31 October 2010

Things I learned this weekend

-When you wear running moccasins in an airport or at a marathon expo, you get a lot of questions.
-Tiger Tail actually works.
-When you wear huarache sandals at a marathon, you get a lot of questions.
-Copious amounts of Chamois Butt'r do a man good at a marathon.
-If you put a Gu in a pocket next to your tailbone and then sit on your tailbone, it may burst. Then you'll have Gu in your buttcrack for 26.2 miles.
-Buying a goodwill hoodie and throwing it away in the first few miles is a good idea for a fall marathon
-You should do at least twenty miles before your marathon.
-You should make sure your feet are used to your shoes before a marathon.
-Family and funny signs go a long way to motivate you during a marathon ("Why do all the cute ones run away?" "26.2: because 26.3 would be crazy.")
-Bible verses and worship songs go even farther.
-Navy medical corpsman know what they're doing. ("If you were my guy in the field, I'd wrap it up and tell you to press on.")
-USAFA parents are always proud of their cadets. And they make great host families.
-It's a lot easier to run when there's a beautiful blonde at the finish line. If that beautiful blonde happens to be in England, you'll think about her a lot during the run.
-Purple umbrellas make it easy to find your family.
-Buff headwear, UA shorts, and Oakley glasses are worth it.
-Having a Marine LT put a medal over your head feels pretty darn good.
-Flying back the day of the race sucks.
-Arctic Ease is the best way to ice an injury I've ever used.
-I can wake up at 0520, start running 26.2 miles at 0800, walk a few miles afterwards, catch two flights, get in at 2130 (2330 where I woke up), and drive for an hour.
-When you walk down stairs backwards, people give you weird looks.
-26.2 miles? Worth it.

29 October 2010

Bullet's in the gun

Never see it comin'
It just hits you by surprise
It's that cold place in your soul
And the fire in her eyes
That makes you come together
Like wild horses when they run
Now the cards are on the table
And the bullet's in the gun.

-Toby Keith

23 October 2010

For the Painter of the skies

The snowy mountains are hidden by the rain
Falling like a tattered curtain,
Its edges fringed with golden sunlight.
But there's a hole in the wall
And the sunbeams break through
Shining on the roof of clouds.
The peaks to the west
Darken the fiery sky with their silhouettes
And the clouds to the east show off their colors:
Purple, pink, and red.
The big red barn gives it all perspective
And my feet patter on.

You walk on waves
You run with clouds
You print the skies
For me to see
Your majesty
Your majesty
Is why I sing.

20 October 2010

Crouch. Leap.

My fingertips cling to small holds near my chest; my toes rest on holds under the overhang.

I crouch, then come up, then crouch again, three times. I eye the hold I'm going for, wondering if I'll have enough power to reach it and hold it. I leap.

Not enough power. Slipped off.

Jason gives me some tips: crouch only once. Fully extend your arms. Then go for it.

I wait a bit, then get back on the wall. Find the holds, crouch, eyes on the target.

Leap.

Nail it. I feel the rough hold under my fingers as they wrap around to the back. My hand hooks over the top, and I hang there, smiling and twisting. Got it.

As I walk back up to my room, I think about this, and other things that have happened in my life recently. My interview for a scholarship went poorly, and my name was taken off the list. I was taken aback.

But there's no point in crouching and coming back, wondering if I'll get there. In fact, that will only hurt my chances to get there. But if I concentrate, crouch slowly, keep my eye on the goal, then go for it with all I've got, I'll make it.

Of course, I'm not sure exactly what I'm going for yet. That's where God comes in. He knows where I'm going; there's no reason to be afraid because He's by my side. And right now, He's making sure I'm fully extended, stretching my muscles to get the most power out of them.

And then one day, I'll leap.

17 October 2010

Work

I've never had to worry about finding work. And until recently, I haven't realized how much of a blessing that is.

I met a new friend at theMILL last week and asked him how he was doing. The first thing he said? "Pretty darn good - I finally found some work. Praise God!" I could tell from his handshake and his clothes that this was a hard-working good 'ol boy. He isn't lazy, but finding work is still a struggle.

Two weeks ago, as I hauled rock and shoveled dirt with my girlfriend's dad, I began to realize what it's like to live without a guaranteed paycheck. Certainly, he runs his landscaping business well, but he never knows when a drought might come or a depression hit and put him out of work. "I never got a job from a poor man," he said. Trickle-down economics works - but when there's a shortage of money at the top, there's a lot less trickling down.

As I think about all this, my dad's words echo in my head: "Son, you've got a lot of problems a lot of people would like to have."

08 October 2010

Man up.

The average age of video game users is 35. Men ages 18-42 will change jobs 11 times. In the last twenty years, there has been a 100% increase in the number of men in their twenties and early thirties living with their parents. Every second, $3,000 is spent on porn.


"Church Planter" by Darrin Patrick from Crossway on Vimeo.


It's time to man up. It's time to put down the video game controller. It's time to commit. It's time to move out. It's time to quit porn.

It's time to respect the women around us. When Saul had his servants ask David to marry his daughter, David responded, "Do you think it is a small matter to become the king's son-in-law? I am only a poor man and little known."

David's humility is an example for us all. We all pursue daughters of the King. Do you think that is a small matter? Are you ready to become the King's son-in-law?

Men, we need to step up to the plate. We need to set boundaries and take responsibility for breaking them. We need to lay our lives down for women. We need to lead, to protect, to prepare.

It is no small matter, this life we're called to live. Are you ready?

02 October 2010

Thank You

There's a fire in the western sky
Framed by the mountains.
As the sun sinks down
And day turns to dusk
My feet quicken.
I move like a shadow through the grayness
Silent
Save the soft patter of my feet.
Clad in gray,
Swift and smooth,
Running towards a destination
Unseen.
As the clouds thicken
And night gathers,
And the stars begin to shine,
I thank God
For these mountains
For this trail
For these legs
For this heart.
For what is man that You are mindful of him?
Thank you, Lord.