Monthly Archives: July 2016

Was it Failure?

At 7:30 this morning I had every intention of completing a 70 mile bike ride. By 1:00PM I arrived at the 55 mile rest stop with absolutely no energy and a horrible feeling of failure. I sat on a cooler, against a truck in a sliver of shade. The oppressive heat that radiated from the black pavement and the lack of shade, for miles at a time, had taken its toll.
Did I mention the hills? This particular ride is known for its hills. Yes, hills in Texas. The ride description said “The Goatneck Bike ride is a rolling hill course which averages around 35 feet per mile of climbing.” I’ve been doing hill work. I’ve been trying to ride in the heat….it just wasn’t enough.

As I sat in that sliver of shade, pouring ice water over my head, my riding buddy (Rachael) and a nice gentleman (Pat) that I rode with off and on throughout the day, helped me realize the importance of knowing when enough is enough. Pat said to me several times how difficult it is to come back from a heat related illness. Rachael simply helped me understand taking the SAG ride to the finish line was not quitting, it was the smart choice.

As I rode in the SAG truck, I still wasn’t convinced I had made the right choice. Then we rounded a bend in the road and I saw yet another long (very long) hill. I looked at the SAG driver and said, “If I were still on my bike I think the sight of that hill would have caused me to just sit down in the middle of the road.” I had made the right choice, my legs were shot for the day.

It was a humbling experience. I hate giving up, especially when it comes to an athletic activity. One of the mantras I use is, “just keep moving forward.” Today I could not.
The first half-marathon I ran, I didn’t think I would finish. I struggled the last 3 miles and crossed the finish line with calf cramps and knee pain. Instead of deciding this wasn’t for me, I started planning how to train smarter so I would be better prepared for the next one. The same thoughts crossed my mind today. Instead of giving into my frustration and anger I started planning for next year. I started thinking about where I could do more hill work, how to strengthen my back and my core and how to return next year better and stronger.

Rick and Darlene…

Yesterday before we started our bike ride Rachael pointed out a car across the lot. Its doors were open and we could see at least one person in the driver’s seat. She told me the same car was in the same place a few days ago.
When we returned from the ride the car was still there.

As I pulled away I decided to stop at the car and offer the few dollars I had available.
I introduced myself and handed the couple dollars to the man in the driver’s seat. He introduced himself as Rick and the lady in the passenger seat told me her name was Darlene. As I stepped toward the car I noticed a small chihuahua in the backseat. Her name was Babee.

We talked for a few minutes. I told them my friend noticed they had been parked in the same place for several days. They acknowledged they were having a rough time and currently were living in their car.

I explained that myself and a group of friends would be out serving the homeless on Sunday and asked if we could stop by and visit, deliver food and drinks. I also mentioned that we carry dog food with us and would make sure Babee was cared for.

This afternoon as we pulled up in three different vehicles it was obvious Darlene was overwhelmed. She immediately gave me a big hug and told me how happy they were that I came back. She looked around, with tears in her eyes, as 9 of us surrounded them. She thanked each one of us. Rick, not as emotional, but respectful and soft spoken introduced himself and talked about Babee. Both Darlene and Rick were extremely proud of their Babee and told us stories of her many abilities.

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Robyn gave Darlene a Women’s Study Bible

We shared food with the couple, Kim, Janie and Melissa checked out Babee’s health and Melissa trimmed Babee’s nails. We gave them water, a Bible and a pillow for each of them. Darlene cried tears of joy throughout our visit and both of them thanked us multiple times.

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Robyn enjoyed holding Babee

The couple had an impact on each of us. We left them to serve others, but I think we will remember them for a long time to come.

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Rick and Darlene agreed to pose for a picture with the group

DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up

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“This week is all about taking a moment to check out what’s going on above you.”

This photo was taken at an old train station in Snyder Texas. I enjoy seeking out the “different” photo. Just as this challenge suggests, looking up and away from my typical line of site…I was able to find a shot many might never notice.

Visit The Daily Post for the weekly photo challenge or a number of other challenges that might interest you.

The Good Samaritan

I almost didn’t go to church today. But Fortunately it worked out that I was exactly where I needed to be.
Our Pastor, Carol Ann West, preached about the “Good Samaritan,” she talked about who our neighbors are and she talked about the recent events and the loss of life.
For communion we were asked to join other people in our pews who we normally don’t receive communion with and receive the body of Christ together.
At the end of the service the entire congregation held hands and sang “Let There Be Peace On Earth”
It was powerful, meaningful and very much needed today.
Let us all recognize every person as our neighbor and let us also recognize we are all capable of being a Good Samaritan.

Celebrations

Celebration Community Church – Rev. Carol West

Why?

My heart is broken.

Tuesday night a 37 year-old black man was shot by 2 white officers. Alton Sterling was shot at close range while on his back in a parking lot, with both officers holding him down.

This morning a young black man was fatally shot by a police officer in Minnesota, while his girlfriend and her 4 year-old girl watched helplessly.

Tonight during a peaceful protest in Dallas, (due to these two and I assume many other shootings) 11 police officers have been shot and 4 are dead. Reportedly shot by snipers from an elevated position. (this is information being shared live on CBSDFW.com)

I sit in disbelief. Stunned. What has our country come to? Seriously…I do not understand the hate.
I understand why black Americans are angry.
I understand why black Americans are afraid.
I also understand why our police officers are fearful.
I do not understand how Americans can continue to open fire on fellow citizens.

I believe black lives matter
I believe brown lives matter
I believe in backing the blue
I believe LGBTQ lives matter
I believe white lives matter
I believe Asian lives matter
I believe Muslim lives matter
I believe Jewish lives matter
I believe ALL lives matter
My heart truly hurts…

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Store Front Signs

Nothing like a little local place when you are seeking breakfast burritos in West Texas.

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CEO’s Black and White Challenge. This week we search out Store Front Signs and share what we found.

If you want to join the challenge or view what other store front signs were found simply follow this link.

Cycling Lesson…

I learned a valuable cycling lesson this morning.

Tina and I were visiting family in West Texas. I decided this morning to take a bike ride. In West Texas many of the roads seem endless. They are straight and may go 50 miles without a turn or even a town. IMG_3621
I told Tina which State Highway I planned to ride and in which direction. I also explained that I would ride out for an hour…turn around and ride back….obviously I would be gone for 2 hours.

As I headed out of town I felt great. My pedaling was smooth and my pace was consistently faster than usual. I averaged 17.3 to 20.1 MPH for the first 20 miles. I convinced myself the reason for the fast ride was the flat road and smooth pavement.
My 1 hour “out” was up at the 20 mile mark, so I crossed the road and headed back toward town.

As soon as I turned around I realized it was the tailwind that carried me twenty miles…and it would be the headwind I had to fight all the way back to town.

What took me an hour to ride with tailwind….took me one hour and 40 minutes to ride against the headwind.

A lot of self talk was required to keep me pushing against the headwind.
Same beautiful scenery, as the ride out…just look across the fields.
Be grateful you get to ride.
relax
quit being a wimp!
Just keep pedaling

I did finally make it back and I did acknowledge how fortunate I was to spend time riding and I did enjoy the fields and fields of unending farm land.IMG_3635

However, the next time I ride my bike in West Texas, I will check the direction of the wind (because there is always wind in West Texas) before determining which route to take.