P.I.M.P.

There’s a saying, “It ain’t bragging if it’s true”, well the truth of the matter is, I am one tired athlete.  See, I’m learning to swim…again. Not again again, but for the 4th or 5th time because the other times missed something…they didn’t teach me how to swim.  So frustrating!  See, I’m a late blooming athlete.  Growing up, I was too girly and being an athlete meant sweating and getting dirty and worse yet, smelling.  Uh, no thanks.

Today, I could not care less.  My reverse logic tells me it’s better this way.  As a kid, it’s expected that you may become athletic, but anything past the age of 25 is all self motivation and even that is often lacking.  I don’t concern myself with the goals/triumphs/success of others.  I’m happy for them and will gladly celebrate but I’m doing mE.  I did my first Triathlon (Sprint) after my 3rd or 4th lesson and what I did in the pool could not even remotely be classified as swimming but I made it to the end.  Swimming has so many mechanics to remember that yes, I often forget to breathe, not a good thing when submerged in water.  If I’m breathing, I’m not kicking.  If I’m kicking, I’m not breathing.  If I’m breathing and kicking then my stroke is off or my head is coming up or my leg is kicking out too wide or SOMETHING is not going as it should.  When I’m in the pool, in my head I’m mirroring Missy Franklin.  In reality I probably look more like Franklin Mississippi but I keep at it.  Why, I’m not exactly sure, I got nothing to prove to no one but myself and I guess that’s why I keep going.  Rising before the rooster, sun and birds to get to the pool in the cold and sometime rainy weather takes effort.  Some days my effort is there and other days, well, lets just say ugly has its place in exercising.

Oddly enough, I’m getting better.  Not by my account but by the account of the lifeguards who see at the pool 3 days a week.  Every days I swim, I aim for 800yds or more.  Some days I get it and some days I just don’t have it.  I had ADD so it’s REALLY hard for me always get it in because after the first 100yds I’m ready to go. My goal is to swim 1 mile, continuously.  It doesn’t matter how long it takes me, speed will come later, for now, I’m just trying to get it right.

Whoever said progress is a slow process probably WAS talking about me, but hey, I don’t mind.  I AM destined for greatness and Greatness and the genius thereof, cannot be rushed.  Tomorrow I’m going to video myself swimming so I can actually “see” what I’m doing; right or wrong.  I really won’t have any idea exactly what I’m looking for but it doesn’t even matter.  I will see evidence of the slow (and oft repeated) process of my swim progress.

I don’t know what you heard about me – up before dawn cracks ain’t easy – me, you and folk from AARP – RAW PIMP.

Person in the middle of practice!

I

Of all the nerve

I CANNOT Do Anything.

As humans, we don’t like certain things; negativity and limitations rank high on the list. What I’m about to say may come across as negative and/or limiting but that is not my intent but I offer no apologies.

During a conversation with my dad I had a thought, voiced it and it stayed with me. Later that night, I couldn’t sleep because this thought was still on my mind sooo, I googled it and found some interesting information. I took this information and had another conversation with my dad and gave my thoughts on it and he his and oddly enough, he said he’d never looked at it that way.

Philippians 4:13, I’m sure everyone knows it but have you ever really thought about what it means? Chris DeRoco of Christianity.com has thought about it and he gives a nice explanation that is exactly what I was thinking. Again, I’m no theologian scholar, I’m just a sinner trying to make it in this world but Mr. DeRoco advises that what Paul meant is (and I’m paraphrasing) that when things are going well, we remain faithful to Christ and when things aren’t going well, we remain faithful to Christ. As I interpreted, the remaining faithful in all situations is where and when you receive strength from Christ.

Now, since I never REALLY understood it, I was mindful of its use. I have a running shirt with the scripture on it but honestly, I bought it because it gives me high visibility at night but I notice people use it a lot and for various reasons and that’s when it all came together for me. I saw a post from someone who was gearing up for her first race and she wrote of her anxiety and then followed it up with “I can do all things…” Now, as Mr. DeRoco points out and I whole heartedly agree, the scripture is not implying that whatever we want to accomplish, whatever we put our minds to we CAN DO because of Christ and we will be successful because I CAN DO. If that were the case, with all the praying saints around the world, wouldn’t we be in much better shape than we are now? I mean after all, it says, I can do ALL things, so ALL means just that, doesn’t it? Yes, there’s nothing too hard or impossible for G-d but there are things too hard and impossible for man (that’s another scripture) but as it pertains to this particular one; I (you nor me) CANNOT do all things. I mean, I can because I have the will, maybe some knowledge and strength but even those have limitations and when you have limitations, you cannot do all things. Yeah, yeah, we all know G-d is limitless but we’re not talking about him, we’re talking about ourselves and humans have limits, do we not?

By no means as I saying I’m correct (although I probably am 🙂 ) but it does and should give you pause. Take the sport of Triathlon. Doing 3 different disciplines back to back to back requires a great deal of training (knowledge and strength) and will. Depending on the distance, you need more strength (mental and physical) than others. So, if just 10 athletes (out of all the hundreds) doing a 140.6 distance subscribe to Philippians 4:13 and for whatever reason 5 DNF, what happened to the strength they received from Christ? I don’t know about you but it would make me stop and wonder, as it did.

Honestly, I do believe that I can do all things and it is because of Christ. I can do all things because I have knowledge, wisdom, courage, understanding and faith and even a lil bit of physical strength and it was all given to me by G-d, through Christ, so I guess I was wrong, huh. I’m not too familiar with the sensation.

Day 12 – Powerless to Save Ourselves

“I have to surrender, become passive in the presence of a power greater than I.” Fr. Robert Barron

I’m a fan of the 12 Step Program ideology. It is my belief that everyone in life is covering or needs to recover from something. Everyone needs to getmended. I won’t beat this rug til the fabric frays but a while ago I wrote about Step One, so scroll through and reacquaint yourself with that post.

I think passivity gets a bad rap. One of MW’s definitions states c-1 lacking energy or will. I think it takes a great deal of will and energy to surrender and/or not act. With all that is going on in the world, everyone feels that they HAVE to stand up for themselves or others and while that may be true, sometimes surrender is the greatest weapon. I cannot speak on what I would do in situations, my temperament tends to betray logic, reason and common sense but I recognize the Power of Passivity in that none were more passive than Jesus yet none is more powerful.

I surrender all

All to thee my blessed Savior

I, surrender all.

Day 11 – How can we fully enter Adent?

In his notes, Fr. Robert Barron notes that “Vatican II called for a revival in biblical studies, but I don’t think that’s happened yet, at least among average Catholics.” I believe this to be true, not only of Catholics but of many denominations simply because most people don’t know how to study the bible and those who do, don’t know how to teach it.

I participated in RCIA last year and I was amazed how some people who call themselves Christians really have no solid knowledge of Christ. I’m not judging because I’m no theologian scholar but I know what I know and IMHO every Christian should know or have some idea of the very basics. The director of the RCIA class even noted that people who convert to Catholicism are better Catholics than “cradle” Catholics and the “cradle” Catholics in the class were in 100% agreement. They spoke about the information presented in the class are things they never learned about; at home or at church. Turns out, they too learned under the “it’s always been this way” thumb of religious learning.

It is quite difficult to re-acquaint yourself with someone or something when you really may not have an idea of who or what it is you are trying to acquaint yourself with. Since Advent is the season of waiting, why not spend that time acquainting yourself with the reason for the wait. Once you understand that, then join the rest of us in the daily process of re-acquaintance. Christianity; The Original – Who’s on First.

Day 10 – The Highest Mountain

In his reflection, Fr. Robert Barron notes “ For when we give glory to G-d in the highest, we rightly order all our desires: we love G-d first and then all other things for the sake of G-d.” Since this is Christmas time, this is the only time when TV airs A Christmas Carol, I’m talking the original BW movie or even the one with G.C. Scott.

The scene that comes to mind in reference to Fr. Barron’s note is the scene where the Cratchit family is gathered round the table and about to make a toast when Bob proposes a toast to the founder of their feast, Mr. Scrooge. There is bemoaning and disgusted outcry at this request but it is Mrs. Cratchit who, in a round about way, gives glory to G-d in the highest. She says, “I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s”. Now I know, we’re supposed to “love thy neighbor” and in a twisted way, that is what she is doing. She’s “loving” Mr. Scrooge, not for his sake but for the sake of her husband and the Day’s and the day is Christmas, so, there you have it. Giving glory to G-d in the highest, at least that’s how I see it. Often we do this without realizing it. What you do or give someone may not be for their benefit or on their behalf but you may do it out of love – or a great deal of like – for someone else who is connected to that person.

Everything has a source, does it not? The food that was prepared, was bought from a store, paid for with money, money earned for work performed, money paid by employer, money obtained by employer through (insert means), (insert means) provided by (insert source) and it goes on and on. Whatever you have, whatever you have received, whatever you give away came from somewhere; it has a source. It’s no coincidence that the old dowsing rods were often Y shaped. You have to be open to be able to receive.

Why, why why

Can’t we get it right

Just can’t get it right…MJB