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Extreme Training

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Extreme Waterfall after Rain

It's that time of year to start thinking about a training plan for your summer or fall race.  Training for a race can often be extreme... like, going out on a 20 mile run on a Saturday morning ... or, swimming a mile and then jumping on your bike for a 10 mile sprint.  It's going through the extremes that helps you to enjoy the journey.  The extremes condition you so you can cover the distance with less pain.  Today I want to tell you about an extreme journey taken by my friend Angela Bailey...

I was very impressed with the blog entry entitled "The Extremes of Life" that Angela wrote for the IOH Devotion Blog this month.  It's about the extremes that Angela has faced in her life as she experienced the loss of her father when she was 10 years old.  I highly encourage you to read Angela's entire blog entry, but I also wanted to include a couple excerpts here.  Angela writes...

"Everyone experiences pain in life and obviously everyone’s pain is different. Over the years, I have seen much pity in the faces of others when I tell them that my father died when I was 10. I always try to explain the blessing my father’s illness and death was in the greater landscape of my life. I had a relationship with my father and memories as a family that were so rich. I had more in 10 short years with my father than most people have in 50, 60, 70 years with their parents. This is not what should be pitied. It should be celebrated. I pity those who never live in the extremes of life – they miss so much richness.

"Pain for me has been like rain in my life and joy has been likeimages sunshine. My garden is much healthier and more vibrant with the extreme pain and subsequently the extreme joy I have experienced. Think about how much more appreciative you are of the sun when it has rained for a week straight or how refreshing a steady rain is when everything is brown, dried and dying. The extremes truly make life richer. God really does make good of all situations, but I think His blessings are greatest when the situation presents an extreme. My life would not be nearly as rich or as blessed if I had not endured my father’s illness and death. It seems very twisted, but it really was a gift. I look at life differently and see each day as a gift to be cherished from the Father above."

I'm encouraged to not fear extremes but embrace them as a vital part of my journey.  Thank you, Angela. :)