My sport of choice is long distance triathlon, but after a fractured femur a few years ago I decided to take a break from the long distance endurance training. Two summers ago, however, I thought it would be fun to participate in a half ironman in my home state of Ohio. The race was in August so I knew it would be extremely hot and humid. I also knew my wave was the second to last to start which meant by the time I got to the run it would be in the middle of the afternoon… the hottest part of the day! I adjusted my training and fueling to prepare appropriately and did all I could to ensure I was ready to go on race day.
Race day came and started as any other race until I got to the bike. It was like an invasion of the bees out on the bike course and I was stung three times - once by a hornet. My heart rate skyrocketed which caused my breathing to be strained, I started chilling and was in immense pain! This was definitely not something I had prepared for and neither had the medical tents!
A range of thoughts went through my head - what is going on with my heart? Can I continue? Should I drop out of the race? What’s the smart thing to do? Then, it was as if God allowed me to recall a memory from my childhood. When I was about 5 years old, I was stung 27 times by yellow jackets in one instance. While that event traumatized me and gave me an aversion to bees, I survived! I was put into a bathtub of baking soda and water and didn’t even have to make a trip to the ER. Now back to race day, I thought if I could survive the yellow jacket mayhem, then certainly I could finish this race! I was NOT going to let the bees get the better of me! So while my time was slower than I had hoped for, I still finished despite the adversity!
What might God be allowing in your life right now that he is asking you to persevere through and still run your race? Or are you going through something now that he may use later in your life to get you through another challenging time? Trust HIS plan for your life. Surrender control to HIM and he will help you finish your race despite adversity!