Big Dog

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“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight…it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” -Mark Twain

The week before the NYC Tri and settling in seems a distant reality. Nervous, anticipating, wondering, worst-case scenarioing everything from losing my sister, my goggles, my tires and my breath. I have been thinking about this Tri on and off for the last two years. Not so much for the course but what it represents. Going back to a place where the carpet was ripped from under; a place that still has a piece of my heart. Going back with a lifetime of living between then and now. Being more alive and free yet still finding my legs beneath me and learning how to step. Moving into unknowns sometimes solid and other times shaky. Looking fear, hurt, disappointments right in the face with hope, strength, and life depending on the day or time.

“Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavements?” -Adele

We find as we journey on, obstacles are certain as you climb. On my run last week, a german shephard came running to the edge of a yard gaining ground; scared me and I twisted my ankle, knee and rolled on my foot. It hasn’t been the same since. I move a certain way and it hurts. German shephards and I have a specific history. When I was a wee-lassie, I was bit by the neighbor’s pooch. Running from those teeth and falling to the ground in their yard and right on the backside the pain came shooting in. Unmerciful and relentless. I have never really felt totally comfortable around big dogs ever since. A bite taken, a wound, a scar, lingering fear. How very appropriate as I go into this race-
I find myself ruminating on bites, wounds, fears and scars.

“When you’re in over you head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end-Because I am God, your personal God. The Holy of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:2 (MSG)

And as we step forward; that yanking force is always there reminding us of what we aren’t and what was always believed to be true. Unacceptable. Unlovable. Not enough. Waiting for the carpet to go and the pieces to fall. Who do you think you are and what in the hotel are you doing. Pack it up and go home. I was grateful on the Sunday before the race, they showed some clips from McFarland, USA at church. I wasn’t sure if there were enough tissues when Danny Diaz comes running out of nowhere. The big dog who had a lot of fight. Who was counted out but pushed with all his heart to the finish line. Maybe there are places where you’ve also discounted yourself, sat on the sidelines wondering if you could join. Was there a place for you at the table. Maybe we all have those places of feeling on the outside looking in.


“I’m holding on tight…and I still believe.” -Lifehouse

As I jump off that barge I’ll think of the middle school girls that inspire. My patients that continue to fight despite whatever odds or statistics they are facing. The students, the places, the hope of being and doing more than wherever they have come from, more than what their current circumstances may be screaming or how their past may continue to haunt them. I will think of the light my nephews bring; and I am reminded that we too can show up for our life. Solid and shaky. Right where we are. Scars and all. Chasing dreams, searching hearts and letting God lead where He wants us to go.


“When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” -Psalm 61:2

I have five amazing nephews. I had asked the older three back in January what could be their word for this year. They came up with Determined, Adventure and Confidence. The younger two I personally picked; Intensity and Scrappy. They will be the heart of my motivation for this race. Not only for my nephews but all the kids I have gotten to love and pray for this past year. Those who moved me more than they know. Maybe you are also looking back, showing up, and taking steps that sometimes lead forward, sometimes uncover, and sometimes reveal more than we ever knew or thought was there as we revisit the days gone by. I hope as we take those forward steps, we continue to be open. Open to truth, revealing, healing and strength as we go. There is more learning and growing to be done. As I step into the deep murky Hudson with a stream of intense New Yorkers who are most likely fitter than fit surrounding me; I will also think of my friends and family who are facing dreams and struggles. Stepping out, showing up, being brave and believing better. I will have to remind myself to run my own race as I feel the inadequacies rise around. And like my husband said; have fun and enjoy it…if you don’t…what’s the point. So I will keep my eyes fixed; head up…looking onward and forward. Trusting He makes us more than we are. When we are weak, He is strong. His love and faithfulness never fails regardless of the atmosphere or outcome. He is trustworthy, no matter what. Hoping I’ll be able to write a nice, fun debriefing post about the specifics and celebrating the determined, adventurous, confident, intense, and some highlighted scrappy moments along the way.

Until next time I hope you continue to choose life and believe better in your own living full adventure; one choice, one day, one solid and sometimes shaky step at a time.

Love and Hugs,


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