In Training for The Amazing Race

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

This summer, I’ve been doing a lot of training. I guess you could say I’m in training for The Amazing Race. Not the one on TV, but the one I’m living every day with Jesus.

bike_puddleTraining for The Amazing Race is both physical and spiritual. But right now I’m talking about physical training. I’ve been biking (I have more awesome mountain biking scenery photos on facebook!), power walking, sprinting up hills near my home, running bleachers in the local football stadium, and anything else I can think of to keep it interesting. Today my husband and I even rode with some friends on a 14-mile trek through the mountains nearby. Talk about awesome! We followed a creek most of the way and encountered everything from panoramic glacial mountain scenes (see photo at top and below) to aspen laden meadows.

Why put myself through all of this? Well, besides the fact that I never know when I’m going to be called on to “head” into a jungle with hungry headhunters…for the PRIZE!

rocksSure, it’s no fun working this hard most of the time, but there’s always a pay-off for training—both now and later. Right now, I want to feel my best by having improved energy, heart rate and breathing, emotional outlook, and mental clarity. I want to look my best so that I can forget about myself when I’m around others (I tend to feel self-conscious when I’ve got that dreaded “winter coat” I’m famous for putting on each year during Wyoming hibernation season). Most of all, when I meet my King someday soon, I want to be my best for Him!

There are a few things that have helped me stick with my workouts as well as stick with a hard part of a workout. Come to think of it, these tips help me in work and life, too!

  • Don’t think about it, just do it. If I allow myself to even go down the road of, “I don’t feel like working out today…,” sabotage is going to happen. I can’t let my feelings from day to day dictate my healthy choices.
  • Find a workout partner. I primarily work out with both my husband and/or one certain friend (Darcy). They keep me in the race on the days when I don’t feel like working out hard, or working out at all. Plus, we use this time to grow our spiritual lives by talking about what we’re learning in our personal Bible study, or we pray together. We come away so refreshed in every way, body and spirit!
  • Look down. I like sprinting, but I absolutely HATE jogging. I’d rather get a root canal than go for a jog, mostly because I don’t have great lung capacity and I feel like I’m going to bust one every time (sound like it, too). When Darcy makes me jog up this huge hill on our usual 4-mile walking course, I’ve learned to look down at the ground, and not to focus on the long hill ahead. By looking down, taking one step at a time, I can (barely) accomplish the hill without being intimidated or overwhelmed before I start.
  • Look up. When I get to the top, I take time to look at the vista. It’s usually quite a view from up top, and it gives me a high seeing how far I’ve come, and what I’ve accomplished on the way up.

It really doesn’t take a lot of time to get in a workout every day. Do what you can do. Start small, you’ll be surprised how it draws you in for more. And most of all, focus on THE PRIZE…it makes all the discipline more than worth it!

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