This past weekend I participated in the Tri Latta Triathlon. It was my first non-wetsuit open water swim and I was terrified. It took me a few days to realize where I needed to take my fears. The days leading up to the race I was singing “The Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns and praying.
At the start of the race, I was still nervous but not totally terrified. They announced the two minute countdown and my heart rate peaked. I heard a voice in my head tell me to walk away and quit! Then, I could hear those song lyrics in my head “The Voice of Truth says do not be afraid.” That wasn’t the Voice of Truth telling me to run away. I continued to pray and at the one minute mark I could feel myself calming. I continued to pray and sing in my head and I felt like I was in Christ’s arms. I remember how safe I felt and how calm and ready I was. The horn sounded and I was off in the water
still singing and praying.
I came out of the water and I was so excited to have completed this swim! So excited, in fact, I forgot this was God’s race. I jumped on the bike and was cycling faster than I had expected and I was feeling good! So good, I was expecting to PR on the bike!!! Except on the bike I wasn’t singing and praying. I lost focus and only thought about ME and MY personal best bike time.
About 5 miles into the bike, God reminded me this was HIS race. I saw a stranded cyclist and he had a flat. I intended to throw him a tube and CO2 then I would jump back into MY race to get MY personal best. That cyclist told me he didn’t know how to change a flat. My personal best didn’t mean much to me after hearing that. It took me about ten minutes to change that flat (loooong story). During that time, I learned this was that guy’s first triathlon. He didn’t know to carry a flat repair kit. He didn’t know how to even change his tire. I was so excited this triathlete was going to finish his first triathlon! I remember how excited I was after I completed my first! Now he was going to be able to do it! He would be able to finish.
Once we were back on the bike, I made a friendly deal in my head that I wouldn’t let him pass me on the bike and he didn’t! On the run, I was wearing Vibram 5 fingers (the barefoot alternative running shoe). This was my first time doing a trail run in the shoes and it was a bad idea. Every time my foot hit the ground, it felt like the rocks were piercing my feet. The last half mile I began to pray for God to give me the strength to finish. Two minutes later, I heard a voice coming from behind me calling my name. It was the stranded cyclist! He said, “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you! Let’s finish this race together!” I told him about the pains and he paced me the last half mile! God had given me exactly what I needed in this race.
Several people had come up to me and thanked me for changing that guys tire. One person said I was an inspiration. Me? The recovering alcoholic…an inspiration?! I know God is working in my life when that happens! I do feel a little guilty though. I think I got the bigger blessing out of the whole deal. I had a front row seat at God working in my life!
A very special Thank You to Hassan Peterson for sharing this testimony.
Mon, June 21, 2010
by FCA Endurance