
always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.
- Frank Tibolt
Genius is one per cent inspiration; ninety-nine per cent perspiration.
Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931), Harper's Monthly, 1932
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
Jack London (1876 - 1916)
Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change
the outer aspects of their lives.
William James (1842 - 1910)
The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter
his life by altering his attitudes of mind.
William James (1842 - 1910)
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy
enough people to make it worth the effort.
Herm Albright (1876 - 1944)
Things do not change; we change.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862), Walden (1970)
They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change
them yourself.
Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987), The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
Change your thoughts and you change your world.
Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)
Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let's love turbulence and use it for
Ramsay Clark
You have to recognize when the right place and the right time fuse and
take advantage of that opportunity. There are plenty of opportunities out
there. You can't sit back and wait.
Ellen Metcalf
There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity.
General Douglas MacArthur (1880 - 1964)
Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes.
Henry J. Kaiser (1882 - 1967)
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and
looks like work.
Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931)
Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.
George S. Patton (1885 - 1945)
The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964)
There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than
the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
Milton Berle (1908 - 2002)
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of
strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
Vince Lombardi (1913—-1970)
If you think you have things under control, you’re not going fast enough.
Mario Andretti 1940—-
Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.
E. Joseph Cossman (1918—-2002)
Atomic Man Results

The results are in:

I finished 105th overall and 8th in my age-group. By way of reminder, I would be just as happy being last overall and last in my age group as my goal is just to finish the race in an honest manner.

Swim Time: 41:48 - not bad considering it was the first time I have ever swam in a wetsuit
Bike Time: 3:23 - not the worst, but definately not the best - I can do better going forward
Run Time: 2:56 - Ouch! This is my goal time for a marathon - NOT a half-marathon time. Obviously I was not acclamated to running in the heat like I should have been. This is definately the place for improvement.

Total Time: 7:06:24


It was cold outside this morning on the bike ride in. At one point I was biking up a hill with my hands in my pockets so they could be protected from the wind. I will definitely be starting the traditional "transition" from biking to work (summer) to running to work (winter). The reward of-course is this is as easy training as it gets for marathons and maybe an ultra-marathon?