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Who do you race for?

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.

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Holli Finneren wrote:
I also competed in the Tri Latta Triathlon and was so happy to see Team FCA-E there! I was a college soccer player and very active with FCA in school. Seeing y'all at Tri Latta brought me to this site and I am now a team member :). Currently praying about starting/finding a huddle group in Washington, DC. Thanks for sharing the testimony, I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it and witness it.

Mon, July 12, 2010 @ 5:58 PM

2. Sanjeev wrote:
im 15 but i think we are on different lleves of ridingi race cat 3 in usac in road and cyclocross and im the youngest 3 in my statebut you should probably get a road bike something with drop bars skinny tyres and 10 speed components will be the best bet because something with 8 or 9 will be obsolete in a couple of years as 10 speed has been around since 2004just keep riding your base miles which seems like 10 miles and then one or two days a week go for a longer ride like 20 miles or somethingyou will need to establish you goal and eventually work up to 75% of it until it is time to do the whole thing

Wed, August 29, 2012 @ 1:01 AM

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