Learning life lessons

I don’t believe in fate. I believe everything in my life happens for a reason and is directed by a personal, good, and great God. That means the “good” things that happen in my life and the “bad” things are from him and are good. Where I struggle sometimes is with trying to understand the message in the circumstances.

This has been very true when it comes to my training. It seems that ever since I signed up to have a coach help me reach a higher level, I have been having all kinds of issues come up that make the training a challenge. Is the message that I am heading down the wrong road? Is God trying to improve me — not just physically, but mentally and spiritually — through the challenges I have to overcome?

A theological point here. Some may say, “If God is a good god, then why does he allow these bad things to happen to you?” Well, understand that man is an eternal being. While the body may last for decades, the soul is immortal. So, what might appear to be “bad” in the here-and-now can actually be something that is “good” in the greater reality of eternity.

God is always more interested in the eternal that the temporal. His actions regarding my life that seem to be roadblocks are either to arrest me from going down a road that will bring me harm, or he is placing me in a crucible to make me stronger. Sometimes the answer comes in the here-and-now as you see God’s plan work out in real time. Some struggles you don’t know the answer to until you see eternity.

So, what am I to take from all that is happening to me right now? First there are the physical issues. I won’t go into all the detail because I have already brought it up in past posts. All I will say here is that it has been bad enough to cause me to question whether I will be successful. It is going to be hard to improve if I am continuing to have these nagging pains.

Second there is the scheduling stuff. Adding this training to my schedule is really putting some pressure on me. It is one more thing to fit into an already busy schedule. When that happens, something has to give. It is very important for me to make sure the important things in life don’t!

There are also those nagging little things that come up. For instance, I rushed home last night leaving the office at 5 PM. By 5:30 I had the mountain bike loaded on the car and I was backing out the driveway to do my first night ride of the year at Paris Mountain State Park. No sooner had I pulled out onto the road and the rain started pouring on my windshield.

I don’t mind riding in the rain. I love riding at night. However, I was not going to chance doing my first night ride in the rain. Turns out it must have been a passing shower, but I ended up spending an hour and a half on the trainer. There went my cross training.

Third there is the issue with my powermeter. I chose to train with power. I believe it is the best method of training for me and I had all the equipment I needed to make it happen.

Then my equipment failed. One day about a week after starting my training I started out for a ride. I turned on my Garmin 705 and then started to spin. Typically the Garmin would recognize my Quarq CinQo after the first spin. This day it didn’t.

I started scrambling to 1) find another way to get my power numbers, and 2) find out how to fix my own system. Thankfully, John James at Sunshine Cycle Shop loaned me his Power-Tap. I really appreciate him letting me use it until I can get my own issues resolved. That was my answer for number 1.

The second issue is more complex. Which one was broken — the CinQo or the Edge? I noticed that my Garmin was picking up the HR strap (which uses an ANT protocol) so I figured the network chip was okay. It must be the CinQo. So, I sent it off to Quarq. Turns out the CinQo was working just fine. The Garmin 705 Edge uses two ANT+ chips — one protocol¬† for the HR strap and another for other ANT+ devices.

Now I’ve got to get the Garmin fixed. How long is that going to take? What is it going to cost?

All of this leads me to the question… Is all of this worth it?

I think it is. There have been many other circumstances that have been encouraging as I’ve started this process. Besides, I’ve only been at it for two weeks! (I have to admit sometimes it seems much longer.) I have the whole year ahead of me and it is good to have some of these issues taken care of now instead of later.

At the same time, I believe questioning my motives is good. If I allow this one aspect of my life to get out of balance with more important ones, I could be headed for trouble. These little issues that come up are reminders to check why I am doing what I do.

God is good. I know that what he brings into my life is for my good – always. God is great. There is no circumstance — or powermeter problem — for which he does not have the answer. This is path I’ve started down. Until God takes away friends like John, has people stop calling me to offer their help with my physical issues, and closes the doors to the great support I’ve gotten from people like Jim and Mieke at Quarq; I’ll keep going.

Perhaps I’ll see why I’ve gone through all of this at some point in the near future of here-and-now. If not, it is still important that I learn some eternal life lessons that I may learn in the here-after. Maybe God is using this training to train more than just my body!