I was out for a ride on my bike this morning. I’ve been competing in triathlons the past two years, and have trained so hard for each event I have done. The hardest part of the season is always the beginning of the season. Getting up for the early runs, swimming during my lunch hour, and strength training after work. Come the middle of the season, working out is a part of the routine, and come race day, an Olympic distance triathlon is not some overwhelming obstacle. I work out with a mission. I know my goals and I never loose focus.

A funny thing happens once my final race is over for the season. I let up. One week of decreased activity leads to another, and before I know it, 12 weekly training hours becomes 3. I loose motivation to compete. Next year is an eternity away. What do I need to work out for? Who cares if I get fat, eat bad food, or just be lazy.

Days go by like this until I just throw it to the wind and get up early for a run. Wow that feels good. My body is moving, I am alive!!! Why did I ever take a break? I can’t wait until next season where I will do a Half Ironman. How will I prepare? What will I do to get ready for the race?

I have been in a funk spiritually since this whole thing happened with the fall of my old pastor Ted Haggard. Just like I get physically in the off season. Went to church last week, got lost in worship, and the tears began to flow. There you are Lord Jesus. No—here I am Lord Jesus. Why did I become lazy? I love you so much. Lord, what can I do for you? Let me run the race again!

Life is so full of peaks and valleys. Paul relates this life to a spiritual race for obvious reasons. It just took me becoming an athlete to really understand the parallel completely. It takes constant focus, work and discipline to win the race. Endurance hurts. Everyone would do triathlons if they were easy. The Christian life is the biggest endurance event we will face. I have fallen down just like everyone in this race has. I just want to be the guy that got back up, learned from mine and others mistakes, and finished strong.