Friday, September 11, 2015

Sink or Swim

Triathlon time is here! It came faster than I anticipated. I'm a bundle of nerves and excitement. I decided on participating on the sprint distance instead of the olympic distance. I wasn't able to put in the time necessary to feel confident in my training for the olympic that the triathlon is here I'm feeling happy with my decision. I'm most nervous for the open water swim. I swam with Erika on the sound side of the Gulf when I first arrived here...that went well. I only psyched myself out a couple of time and had a good scream when a fish (or at least that's what I hope it was) swam around my foot and up my leg. The sprint distance will be a 300 yard swim, 10 mile bike, and 2 mile run. I am confident in my ability to complete the bike and run...and I know that I won't have any problem with the swim's just the open water that scares me; and the inability to see what is touching/swimming around you. Erika was telling me about a swim she and Drew took together recently and they both got stung multiple times by jellyfish...and today the hazardous marine life they saw in the water was big deal! :D 

The hardest part about getting ready for this triathlon has been deciding what to wear. Erika has a triathlete suit that's super is worn for the swim, bike and ride...and Drew has triathlete shorts that are worn again for the swim, bike, and run. I finally decided on wearing some under armor spandex shorts and a sports bra for the swim and then wearing a racerback top for the bike and run. I'm super self-conscious and not looking forward to being in just my sports bra for the swim...however, I don't want to wear my swimsuit because that will not dry very well on the bike and result in unwanted chafing. So...setting my pride aside...and running into the water as fast as possible (and then running quickly back to the transition area to throw my shirt on). 

This is a USAT sanctioned event, therefore, there are many rules and regulations that must be followed. Basically what I've learned is most important is to put your bike helmet on (and buckled) before touching anything else related to your bike! Hopefully I don't break any rules that would disqualify me!! I had to get a plug for one of the end bars on my bike that had fallen out...thankfully they have extra ones and don't charge you to replace it. So...we shall see how tomorrow goes...I'll either sink or swim!

Today Erika, Drew, and I were on a bike ride...we had gone 7.3 miles and were turning around to head back to our hotel when we stopped to make adjustments to our bike seats. While we were stopped we started to notice it was lightening. A man (whose name we learned was Gary) stopped and asked if we were okay or if we needed any assistance. He had a bike rack on his vehicle and he said he would give us a ride back to our hotel if we would like so we didn't have to ride in the storm. We all looked at each other cautiously wondering what we should do and Drew said that we should probably just go with him. So...he loaded up our bikes...we hopped in...and he took us to our hotel. He was a really sweet man and very easy to talk to. He's also participating in the triathlon tomorrow...this is not his first tri so he gave us some pointers as well! When he dropped us off he said it was fun to watch us try and decide if we were going to trust a stranger to give us a ride back to our place when he had asked if we wanted him to give us a ride. We decided that we were thankful that we had gone with him because there were a couple of segments we passed through where it was just down-pouring...So thank the Lord for good Samaritans in times of need. 

The rainstorm today made me think about storms in our lives in general. While storms aren't always pleasant it does require one to seek shelter. Storms push you out of your comfort zone. They force you to make decisions that you otherwise wouldn't have made. Being at the ocean always makes me think how amazing it would be to watch the seas obey our Creator! In the midst of the storm...when everything is chaos it's such a comfort to know that Christ is bigger and is the silencer and comforter in storms. I love the sound of the ocean...but imagining them being silenced leaves me breathless. Psalm 107:27-31 says "Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!"

This week I have watched the Lord silence storms in mine and my families lives. I have seen the hand of God leading me and the ones I care about graciously. A small example of this is my grandmother was having chest pain earlier this week...and she called my uncle to tell him she needed help. My uncle was able to call 911 for her and get over to her...thankfully the ambulance showed up shortly after my uncle arrived at her place and they were able to take her to the hospital where she was admitted for having a heart attack...and today she underwent open-heart surgery where she had 7 bypasses. God calmed the storm in my Grandma's heart so she was able to clearly think and call for help, He calmed the storm in my Uncle's heart so he could act quickly, He calmed the storm in my mom's heart as she waited expectantly...and He calmed the storm in my heart as I prayed silently. He doesn't take the storm away...but He calms the storm, He delivers us, and He loves us through the storm!

I know this doesn't have a lot to do with my weight loss journey...I have been feeling overwhelmed with my lack of progress on the scale. My eyes have been opened to the fact that I may still need to deal with the ramifications of what happened last November. I think I need to seek counseling so I can "file away" (so to speak) what happened to me and get control over my emotional eating. I have experienced grace of God but I also now realize that I need to be gracious to myself and allow healing to occur instead of saying, "I'm fine" and then going and eating 5 pieces of pizza. All of that to say God is calming the storms in my heart and allowing me to hear what I didn't want to hear before...and hopefully this helps bring calmer weather so I can continue to weather this storm!

With that having been said...I'll share a few pictures with y'all then I've got to hit the hay so I can be up bright and early to get the party started!! Enjoy!