Onward and Upward

The wallpaper on my laptop is a forest trail with a quote from the great Steve Prefontaine (I think it may also be my Facebook cover photo with a different backdrop…) that says, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for the great.” On my office docking station monitor, I have a little post-it with the reminder, “fortitudine vincimus” (by endurance we shall conquer) along with another acronym I was recently introduced to that I mentioned a few posts ago.  My iPhone wallpaper, another trail, with the words, “I will.  Just watch me.”

I intentionally surround myself with positive thoughts, with things that drive me, encourage me, spark my mind and spirit, and sometimes light something even deeper that keep me moving forward.

The reality is friends, is that willpower is a myth, it’s not a thing that some people have and some people don’t–life is full of choices and you make the decisions that you make to get you closer to your goals or further away, that’s the reality of life.  The choice is yours and yours alone.

Motivation fades.  I would love to tell you that I wake up everyday rip-roaring and ready to go.  Am I excited for what’s ahead? Most of the time in recent years, sure–because most of the time my holistic self is in tune.  I don’t wake up thinking, “yippee let’s workout!”–but I do get to look at from the lens of where it fits into my goals, and that’s all about perspective because remember, my goals aren’t just weight loss (that’s a byproduct)…they’re spiritual and emotional too.  And motivation really fades when you focus solely on those physical goals–especially when you’re doing everything “right” and the scale stalls, inches don’t drop, and life doesn’t play fair for a little while…it’s easy to get discouraged.

So what’s left? Why try? What’s worth the effort?


It’s not about meeting this exhaustive list of short term and long term goals or finish lines.  It’s not about losing weight.  It’s about a connection to my Savior and the deepening of a relationship with God that I never dreamed possible before.  It’s humbling as a pastor, as someone who has answered the call to serve God and man, who has the “book knowledge” and education and professional training, to acknowledge the fact how much my personal spiritual life was lacking and see how much it has changed and grown and developed–and be excited in anticipation where God is leading me next.  It’s good stuff, and I’m excited to share this with others.

I’m getting to do this in a lot of ways…I do that here, just by mind-dumping my thoughts, by being fairly transparent on Facebook, and with a lot of people that I come into contact with through a number of different programs and ministry groups.  A new outlet too will be sharing my story through Race Everywhere.  I’ve also got some opportunities coming up with some coaching (on the receiving end) I’ll be starting this week for the next six months (because I’m not busy enough…) and hopefully very soon some other really exciting things that I’ve been praying on that appear to be close to coming to reality! (I know, right!)

Keeping my eyes on victory, on being obedient to God’s will for me–even in the disappointment (and yes–while my tone is quite different, do not be fooled, I am still livid and poised for wall-busting), it makes each day a little easier to face, to not be consumed…because you know what?  My DNF…that was the topper of a series of “you’ve got to be kidding me?” moments lately.  Just to name a few…we’re in audit and review season (read: mountains of paperwork), we just went through some minor cancer with our dog who is thankfully now fine, and two days before our Toughman triathlon I got the call that I will be having surgery to have an area of aggressive skin cancer removed towards the end of next month that I discovered prior to a regular checkup (I had melanoma almost 9 years ago and get checked often, and praise God it’s not melanoma again, but it’s not good either, and I’m thankful I’m super vigilant and didn’t wait another several months for a regular skin check)…I think I’m more angry my workout schedule gets interrupted for a week due to the location of the stitches.  There’s other things too…but life just happens.

Moving forward, keeping my eyes on the prize.  So yeah, today it is looking at some physical goals because those are tangible–those get my adrenaline pumping and my heart soaring.  I’ve spent my downtime looking at my fall races and setting up the calendar according to the training plans to make sure I’m ready to smash those finish lines without a doubt (because we all know I don’t leave variables).  There’s also a lot more that goes into that too than just the workouts…it’s balancing travel and ministry, responsibilities, family time, nutrition and proper eating, rest, and making sure that I’m still nourishing my soul and spirit in the process.  My runs are some of my time with God, but not all of it–but I look forward to the conversations on the miles ahead.  It’s going to be good.


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