A month ago I wrote what about what F.E.A.R really is, how I had to overcome it, and how you can too.
Now I’d like to share with you what comes after, and what came after for me in the race that pushed me beyond my fears, showing me what true triumph is, even through blood and loss.
The False Evidence that I Apparently could not hack the 500 meter swim of the triathlon sprint and the Reality of my imminent drowning had been overcome as the gigantic beautiful man volunteer heaved me out of the abyssal water. My lesson learned for the day and just the bike and run to go (my easier events), I assumed I was home free. Well you know what assuming does.
After the first few wobbly steps on dry land, my legs remembered their strength, my vision steadied, and Gary and I started to fly on the bike ride. Of course ‘flying’ is relative, since the ‘true’ athletes continued to blow by us on their way to individual glory as they strove to be the best 2016 Kerrville Triathlon Sprint Master of the Universe. This is not bitterness coming out, but mere sarcasm and pity for those who viewed the race with such delusion of grandeur. It is on this point that I witnessed the bloody and sad truth within our culture.
The determined triathlon zealot zoomed past me on his way to ultimate victory, but the lanes were narrow and he still needed to pass the two ladies in front of Gary and I that we had been pacing with. Confident and untouchable, he skirted the cone to his left while getting dangerously close to the outer of the two ladies on the right. Unfortunately, I felt what happened next just as it occurred, with nothing I could do but watch.
The ‘Lance Armstrong’ imitator misjudged the distances, just clipping the cone, kicking out his back tire into the front of the outside lady’s bike, steadying him, but knocking her bike straight into the other inner lady, and sending both sprawling in two directions losing complete control of their bikes. I finally learned, right there in front of me, the importance of wearing a helmet as the outside lady vaulted off her bike and slammed to the ground head first directly in the middle of the road that was still open to car traffic. The other lady had it only slightly better as her bike slid out from under her, crashing into the curb, and sending her skidding against the rough gravel a few yards. Of course, super biker was nowhere to be seen, and thank God there was no traffic coming at the moment, so the lady laying unconscious now in the middle of the road had one less danger against her. It was in this brief eternity of seconds I wondered why…
Our humanity gets sacrificed and sold at the vaulted price of our own pride when we have the ‘chance’ to win a race that a few hundred people have heard of and will be forgotten by the next year.
Now you know by my other writings and the mission of VLA that we are all about bettering your lifestyle to have the fullest life Christ has for you, accomplishing feats and flourishing in all you do. However, we also promote the idea that all this is not just for the flourishing of yourself; but being the best you can at all things all so that you can help your fellow man flourish and sacrificing as Christ did for us for the betterment of our fellow man.
Matthew 16:26 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
So Gary and I, who’s goal from the beginning was only to finish, set even that meager yet attainable goal aside, pulled our bikes off the track, and helped the battered and unconscious women in need. Gary tended to the thoroughly rasberried and bloody lady who skidded across the gravel, as I got out in the middle of the road and made sure traffic diverted around the slowly stirring lady who was saved by the helmet she was wearing. Thankfully, due to my experience leading outdoor excursions, I always have a first aid kit with me, and as we were, of course, between aid stations we started tending to the bewildered and battered women. Thankfully my faith in humanity was somewhat restored as those who passed called out to make sure everything was ok, and even super racer came back briefly to hurriedly check on the ladies before he promptly got back to winning his personal race.
Much longer story short, 20 minutes later, haphazardly patched, and bikes still functioning (somewhat) both ladies determinedly road on as Gary and I started again as well. Despite how it might read, this is not a pat on the back, but a praise to my God who imprinted Gary and I’s heart the importance of His time proven proverb that a,
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).
Now these ladies may not have been ‘friends’, but that just made the importance of this act all the more crucial for our’s and their souls; for in this event, the Spirit of God was revealed to each participant, passer by, and witness so that humanity could remember what is truly important and flourish in an otherwise dark world. I am happy to report we all finished, bruises and all, and even got to catch up with one of the ladies after the race coming out of the first aid station. This was the true triumph: not time records, not even crossing the finish line, but the reward you receive when we exemplify with our actions the grand harmonious design He intended for us since the beginning.
Love for one another, above all things.