Tuesday, July 8, 2008

No pain, no gain!!!

The Tour de France (formerly known as the Tour de Lance) is earnestly underway. I am an avid cycling fan and live vicariously through these 'tiny' but muscle bound men who can cycle at an average speed of between 35 and 40 miles an hour for a sustained period of time. It is simply amazing to me, as an avid biker myself, how any one can endure the amount of pain required to pedal that fast for that long. David Miller of the UK actually came in second in the ITT (Individual Time Trial to the uninitiated). We had a front row seat to his trail vehicle as they talked him through the course. He sustained an average wattage of over 450 watts the entire 36 minutes it took him to ride the 18 mile course. To put that in perspective for you, the average cyclist can sustain about 140 watts for maybe five miles.

That's why I love to watch the Tour de France. It is not only the most grueling bike race in the world, it is literally the most grueling sport in the world. These cyclists lose a ton of weight over the roughly three weeks of the Tour, and they ride well over 2000 miles in that period of time. Why is this remotely important to know you ask? Well, simply because I suspect that this is the same dogged determination that is required of us as Christians, as we make a committment to change our world. Sometimes, the only thing that sustains you in the throes of 'surviving' is your willingness to endure pain. I've said here before, but it bears repeating, "The growth and success of your (fill in the blank) is in direct proportion to the amount of pain you are willing to endure."

Each morning, as I push through my own private 'tour of pain', grinding my way through 20-miles of relatively even terrain, as I feel the lactic acid build up in my legs and my breathing becomes ragged, I remember what the goal is, and I grit my teeth in determination, knowing that I must finish the course set before me. Who would have thought that riding a bicycle would make me a better pastor? So, how much pain have you been in lately?


Joey said...

Wow! I'm so out of the loop, I forgot it was on! Without Lance, it's just not the same...

Joseph said...

Hey, before Lance there was a tour and after Lance there'll be one. I agree though, it just isn't the same when you don't know who's going to win from day 1!!!