Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I can ride my bike, with no handlebars.... they literally fell off.

-I Can Ride My Bike With No Handlebars... They Literally Fell Off-

Life is full of races.... of failures and losses, and also of great victories. Sometimes the way we take our losses can be the biggest victory we will ever have.
     Something that my trainer and I really focused on in our companionship was being in shape to ride bikes. Each Wednesday night we would correlate with our Ward Mission Leader, an agonizingly long visit where we talked about who we had seen and then get any help with the work we needed, once the clock struck 8:50, it was game time.
     Goal: Apartment
     Distance: 1.3 miles
     Objective: Play bicycle tag on the way home, and don't be the last one who was it when you got home.
     This was a weekly game that i really looked forward to, bicycle tag. On this particular day, in the early summer of central Oregon, it was perfect racing weather. Each week my trainer managed to beat me, but this time i would win. This time, i was giving it my all. I had to win, i had to be victorious, no time to be a loser. And so with the stroke of 8:50, we exited to the parking lot to unlock our bikes, and time stopped...

*click* helmet buckled
*swish* backpack on
*chk-chk-chk* pant leg tucked professionally into my argyle socks

And the game was on.

     He was off in a flash, i swear that i saw smoke leave his tire as he took off from the church parking lot. It was exhilarating, i became like a lion with a gazelle in front of him. My one objective? Catch him as quick as i could. As we jetted out of the parking lot onto 7th street, i really came into my element. Flying past the high school, northbound in our quiet town of Lebanon, OR. This was about the closest thing to any excitement im sure this town had seen in a long time. We raced through the streets, weaving into the trees, bunny hopping curbs, it was a thrill! And all the while the hunter locked into the target, i approached closer and closer...
     Just as we were about to hit the main street, i was within inches of the tag. With one last push, giving every cell in my body a signal to push harder than ever before, i stretched out my hand for the tag, and then.... He took a hard right into a neighborhood. I never had seen this one coming, quick as a flash, i tapped my brake and went after him, forgetting one detail.....
I had just tightened my back brake.
     Some people complain their brakes don't work, i'm complaining my worked too well. Within an instant, my tire came screeching to a halt, sending me into a slide at high velocity around the corner, i saw the curb coming, and braced for impact.
     Onto the front lawn of a perfectly happy family i ejected, putting many record setting long jumps to shame on distance, as my body screamed over the grass, leaving streaks of green all over my brand new shirt, i rolled and rolled, and finally halted. I closed my eyes for a second, doing a self assessment for injuries and thinking surely i was dead. Then opened my eyes to find not only was i alive, but i was also alive and on the front lawn of a family who couldn't have been more surprised than if i had just popped out of a grave in their front yard. All 5 of them were standing there looking at me. I assured them i was alright as i picked up my bicycle and pride, and limped to the street. Hopped on, and took off. With a new fire within me, i took off knowing that the next time i would win.
     Often the race of life tends to resemble this, we have a corner or turn come into our lives when we least expect it, and we cant correct in time. The sign of a true Disciple of Jesus Christ, is that we get up, and keep going, with a renewed vigor that next time we wont let that happen again. We keep going, we keep striving, we keep pushing. 
     As we rely on the Savior, we may have the comfort that comes from knowing that as we stand up and hop onto our bicycles, Christ will not only wipe our tears and dust our trousers, but He will give you a push to help you take off again, then cheer you all the way to the finish. May we always dust off, stand up, and keep going when a trial comes into this race we call life.

The Race of Life- Thomas S. Monson 


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