Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ice Baths

Talk about pain!  I've read about the benefits of ice baths and even took a few years ago when training for a marathon.  Now I remember why I don't like them.  They hurt, but only for the first couple of minutes.  Once the numbness sets in, it's not so bad and the soak only lasts for 10 minutes.  My coach suggested I get back into the ice bath habit because it's one of the best ways to flush out lactic acid buildup. 

My next one will be different though.  Instead of dumping 4 large bags in the water and crawling in, I will get in the water first before adding the ice.  The shock was incredibly painful all at once.  I loved the feeling afterward though; the blood vessels opening up and flushing out the toxins.  Apparently, this speeds up the recovery period after a long 3 hour bike ride and 30 minute brick run.  Anything that helps, I'm game for trying.

Now if I could just have that attitude in life.  We all would rather avoid pain but sometimes the pain of one thing is worth the greater good of another.  It makes enduring momentary affliction more palatable, as noted by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:17, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory..."  It's not that I like pain.  It would be so much easier if life added pain "one cube at a time;" but if I know there is a benefit, I don't have to dwell on the temporary. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thank You Ronnie!

A couple of Saturday's ago, I joined my training group on a long bike ride.  As a youth minister, my schedule gets really busy during the summer months, so I was commenting to a fellow rider on different strategies to complete my prescribed workouts during hectic times.  He told me not to stress about it because my ministry as a husband, dad, and minister will always be more important than my training.  I needed that reminder.  Thank you Ronnie!

Something else happened on that ride that taught me the importance of working out with partners.  My friend had already completed his training for that day, so he was just going along for the ride with us.  I had several threshold repeats to perform, so he stayed right by my side throughout the workout.  He kept me on the right cadence and heart-rate zone the whole time, which meant telling me when to shift, when to push harder, and when to relax.  I had a computer that told me the same information but it's different when your computer has skin on.  Thank you Ronnie!

Truth be told, when I am by myself, I tend not to push as hard as with others.  There is no encouragement to hang on, keep going, don't let up, good job, way to go, almost there, etc.  The teens I work with always tell me their faith walk would be easier if God had skin on; someone they could actually see in person.  Could it be that God shows Himself through others?  No doubt.  Thank you Ronnie!