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Loved the Tough Mudder

I don’t know why but I am missing the Tough Mudder. It was a great experience that I was able to share with my son and plus it’s things I haven’t done in a long time, well since I was in the Marines. But above all that, it was an experience that I got to share with others. People I never knew, people I only saw once with mud covering their faces and a haggard look on their face as they look at Everest. The whole experience was great. I can’t wait to do my next one, which hopefully will be in April. 

I am really wanting to do one away from home, perhaps in Pennsylvania or some other state that is a little more mountainous. It’s funny how it’s so easy to pysch yourself out by watching endless videos and talking to other people embellishing their experience, not to lead me astray, but because they had such a great experience themselves. Honestly though, once I checked in and began the whole event everything started to fade away, the video’s, the conversations and most importantly my expectations. 

The first obstacle was the Arctic enema, once I popped out of that cold water and start the rest of the course I was good to go and knew I finish how I started, with a smile on my face.

Thank you Jesus for the total peace you gave me through out the whole event!

Athletes and Christ. The Zone

I oft times wondered before I was saved what an athlete would do to get into “The Zone”. Some have headphones in, jamming to their favorite music, head bobbing to the beat while they think about the coming event. Some like to go off by themselves and just sit and think about the event. Race car drivers have said they will sit and think about each turn, where to hit their marks, when to let off the gas, how best to save their tires. Bobsledders do the same thing, you can almost watch them lean as they envision each turn even though they are just sitting in a chair. Point is, people have many ways to get their minds and souls into “The Zone”.

Since becoming a Christian so many years ago, I have found myself doing something entirely different than I use to when I wanted to get myself pumped up or calm; I pray. The effects of pray for an athlete whose main focus is not himself, but on God our Father, give the athlete the ability and self assurance to know, that no matter the outcome, God is given all the glory. There is a difference for those who know God and those who do not. For those who do not, the majority will tell you their desire is that they do well, or their team. Mostly it is focused in on self. Now don’t get me wrong, I have done this in my prayer time, especially as of late, “Father bless me with supernatural ability to do well”, or “Father heal my ……). Which on the surface will not seem wrong, but it’s the heart of that betrays us.

It’s a matter of my intentions. Do I want to be healed so I can do the things I want to do? Or do I want to be healed in order that God is the center of what happens and the glory is given only to Him? No matter if the outcome is the way I want it or don’t want it, it doesn’t matter because I need to fulfill the purposes of God, and through me I believe that God, by the power of His Holy Spirit and the shed blood and sacrifice of His Son Jesus, will fulfill His purposes and plans. As long as I am yielded to His will. My intentions and plans mean nothing in the eternal light of His glory.

Our heart as stated in Jer 17:7-10

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

9 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
10 I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings

Looking at this verse it would be easy for me to focus in only on the verse 9, ” The heart is deceitful above ALL things, and desperately wicked” Yikes, ALL things. That covers quite a wide spectrum, but if I look at verse 7 I see that there is clear, concise instruction from the Lord to where I don’t have to trust in my heart, or my own ability, “Blessed is the man who trust in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord”. Whew! It’s not about me, it’s about HIM.

Where is my focus? If I concentrate on Jesus, in anything that I do, I believe His purposes will be fulfilled according to His will and glory as I give my heart over to Him. When I am running or exercising I should be asking Him, “What is your will through this run or time of exercise?” I am encouraged to be bold and ask Jesus for divine appointment where ever I go. Whether it’s sharing His love with someone I meet, or enacting His will in just being obedient. It really doesn’t matter, because I want it to be Him working through me.

In saying all this, I do not want anyone to believe that the Father doesn’t desire us to do our best, or to do well. Not at all, but it’s where our focus is that dictates whether His will is being accomplished through us.

Just pray a short prayer next time you go out running, riding or whatever exercise you do….

"Father I pray that through this time in refining my physical body, that you refine my spiritual body. That through this time, I invite the Holy Spirit to speak to my spirit man and share the mysteries you have stored up for me during this day. Father I desire to be in deeper understanding of what it means to be your son or daughter. Jesus guide me as I begin this workout so that I do not miss your leading in what you want to accomplish through me. Holy Spirit I pray in the name of Jesus that you would strengthen those area’s of my physical and spiritual body that are weak and not in alignment with the will of the Father. I bless you Lord Jesus because you are the only one worthy of our praise."

Best way to get into the zone is pray and yield ourselves to His will.

The Fluk Knee Strap

The Fluk Patella StrapFor those of you who might be interested in knowing about a good patella strap can I suggest The Fluk Patella Strap. Now this isn’t to say that I am an authority on the manner, far from it. But I have used this strap for the past 3 weeks and it has done an amazing job when I needed it. My job has me on my feet pretty much the entire time I am there and this strap has made my days so much better. 

As I said in a previous post, I was able to run 6 miles and I think this strap is something that has helped. Don’t get me wrong, I still give all praise to Jesus for my continued healing, but I also believe that He gives us tools of which we can use to help our healing. I am sure you are saying to yourself right now, “Well if you trust in Jesus, then why do you need anything? Doesn’t that marginalize your faith in Him?” Absolutely not, much like we are given medicine to help us when we are ill, or crutches to help us when we have trouble walking, the Lord provides us with tools of which He uses to aid in our healing.

Yep, Jesus can heal instantly. 

Anyway, this particular patella strap really stays on my leg. I have done some research and read where many straps do not stay on, or aren’t sturdy enough to support the knee. The Fluk Strap has a double anchoring system, which holds it fast to your leg. Also the Fluk Patella Strap has a bendable thin metal plate covered in fabric, which sits nicely below the knee cap for extra support. Bonus of it is that you can mold it to fit any size leg. I thought it would be bulky to run in, but I hardly even know it’s there to be honest. I just tighten it up and off I go. No sliding, no rubbing, and more importantly, great support. 

If you are looking for a patella strap, I would suggest The Fluk. Oh funny story I did get this strap on a “fluke” from my Sports medicine doctor. Give it shot and see what happens.

Finally back on track…well a start anyway.

Yesterday was the first day back running on something other than the treadmill. My friend who I run with once a week was waiting for me at our usual spot on the C&O canel tow path. Let me first say I was a little standoffish about the whole running thing because of what I have gone through in the last month with my runners knee. The whole day I struggled with even going. I will be completely honest, I was stressed. 

But God! Here is why I say this. I was listening to worship music at work, really enjoying the song I was listening to, when the singer sang the words, “There is power in the name of Jesus.” So looking at my knee I laid my hands on it and spoke one word, “Jesus.” That’s it. I gave it over to Him. I went through the rest of my day, still stressed over it, but I resolved to the fact that I was still going to show up and at least try to run. 

I showed up on time, jumped out of my car and said to my friend, “Not going to lie, I have been stressed about this moment all day.” He asked me way and I told him that I wasn’t sure who things were going to turn out for my knee, but I was going to take a chance. I also told him that I wanted to run about 3-4 miles and no further. My buddy said, “I tell ya what, let’s run for 45 mins and see how it goes.” Well without going into great detail we ended up running 6 miles and in a quicker time then we normally run it. Thank you Lord! Thank you so much for your healing power and thank you so much for allowing me to have a brother in the Lord that encouraged me to continue. Needless to say I am going to continue to trust in the healing, but at the same time I have to be prudent in my recovery. I must do my part and not take what God has done for granted. 

Stretching, ice, rest, rinse and repeat. I will be posting all the steps I have taken to get to this point as far as my part in all this. Funny thing is, it’s not about me, it’s about Jesus and speaking his name has power beyond measure. 

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