I hope you have been enjoying the Rio Olympics as much as Helen and I have.
We had a very special Idaho moment last week as Boise’s Kristin Armstrong, one day short of her 43rd birthday, won a gold medal (her third consecutive, having won also in 2008 and 2012) in the 29 kilometer cycling time trial. The weather was bad, rainy and windy. The course was brutal, with as much as a 20% grade to climb and with steep downhill stretches that were extra treacherous given the wet conditions. But she won. And the picture of her with her five-year-old son afterwards is one that is already part of Olympic history.
The course Kristin Armstrong conquered is a metaphor for both sports and life. Anything worthwhile is uphill. The athletic performances that have enthralled us these last few days are possible only because of a commitment to climb uphill day after day, year after year. These athletes force themselves to go through rigorous training beyond what most of us can imagine. It’s hard, way too hard, but the result of all this hard work makes it all worth it.
Are you willing to climb uphill to reach your goals? I heard John Maxwell last week capture in one sentence the reason many of us are not getting where we want to be in life: “We have uphill hopes, but we have downhill habits.”
I always notice more runners out during the summer Olympics. It’s hard to not get inspired. Maybe your inspiration will be in the area of physical fitness. Maybe it will be in some other area of your life. But I hope you will get inspired. It’s going to be uphill. But it’s going to be worth it.
In Christ, John