Posted by Heather Conrad at 10:51 AM

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The next adventure.... a triathlon. I must admit that I'd been thinking about this for some time. Seemed like a good fit with both my love for swimming and running, a nice change up from just strictly running. My good friend Amanda approached me about signing up about 6 weeks prior to the event, and my heart just jumped at the possibility! Could this be Lord?

As with any new adventure, there were lots of lessons to be be learned along the journey. One such lesson was to actually hop back on a bike again, and not just any bike, but one with the skinniest tires I've ever seen, complete with something new - straps around the petals. I'm so thankful to my dear friend Jen who allowed me to borrow/try this new type of bike. It really made a difference, and I only fell once, in the privacy of my own driveway :)

As the countdown began to take place for the upcoming race day, an amazing thing happened... I didn't experience any anxiety - none. Now don't get me wrong, life throws factors at me that I won't read about in any training materials. Two weeks beforehand, my family was able to take an amazing vacation at OuterBanks Beach awesome runs on the beach), the week before was filled with camps, VBS, swim meets, and baseball games so much so that training just didn't fit in. That same week I came to find out that Amanda was injured and couldn't participate, as well as another friend who planned to participate as well. I did have a fleeting thought as to if I should continue, yet I knew in my heart that I needed to stay the course. Who really can figure it all out? I know I can't, but learning to trust in the All-Knowing living Lord has given me such peace, has freed me from the stress of even trying to figure it out, and has brought so much joy in the amazing moments I would have missed out had I looked at all the circumstantial evidence surrounding me.... now the moment...

June 28th. The day I turned 34. My alarm went off at 4:30, after only about 4 hours of sleep due to a great time of fellowship/ministry with non-believing parents of our 8-year-olds Colts baseball team, I was filled with peace, joy, and excitement. The "boys" in my life - my father, my husband, and my son, accompanied me in the van heading up to Alum Creek at 5:15 am. As my earthly coach, a.k.a Dad, helped me get my bike and gear situated and we strategized and talked with a few participants around us about the ins and outs, I had this strong sense of my heavenly coach just watching from above. It was a cool morning, and just before we begun, the heavens opened for a bit and showered down some rain (not really mattering as we stood waiting in swim gear). As I began to strike up a conversation with some girls surrounding me, I continue to stand amazed at the stories of those who also traveled a path that led them to this moment. A moment some of us dream, but few of us achieve. A place where your body, mind, and soul is tested in endurance, pushed to persistence, daring to believe in the ability to finish. And the amazing part is, most of us can't wait to do it again.

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8

The buzzer sounded, somehow my body moved into the water, surprising warm and relaxing after the cool rain, and off we went. The swimming leg.... amazing. The water - not as murky as I thought, the people - more spread out than I thought, my ability to stay on course - no issues there. Memories - getting in a rhythm and almost forgetting where I was, coming upon a lady floating on her back, just enjoying the beautiful skyline. The bike course - very smooth, not nearly as crowded as I pictured, shifting gears to take a little break as I needed, staring at people's calves, curious as to their age written there, staring at the beauty around me, simply stunned at the thought that I was in the middle of a triathlon. The running course - simply enjoyable. As my body fell into a comfortable rhythm, I felt led to simply utter a word of encouragement to those I ran by, my community, a group of people with the desire to finish a race they begun.
I vividly remember one moment on the bike where everything around me just seemed to pause for a slight moment. I remember asking for and uttering a prayer for strength leading up to this morning. And in that moment, sheer emotion overtook me as my thoughts uttered... Lord, for whatever your reason, you chose to answer my prayer, little o' me, at this moment, you saw fit to reach done from your heavenly throne and simply touch me with your strength... "my strength is made perfect in weakness, Heather." I am humbled and honored, my Father, my Savior Jesus, my Holy Spirit... the TRI-nity.
Lord I can't thank you enough for a fabulous birthday! To feel and see your hand at work today brought me to a state of sheer elation. Knowing that my family could attend in sharing cheers and capturing the moment just added to my joy. Lord, this is above and beyond all that I could imagine or think. My desire is to simply follow you wherever you lead. Help me to focus on you in those times of doubts, fears, and insecurities. You alone deserve all the glory and honor. I simply thank you for letting me be a part of your plan. I love you.


Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Heather - that is AMAZING! Congrats on the marathon and triathlon. I'd be happy to get back to the Y. :) Looking forward to seeing you this weekend. I completely remember meeting you at that conference. Little did I know when I spoke that weekend that Leah and I would become such special friends. I just LOVE her and am so grateful for her friendship.
See you soon, Jen

Blondie said...

You Go Girl! Congrats on the triathalon. You are amazing.

Marla Taviano said...

Just saw your comment on Lysa TerKeurst's blog (from a few weeks ago). Have fun at She Speaks!!

Antique Mommy said...

Loved meeting you at She Speaks and being in your evaluation group. I just know God has big things ahead for you!