Today, a customer to my coffeeshop who used to visit us daily but has cut back for a few months came in and greeted me with "You're looking great!" I responded that I've started to take care of myself and I recieved encouragement to keep it up.
And keep it up I will.
At Barnes and Noble, I perused their selection of numerous books about competing in triathalons. Everything from "Triathalons for Dummies" to "The Female Triathalete" with photos of the most unbelievably buff people. It was kind of intimidating. Do I really want to do this?
Jessica, my partner at work, had been training to run in a marathon this year. I asked her this morning what she thought of books about training for triathalons. She said that she probably would rather have a coach, who could watch her and correct what she was doing, and that a book probably wouldn't do much for her. But we agreed that a book would be good for getting an overview of the event and perhaps getting an idea what might be involved, and maybe some idea of what goals I need to set. I see now that they would have to be really high.
I don't watch much sports on television, unless it's the Olympics. But if the Ironman or Ironwoman is on, I can't resist watching. Yes, beautiful Hawaii is the setting, but I'm fascinated with the race, on how the athletes deal with the transitions. A Californian friend has a sister who competes every year, a woman in her middle ages. The majority of the female athletes tend to be older and very disciplined in their training.
One book I glanced at examined the main reasons women want to train for these competitions--number one is to lose weight. The writer, I can't remember her name, invoked that we should not focus on what we would be losing as we train, but the kind of women we would become in the process. In a sense, you can not lose if that is your focus.
So, what kind of woman do I want to become in this process?
A woman who:
Depends on God for everything, especially for goals that she can't see herself reaching right now.
Glorifies God for everything, joyfully for the goals she eventually reaches with His strength.
Thanks God for everything, including the body He gave her and whatever capabilities, small or great, it has.
Who is involved and passionate about Someone and something beyond herself.
When I think about it, I've always longed to compete. I am a competitive person with no outlet for that kind of energy. I just haven't found anything that I'm good at enough to win, but now as an older, wiser woman, I see that it isn't about winning really. It's about having a challenge and having courage enough to let someone else challenge me. If I can't find challenges in most spheres of my life, where do I go with this energy?
Hmmm. Where have I been going with this energy?
So, I'm asking my Father what I should do about it. Triathalon training is just one idea. Maybe He has other ideas, but I'm starting to warm up to this one.