Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Testimony to the Power of Prayer

Training to compete for a place at the crossfit games was a roller coaster of  anguish, exhaustion, emotion, stress, consolation, encouragement and triumphs.
I enlisted the prayers of everyone I could for this - I know that when we put ourselves in challenging situations we are almost certain to trigger our brokenness.  At the margins of what is possible our weaknesses and fears are brought right up to center stage.  That's scary, but it's also an opportunity for healing and growth, freedom and new life. (Yes, I take the simplest things in life and turn them into something epic and huge.)

This experience was amazing.  There are so many things that could only have been grace:
1)  An incredible calm came over me during the week prior to the event.
Last Monday I went into the gym to do one of the same workouts that had been giving me trouble. again. I had a little break through in performance, and a switch flipped.  The anxiety, stress and emotion subsided and I began to be able to approach the weekend with a more peaceful detachment and joy.  (GRACE!)

2) Day 1 of the event.  I did not quite hit my goal, but I did very well, better than the team expected.  They were pleased and I chose to be grateful.  I am grateful.  I could not thruster 130# two weeks ago.

3) Day 2.  We got thrashed by our personal judge.  In our trials we finished the workout at 23-24 min.  At the competition we were 10 repetitions short of finishing within the 30min time limit.  We probably had over 200 missed reps... Work that didn't count because of whatever the judge deemed proper range of motion.  It was extreme, but it is what it is.
Of course I felt like it was largely my fault.  I had A LOT of wasted work and time.  We all walked out of the competition area, unable to meet the eyes of our cheering section, looking like we just got demolished.  Our coach was clearly disappointed.  From where I stood it seemed he wouldn't even look at me. 
This is a miracle moment, friends. 
"I am who God says I am" was all I kept repeating in my head.  Part of me was welling up with tears of anguish at being such a disappointment and at the fear of the dissatisfaction of my coach. I let my team down.  But I could not give in.  I knew this was the battle that we were fighting to win. I couldn't place my worth on who is happy or unhappy with me, on how well or shitty I did, or on whether we won or lost.  I am who God says I am.  I am His.  That is what matters.  Instead of crying and giving any credit to those thoughts, I decided to leave the sulking and join our fans, to recount to them our experience, to be encouraged by them, and to cheer on and watch the crazy judging of the next heat of competitors.

After a while my team found me - running up and cheering they hugged me.  The results were in. Even after that bad performance we moved from 13th to 8th place, and qualified for another day of competition. Ha tears to joy.   (The inconsistent judging was an experience across the board.)
The girls on my team said, "We have to find Kathy and stop her before she starts drinking" ;)  I laughed.  It didn't even cross my mind to start celebrating the end nor medicating the loss.

Of course I was pleased that we were still in it, but the real victory was not that. It was the freedom to be kind to myself in my perceived failure, the freedom to show my face and join our fans, and the strength not to crack when someone I esteem was let down (in this case my coach and team).

4) Day 3. We worked hard, we were 5th and 7th, but that was not enough to go onto the next level.  I had more fun with being there.  BUT we did not get the top three, so of course I sensed my coach's disappointment - "we weren't enough"  How much has that plagued my life.  I'm never enough.  And even though it was over and we gave a good showing and my coach did thank me personally for being a part of the team, that we couldn't have come this far without me (that did help. I'm going to work on letting that sink in) - already I was thinking of next year.
on one hand, stoked!  Alright, look at how great we did with only 3 months training. Imagine what we can do with a whole year of working toward this goal!

And on the other hand with that idea also came fear. This year I was one of 3 best girls available. Next year will be a different story.  As the gym grows, so does the talent.  In life, there is always is someone better, and next year I may not be enough.
And that has to be okay.  I'm still working on fighting to be full and free and loved for who I am, who God says I am, not what anyone else cares or thinks of me, or what I can or can not do.

Friends, thank you so much for praying for me and journeying with me in this.  I called on your prayers all weekend.  And I experienced their power -  God's power to make all things new.

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