This January was a turning point for me. After 3 years of trying to conceive and 2 devastating miscarriages, my husband and I agreed to stop putting ourselves through the pain and inevitable disappointment that became more and more difficult to bear as each month went by.
It was time for me to let go of this dream that I had so desperately wanted, wished and prayed for. For years I had put off so many things thinking that caring for a life growing within my womb was just around the corner. The most significant thing I put off was training for the Tri-For-Life, a sprint-triathlon that benefits a ministry near and dear to my heart—Options Pregnancy Resource Centers.
Over the past several years I have watched many of my friends train together and compete in this worthwhile event. I have cheered them on one-by-one as they crossed the finish line with well-deserved pride. All the while I couldn’t bring myself to give that much time and effort into training for something that I might never be able to finish. You know, since getting pregnant was certainly just around the corner.
When I turned a corner in my life and thought process this January, I decided to reach for the stars and attempt to accomplish the one thing I had put off for so long. I determine that I would do everything within my power to finish the Tri-For-Life in June. Mentally, physically and emotionally I needed to invest my time and energy into something that I could have some measure of control over. Something tangible. Something I actually had a hope of accomplishing.
And so I have. I dusted off my bike. I bought a new pair of running shoes, and I elicited the exercise companionship of my nearly 10 year-old daughter, Leeann, who set out to accomplish this feat with me.
Just a few short months ago I could barely get from one end of the pool to the other without quite literally fearing for my life. I’ve had a fear of water in my face for as long as I can remember. I’ve never been athletic. I’ve never been fast. I’ve never had much in the way of endurance. Swimming 500 yards—I knew that would be a stretch. I was hardly any more confident on the bike, or in my running (er, fast walkingish) skills.
In just a short time my confidence in the pool has skyrocketed. Though it’s still not easy, I now know that I can make it from one end of the pool to the other and back again without fear of drowning or choking on water (which I was all too accustomed to!).
Today this non-athlete had the strength and endurance to not only swim 500 yards, but then to hop on my bike for a leisurely 12.4 mile ride, followed up by a 3.1 mile stroll through town on my own two feet. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Today this non-athlete has become a tri-athlete!
All the while, during this season of healing in my own life, I got to train along side of and encourage my daughter as she set out to achieve an amazing goal at her young age. Not only did she finish the race, but she did so with ease and she raised an incredible $1,273 for a cause near and dear to both of our hearts.
And perhaps together we will be able to help a woman or two realize that the unplanned child growing within her womb is indeed a blessing—even if at the moment the blessing is still in a blessing in disguise.