Pre-Race Jitters

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“You say I’m a dreamer…but I’m not the only one.” -John Lennon

Do you ever have those moments where songs fly into your head and heart and you have no idea where they came from? And then you can’t get it out of your head and you become that annoying person humming at the copier. That was me this week. As I was heading into my first Tri of the season the negative thoughts flew in like darts and were bombarding. What are you doing? Who do you think you are? This is silly. Who is there to attack and accuse, ready to strip every ounce of joy and hope from our fingertips. And what to my wondering ears came streaming in from the clouds…out of nowhere, the fog lifted while shuffling papers at work and I busted out into song with…

“Believe it or not, I’m walking on air…never thought I could feel this free…Flying away on a wing and a prayer…who could it be…believe it or not…it’s just me.”

I couldn’t get it out of my head. I knew it was a theme song to some T.V. show but I just couldn’t remember which one. Hill Street Blues or Cheers…nah, can’t be that…that’s “everybody knows your name.” So what do you do when you are unsure of something. Google, wikipedia much? Here I come and bam you are so faithful. The Greatest American Hero. I vaguely remembered the show so I went on in my research and found out what Wikipedia had to say…

“The series chronicles Ralph’s adventures after a group of aliens gives him a red suit that gives him superhuman abilities. Unfortunately for Ralph, who hates wearing the suit, he immediately loses its instruction booklet, and thus has to learn how to use its powers by trial and error, often with comical results.”


“I can’t stand to fly, I’m not that naïve.Only a man in a funny red sheet…looking for special things inside of me.” -Five For Fighting

Wow Ralph, we just may have some things in common. Losing instruction manuals, unknown adventures, staying stuck in old clothes, not knowing how to live in your new suit, learning by trial and error. I like this guy. Maybe I need to youtube some old episodes. How many of us can relate. Not paying attention to the strength within, living into who we think we are or aren’t instead of who God is calling us to be. Choosing to ignore that still small voice, beckoning you forward in faith, one step at a time. Great adventures, design and purposes. As I headed into a race weekend, I was grateful for that song. Walking on air. Free. Believe it or not. It’s just me. Just me with You. One believing better day at a time.

 “But I Trust in Your unfailing love. I rejoice because you have rescued me.” Psalm 13:5

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“I feel so close to you right now.” -Calvin Harris

So, I finally got my first road bike on Thursday for my race on Saturday. Why not fly by the seat of your pants. Who needs several rides under your belt before a race…right Ralph? Well all I can say is that it was love at first sight and ride. And before we set out for our first race she couldn’t go nameless. A white stallion she does resemble but she’s all girl through and through. My mind went to Stella or Fiona. Stella because she never quite felt like she fit in or belonged, standing on the outside looking in, but the word itself means Star. And Fiona because that was the name of the first horse I road in Germany; plus Fiona means white and if I remember from Shrek, she was also a very unlikely princess. And on top of all that (if it’s not meaningful and it doesn’t matter why bother :-)! Whenever I see white I’m reminded that Jesus washes our sins whiter than snow. Settled and paid in full.

Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

So meet, Stellfie. I hope Stellfie and I have a long history of adventures together. And though my nerves were real and I almost backed out the night before; as you can see in this above picture…my face and body language are saying “huh” as I was screaming inside as they are about to mark my arm, “really, what is going on here, what are you doing?” You’d think by now I’d be getting accustomed to it after a few of these under my belt. But then it hits you as you face that open water; and the rescue boats floating around… oh right, I’m about to get marked in case I die and I paid to do this. Sweet. But at least I’ll die while fully living as opposed to dying while tripping down the stairs or doing laundry.

“I stopped telling myself I’m lost…I’m not. I’m not lost, I’m on my way.” -Ahunnaya

Through my career I have worked with many patients who have been hit by cars on their road bikes, thrown off of or kicked by horses, near death drowning anoxic brain injuries etc. And all of them have shown up with the resilience to keep moving forward and fighting despite their circumstances every day. Reflecting back I see how that packed a punch and pulled me back from life. Afraid to live. But as I continue to choose life and believe better, the truth is no one knows what tomorrow may bring yet I can still trust in His unfailing love. Even if the worst case scenario happens, is it better to live death or die while living? Even when hard circumstances come we can choose to fix our eyes and our hearts on His unfailing love and move forward or not. Living into hope, possibility and progress as long as we have breath or not. I know I’ve heard life is not a spectator sport, but how many of us live there. I was reminded this week how Lazarus was in the tomb dead for four days before Jesus came to raise him back to life. In John 11:43-44 it tells us…

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus come out! The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Those grave clothes must have stunk. Can you imagine if Lazarus would have decided to stay in his grave clothes with his hands and feet wrapped and a cloth around his face after being brought back to life. Would anyone recognize him? How would he be able to tell his story of what Jesus did for him if a smelly cloth was shoved in his mouth? Maybe your heart needed that same reminder this week like mine did…believe it or not, you can fly in His grace, free. Just you with Him equals a world of possibility, adventure and hope. You belong and can come just as you are. And yes there are race nazi’s who will yell at you because they are there thinking that they just maybe will get discovered and go to the Olympics and they are the lucky ones who were never as unfortunate as to have lost the instruction manual, all buttoned up and figured out; but those of us who show up as we are, free to move forward in our Ralphy trial and error sorta way, ok and on our way just as we are. Staying present to whatever adventure He is calling us to and making that personal experience with Him irreplaceable cherished moments beyond compare. So stay in the game. Don’t sit out for too long. Get hydrated and off the bench. Your valuable and missed.

Is there a certain game he is calling you to? A race you may be nudged to do? An adventure waiting with your name on it? I hope you show up and live full in the light of His love. I hope you know you belong there. That He will always give you the grace you need to do whatever He’s calling you to do. I hope whatever scarlet stains you think are permanent, you would know His blood always washes whiter than snow. I hope you put on your full armor, take off your grave clothes and saddle up. Riding free; free to fly and shine in the light of His unfailing love.

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” Hold on and take a breath. I’ll be here every step. Knowing that together, everything that’s in our way…We’re better than alright.” -Lifehouse



  1. Laurie says

    Kristina—-I love that you picked “Stellfie” . Your posts are always inspirational and fun to read! Keep up the great work with your races and blogs.

  2. Lea says

    Love this, Kristina! ~So appreciate you, your vulnerability, and your words full of experience, strength and hope!

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