And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
I read an inspiring new story today about a local woman who finished an Ironman triathlon in 16 hours and 24 minutes. The triathlon is an event that combines running, cycling and swimming, and a lot of each.
Her name is Sindy Hooper, and she is a couple of years younger than me. She’s the mom of two kids, and she’s involved in a sport that I can’t even work my brain around.
Her time was roughly five hours slower than her time last year. For many people, that would be disheartening — she no longer does something as well as she did last year. But that is only part of the story. Sindy Hooper did this while undergoing chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. Chemo schedules often give breaks to allow for resting, but this wasn’t a break. She was in the midst of chemo and all its side effects as she was running the race.
I listened to an interview she gave before it started. It seems to me that her primary motivation wasn’t just to prove she could do something no one else has ever done. She’d simply given her word to do this event with her friend. She’d already signed up.
You can bet she had some moments where she wondered if she could do it. Should she do it? Did she even want to do it?
After crossing that finish line, I’m pretty sure the first thoughts weren’t “wow, what a failure am I”. At some point, her goal of beating her previous time changed to just crossing the finish line.
Because that’s the race God gave her.