Posts tagged ‘Ride for Diapers’

The Mind Body Connection

Two days before I began my ride across America to raise awareness and money for diapers, I talked with my coach, Chris POSTERBagg. He had only been coaching me for 3 weeks, but his training schedule had made it possible for me to at least begin the ride with a reasonable certainty that I could complete it. In this last conversation before the onset of the ride, he talked about the mind body connection. He warned me there would be times my body would hurt. When the pain becomes intense, the mind has the option of telling the body to continue or to quit. So Chris had me think about images I would visualize at such times that would divert my attention away from the pain and allow me to complete the ride. He also told me to focus on the process – the next 10 pedal strokes. This would give my mind something else to focus on while improving my form at the same time.

So this is what I did. When the pain in my legs or my back or my neck became the focus of my thoughts, I chose to visualize Mount Rainier or the beaches of Hawaii. I focused on the mechanics of my pedal strokes. I focused on the most vulnerable in our society and the increased abuse of the infants who are not appropriately diapered. It was an amazing experience. As I focused on the needs of others, the beauty of God’s creation, and the calling I had to take this message across the country, I always had the strength to complete any ride on any day. I completed 108 miles in oppressive heat in Washington state, stiff head winds going to Yellowstone, the monotony of Kansas, the 18% grades in the Appalachian mountains, and the horrific traffic in northern Virginia. Without the mind body connection, I would not have been able to complete this ride.

We read in Luke 2:52 that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” What a picture of health! We were created to function holistically as a single unit with a perfect blend of the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of life. And so when Jesus described His death to the Greeks who saw life as divided between an immortal soul that transmigrates from one being to another at death and a mortal body that simply houses that soul, He said the following in John 12:24… “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jesus, who is described in Luke 2:52 as a living Being who is an integrated whole of body, mind, soul, was to lay down His integrated life so that we could do the same and experience His transforming resurrection power to become a “new creation” as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17.  We need every aspect of our being to overcome sin and bear the fruit of the Spirit that naturally develops in our new life with Him. This is the mind body connection at its best. When we understand the power of this connection as the integrated beings we are, we experience God’s power in our lives. And we can then “do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Have you discovered the mind body connection? If not, I highly recommend you do!

 

Can I Really Do This?

Can I really do this? This is the question I asked myself one month before I was to begin my ride across America on July 8, 2012. It was early June POSTERand I could not ride 50 miles on two consecutive days. My schedule for the ride across America had me riding over 100 miles each of the first two days and over 70 miles per day the rest of that first week. I was becoming acutely aware that I was not ready for the ride to Washington, D.C. This is when I hired a coach, Chris Bagg. Chris is a professional Ironman athlete. He knows endurance sports. He has experienced every obstacle imaginable in competing in the ultimate endurance challenge.

Chris invited me to his testing facility in Portland to identify my heart rate zones and test my level of fitness. He then gave me a training schedule specific to my abilities and goals. By this time I had only three weeks prior to the start of my ride. Not much time to get ready, but what a difference Chris’ training schedule made. But perhaps more important than the schedule he gave me was his statement to me at the end of the testing: “You can do this. There’s no doubt in my mind.” Over the course of the next three months, Chris gave me advice, encouragement, and inspiration that made my ride a reality. I knew I would complete the ride because I trusted the confidence Chris had in me.

We all have, are, or will face life situations that seem impossible. Perhaps you’re looking for a job, a healthy relationship, or meaning in life. Maybe you have a cherished sin you don’t think you can conquer. Or you might be struggling with greed, anger, guilt, or jealousy. Whatever your issue, there are times we all ask ourselves, Can I really do this? Can I overcome my issue? Can I gain victory? Can I be whole again?

Just like in my ride, the key to our success is found in the assurance of our ultimate destiny – salvation. Salvation is the good news that God forgives us and reconciles us to Himself. Salvation means that you and I can be changed today, have victory today, have peace today, and live in confidence of His love and acceptance. Just like Chris told me that he had no doubt about my ability to complete the ride across America, Jesus tell us there is no doubt you and I have salvation. And He should know, He’s the only One who can give this gift. We read in 1 John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”

There is no doubt about your salvation in I John 5:13. You can do this because it’s not about your ability, but about Jesus Christ who has already done everything for you on the cross. The assurance Jesus gives us can be trusted. That’s because it is the assurance from your Coach in life who has been there before you, experienced every temptation, and overcome every obstacle. (See Hebrews 4:15) The assurance of salvation that comes from Jesus means that you CAN do this. Whatever you’re going through, you can make it because He has made it. Whatever the temptation you have, you will overcome because He has overcome. Jesus is with you. Lean into Him, trust Him, listen to Him, and He will lead you to the Promised Land.

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