Race Week Mosaic

My path for the second time around comes once again to Ironman Arizona. The intense training and work is now over, just the racing is left, and this is a rest week leading into the race. Just enough training to keep myself loose. Just enough rest to completely heal. I want this week to be one of introspection and increasing self awareness and deeper self understanding. I do this because I love it. I do this because of the challenge. I do this to better myself. Accolades or lack thereof are unimportant and not sought after. I compete mainly against myself. This thing is the one thing I do solely for me. It focuses me. It brings me peace. It is my outlet. It is pure. Race day is this Sunday, November 22. If you like, you can follow me on ironman.com/ironmanlive.

There are a couple of other loose ends that I wanted to mention which is the mosaic part of the title. I was having a spiritual discussion this weekend with some good friends and my wife. Our church had a retreat out in the Flint Hills and part of the formal material presented was about God as good and with our best interest in mind and how we can see that in creation and nature if we just slow down and look. But that doesn’t completely register as true with me. When I look at nature I see a system with physical laws that punish for bad choices as strongly as they reward for good choices. Slip off a cliff while rock climbing and you die or at least suffer significant injury. Ignore the tide suddenly going out 3/4’s of a mile leaving flopping fish in its wake and you drown in a tsunami. If I believe in a God that created all this then that God is responsible for the system. That doesn’t seem like a system of care and concern and benevolence and best interest. That system seems harsh. So we discussed, and the explanations that I anticipated were the ones given leaving me in much the same place at the end that I was when we started the discussion. BUT…I do find these days that I have an inner peace, for about the last 9 months, that wasn’t previously there earlier in my life. Even though I am not fully convinced that what God offers me is grace and love and acceptance without the anger and judgment and penalty, I feel peace, and I don’t feel the frantic need to get it figured out right now. I ask of God that he help me understand him the way he intends to be understood, and I’m listening more to what is within me as I look for the response to that plea.

The third thing is a quote from a book that I am reading called Everyday Survival by Laurence Gonzales. It really is about the psychology of survival and takes his first book, Deep Survival, and extends it a bit further into our everyday lives. It’s kind of a Deep Survival meets Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell). I just want to include a quote I read last night. On page 69 (paperback edition): “Bureaucracies force us to practice nonsense. And if you rehearse nonsense, you may someday find yourself the victim of it.” I don’t want to be practicing nonsense.

Things I will be reading on my trip: Everyday Survival, The Science of God, Too Big To Fail, What The Dog Saw. Next up on my reading list are: The Hidden Face of God, The Misunderstood God, The Greatest Show On Earth, Why Evolution Is True. Maybe I’ll post along the way this week if I have anything to say. Maybe I won’t. But at any rate, this time a week from now I’ll be an Ironman again, the second time around.

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11 responses to “Race Week Mosaic

  1. RUN LIKE A FREAKING RABBIT…..OR TURTLE….. :)

  2. Have a great time, run your race and enjoy the ride!! We will tune it to see how it goes, should be fun.

  3. Thinking of you in my prayers this week and weekend.

    I kind of don’t think the world works as God originally intended. The only thing I can think of is that sin screwed up more than people. The Scripture hints at this. And it speaks of a restoration time of great peace and harmony. It talks about a new heaven and a new earth. I’m not sure all that means, but I believe it is better than what’s here now. If God gave people and the world freedom, then he evidently took the risk that it might not work as intended. Hence, the need for a path of redemption.

    We have love, but God is love. I believe that fundamentally.

  4. I kind of don’t think the world works as God originally intended(Larry)

    Maybe the world works just fine Larry. It could be that our view of how it should work is what is skewed.

  5. Take care out there Doug – hope you place strongly! Also, good reading list!

  6. we’ll be following!

  7. the me vs. me of the ironman sounds like storm and stress yet looking at the storm and stress of existence on your trip you found peace… and find peace admist the stress of the ironman. that’s really cool.

    i LOVE Malcolm Gladwell. great stuff. keep Rawk’n dawg!

  8. We’ve been following you all day….way to go!!! Judging from your pace, we are guessing you are about a mile and a half from the finish line. Congratulations!

  9. The following post, “Race Week Mosaic | Freestyle Road Trip” illustrates that you fully understand just what exactly you r communicating about!
    I really thoroughly agree with your blog. Thanks a lot -Abdul

  10. Since the admin of this web site is working, no question very quickly it will be famous, due to its quality contents.

  11. It was a good article as always mate

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