3 miles up hill both ways

Remember your grandparents rough life walking to school up hill both ways? Totally not even possible, right? Well, I’m being as serious as I’ve ever been when I say that my brother and I have run a 5k two days in a row, same path but reversed the path the second day and, y’all, it. is. up. hill. both. ways.

Or at least it felt like it. I’ve never felt as old as I do right at this moment, typing, and my back hurts, my knees ache, I’m thinking about my bedtime (it’s 8:16pm, so what?), I’m upset I missed Wheel of Fortune tonight and my dentures are cracking!

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OK, OK, some of those aren’t completely true, but I tell ya what, my body is
hurtin’ all over. I’ll say this in my defense though: along with running, we’ve worked out and worked outside a ton in the last two days. In a nutshell we’re volunteering at a summer camp so we can both keep believing that we can hang with 20 year old guys.

It’s going “OK” to “very OK.” But I feel every bit of 38 years old. Really all it took was to see young counselors going hard every second, every day, and smiling about it.

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But my brother and I did set a personal elevation record on today’s run. Same
route as yesterday but somehow we ran higher. Take that father time! Take that earth! We’re setting records!

-Out of the Wil….zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Flood, Pain and Prayer

It was the summer of 2010 and Nashville just experienced a 500-year flood that devastated houses and families.

There were many opportunities to get involved with the clean-up effort; through churches, charity efforts, and even places of employment encouraging employees to help by lending a hand in the hardest hit areas. The building where I work lost power for the entire week after the flood so once I caught up on my own long overdue yard work, I volunteered in neighborhoods needing assistance. At one house, I helped pull up soaking wet carpet. At another I helped with a washer/dryer extraction. One task was simply sweeping water out of a kitchen into the backyard. Joining in with some other folks, I helped take torn up drywall out to a trash pile near the street. At this house, we had two wheelbarrows, one with a flat tire. Some may say it’s because I’m awesome, others may say it’s because I’m double awesome, but I used the one with the flat tire, without gloves and pushed it up hill in the snow. That makes me a triple threat guy. Ok, I had gloves. And there was no hill. Or snow.

The wheelbarrow rolled well enough until the flat tire hit a hole in the ground and immediately came to a halt. The problem was that I kept walking. My shin was pierced by a screw from the wheelbarrow. Yes it hurt. Yes it bled. A friend nearby had a first aid kit and was more than willing to attend to my new wound. Here’s how it went down before she applied ointment:

Me: Is this going to hurt?
Her: Yes.
[pause]
[pause]
Me: Ok, go.
[cuss word]

In the few seconds between anticipation of pain and actual pain, I was able to prepare for what would happen next. And if it pleases the court, I’d like to make clear there was no cuss word, that was a joke.

That experience has finally served as a good example of how to handle the storm I’m currently in the middle of. This little storm started and I didn’t have time to prepare, just like my leg and the wheelbarrow. But as the rain falls and the thunder rolls, I’ve made time to seek shelter. If nothing else good comes from this storm, I can at least treasure the shelter and perhaps remember that the Lord loves me enough to carry my burden when all I can imagine happening is me crumbling. There will be resolution to this storm, the suffering will pass. It says so in the Bible: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” Either this statement is true, or none of the Bible is true. So I’m going to, again, take my chances that once the storm passes, it will still just be a storm. But me? I’ll be restored (which is enough) but then I’ll also be stronger, more firm, and more steadfast than ever before. That’s where I win and the storm loses. So when the next one comes, guess what my prayer will be?

Me: Is this going to hurt?
Lord: Yes.
[pause]
[pause]
Me: Ok, go.
[cuss word]
[just kidding]