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It’s been three days and I still hobble and limp around when I walk. The soreness doesn’t seem to want to go away. I guess the older you get, the longer it takes for your body to heal after such a grueling event.

On the 4th of July weekend I was challenged to take part in a compound wide competition called the “Ironman” at the rec yard. No, it was not the 2.1 mile swim, the 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run called the Ironman Triathlon. This Ironman challenge was a cross-fit type event that needed both endurance and body strength to complete.

When I was challenged I was very leery because the only training I had done was play softball and volleyball, which I did not consider training for this event. I had also participated in an abdominal class a few days a week and I do pull-ups every other day. I hardly do any running these days, unless you count my homerun trot around the bases while playing softball. HA! So overall, I would not consider myself to be in tip-top shape to participate in this type of challenge compared to the other participants. But I am not one to refuse an athletic competition, so I signed up for it. My goals were to finish the course and not come in last place.

The competition had 22 total entrants, ranging in age from mid-20’s to mid-50’s, all of whom were in great workout shape…..except me! The course consisted of fifteen different obstacles and challenges: running, calf raises, hanging leg raises, army crawls in the sand, walking lunges, jumping rope, sit-ups, jumping jacks, medicine ball throws, and burpees (which are squats, kick-outs, push-ups and jumping jacks all together in one), just to name a few. Each consisted of a large number of reps. I know I had my hands full, but was up for the challenge.

I was assigned to be in Group 3 of 3, with 7-8 participants in each group. My group actually had the overall winner in it, so the pace he set was incredibly fast. If you dared to keep up with him, you were destined to suffer the consequences. So I kept to myself and set a nice consistent pace throughout the race. It was not too fast, but wasn’t too slow either. Yes, the course was very difficult.

I used muscles that I didn’t even know I had. But, I finished the course in one hour and eleven minutes, 5th in my group of 8 and 13th overall. I, along with some of the participants and spectators, were shocked that little skinny me actually beat almost half the participants. To be honest, it was excruciating, but fun also!

I truly believe that God helped me every step of the way to get me through the challenge. When I was tired and exhausted and wanted to stop, something inside of me kept pushing me forward. It was exhausting and the roughest challenge I have ever participated in. Even though God has blessed me with athletic ability, and I am thankful to Him for that, I still rely on Him to help me succeed. I needed His strength to get me through to the end.

I had a basketball poster in my room growing up that said, “Do your best, and God will do the rest.” In prison, each and every day, I strive to do my best, and know God has my back to accomplish the rest. I’m looking forward to the rest of my life to see what He has in store for me!

can do

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