It has been about a month since my last post largely because of one reason: pneumonia. That’s right I was the hacking and coughing and sneezing and winded mess that people stared at in public hoping the would not catch the unknown-to-them disease I carried around. Yes, I was indeed that person. But you see over the past month a lot has happened and I have definitely have had plenty of time to be reflective.
You see on October 20th, I participated in an event called The Tough Mudder which is a 12 mile, 22 obstacle physically challenging event definitely not created for the untrained, ill-prepared or lazy. Even having trained for months, I still greatly struggled through the event. It was also 55 degrees outside. I competed with a team, and they are largely the reason I was able to finish. Them and of course God. Read my previous TM post and you will hopefully understand my logic a bit more. During the event we were cold, freezing in fact, as the race begins with a gigantic ice bath followed by 12 miles of mud, muddy terrain, water, muddy water, and ridiculous obstacles like climbing a 12 foot wall, jumping off a 20 foot dock into muddy water, and crawling through piping full of merky water. Oh and did I mention there was mud? After 5 hours [way longer than normal averages], an injury, all of us bruised and tired, exhaustion and definitely cold, we made it across the finish line. I can’t even tell you how incredible that moment felt running over that marking holding hands with my two good friends Danielle and Kasey and being crowned with the official finish line Tough Mudder headband following by scarfing down clif bars, water, and fruit. It was finished! Hoorah!
I cannot even begin to tell you how timely the Tough Mudder was for me personally. It was something I knew I had to do- again read my previous post about the TM. But it was also something that taught me a ton. Basically toward the end of the race, I felt sick but refused to quit. Not the kind of throw up sick but just… off. On Sunday morning, the day after, I awoke to find myself achy in every part of my body, bruised like I had been beaten, cut up, and weak. On top of that I sounded like a chain smoker. Every day since that Mudder I have been sick- that is until now- one month later. Like antibiotics, can’t stand up, look like death sick. Yet none of that mattered to me because I knew I had accomplished something great… for me.
When I say this event, and even being sick, was timely I mean it. In the week following, I watched while laying basically on bed rest, as Hurricane Sandy destroyed my beaches and my state [read my previous post]. For about a week and half I worked at a shelter for displaced people of Hurricane Sandy. Yes while being on an assortment of prescribed drugs I worked 12 and 14 hour days for over a week. My heart breaks for my state. Disaster does not come at convenient times nor does it ask us for permission to change everything. It just comes. I did not feel that being sick excused me from helping those that lost everything. A week after Sandy, during my time volunteering at the shelter, a second storm hit. In many places, it left over a foot of snow. It was not time for me to be comfortable or okay with standing by and watching.
You see what I have learned in this past month is that no matter the obstacle ahead, no matter the storms that come, no matter the devastation left behind, we have to persevere. We have to get back on our feet, wade through the mud and water if necessary and get to the finish line. The finish line still isn’t here yet for us. But we need to try our best, at all times, no matter what, to push through and not give up. Life will push us down. It will try to, sometimes literally, crush us under its waves. It may, again literally, take everything from us. But this it cannot take- our hope in Christ. Life is going to be hard. But push through and press on because its in the victories over our obstacles that we can look back and say we accomplished something extraordinary.