Monday, August 31, 2009

Pass With Care

Roads can be a scary place for a cyclist.  When training for long-distance triathlons, it can be a challenge to find a good and safe route for cycling:  Where can one go on a 4-hour bike ride without encountering heavy traffic, or roads with no shoulders, or even vicious animals (a friend of mine once encountered a black bear!)?  On more than one occasion, I've been on a ride where cars have passed by much too close for my comfort, whether the driver was simply not paying attention or was frustrated at having to slow down because I was in his way.  I've had one man in a truck honk at me as he approached from behind, and then pass by me as close as possible even though no one was coming from the opposite direction.  I felt wronged and violated.  As I rode the rest of the way home, I came up with a new design idea for a cycling jersey:  it would be road-construction-sign-orange, and on the back there would be a black-and-white image of the road sign that reads, "Pass With Care."  Yet, the truth of the matter is that many drivers simply don't care, making it a dangerous place for those of us on bikes.  It doesn't seem fair, but then again, few things are.

It's much like life, actually.  For example, the world practically runs over people with physical or mental disabilities.  I've spent time with people with mental retardation or other special needs, and keeping up with the pace of life is overwhelming and often impossible.  They have to learn how to navigate the same twists and turns as everyone else, only at a much slower and harder pace, all the while getting passed by people who aren't paying attention, or worse, people who get frustrated because they have to slow their own pace down.  It is a sad truth, indeed.  But if people with disabilities are given the space they need to succeed, it is amazing the things they can do.  Just watch the Paralympics!

There are plenty of other examples, too, including but not limited to those who are elderly, or poor, or mourning the loss of a loved one.  When we encounter people in situations such as these, we should remember to pass with care, because life is not fair.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Future Career

I taught an aerobics class today, which was only my second time teaching.  I started substituting for a friend (who also happens to be my coach) a few weeks ago.  I never imagined myself teaching aerobics--I prefer to do my workouts outdoors--but I've been enjoying it immensely.  Plus, I get paid to do what I love, which certainly helps to support my triathlon "habit."

There was a lady in the class who was new to the gym, and it was a joy to help her get started on her fitness journey.  Afterwards, she came up to me to say she had a great time and then left with a smile on her face.  Another person who has been going to the class for a long time also came up to me and asked if I had taught before.  She was surprised when I said no, and then she replied, "You should consider making it a career."  That certainly boosted my confidence level, and I told her that I recently began studying to become ACE certified as an instructor.  It is my hope to become a fitness instructor and a personal trainer.  This has been a new development for me this summer, but it just seems to make sense.  I graduated in biology, with an emphasis in physiology and biochemistry, and being healthy is a hobby of mine (much to the chagrin of my husband, sometimes!).  It's interesting to see how the pieces of life fit together.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


My name is Tracy, a name that means "warlike" and "fierce" (among other meanings, none of which sound nearly as good).  Most people who know me might consider this ironic--I'm anything but hostile when it comes to people and relationships.  But when it comes to life, I am in the front lines battling the Enemy that does whatever he can to kill our dreams and desires, keeping us from living life with passion and purpose.  It is a fight for freedom that involves not guns and bloodshed, but truth and surrender.  It is a war against the unseen forces of this world for a King who gives us the strength and courage we need, one who is worthy of our devotion.  It is for him that I fight.  I am his quiet warrior.

However, once upon a time and not so very long ago, I was a prisoner of the Enemy, who had enticed me with food in the form of an eating disorder.  I battled a mild form of an eating disorder all throughout high school and college, and it kept me from "running the race set before me," both literally and figuratively (Hebrews 12:1).  Only when I met the King did I finally learn how to overcome the Enemy's power over me.  The King trained me how to fight, equipping me with all I needed to defeat the Enemy.  It was a long and strenuous process, but it taught me how to be strong, courageous, and fierce.  Since then, I continue to fight for freedom, and one of my favorite weapons is the sport of triathlon.  I have been training and racing for three years now and it is amazing to see how much the King has changed me.  What's more, I now have a vision of completing an Ironman triathlon one day, something I never would have thought possible a few years ago.  It will be a lifelong journey, and I hope you enjoy reading about it--and other life passions--in this blog.  Welcome, and Godspeed.