Last year, I found myself in a new group of friends, triatheletes. They are a werid bunch I tell you. Working out 3-5 times a week for fun and then they go on 100 km bike rides over the weekends. Sheesh.
And I wondered why. So last year, Andrew and I started to take their pictures. There is nothing more educational about a group of people than suddenly whipping out a camera. As they got used to us, we began to learn why they do this.
I'll never forget the sensation of walking amoung the atheletes as they prepped for a half ironman or long distance race in the Sierra Nevada, the mountain that towers over Granada. You could feel the buzz of adreneline, and the excitement was palpable. We stood with Liz and Juli, the trainers of this club that are some of our best friends. Juli usually actively particapates, but this time, he was an organizer of the race, and so he was just an observer and a coach.
As everyone got into the water, and stood there waiting for the minute warning, he got all excited and said, "CAN YOU FEEL IT?" and then he turned to me and said, "wait till you hear the sound, the sound when they leave is intense."
Woosh, woosh, woosh, four hundred people are started a 2 km swim was an intense sound. You could, taste, feel, hear and smell the push of adreneline. Truly Amazing.
And as that race came to an end, you could see how everyone had suffered and was so glad to finish.
And in every race I've watched, the end is the most incredible. Men and women alike suffer to the end, cry, pray, dance, and rejoice as they finish. Sometimes they pick up a son or daughter and run with them in their arms, or the little person runs along side them. The last race I watched was a half marathon, and after Liz left me to find her hubbie, I sat there and sobbed outloud as people finished.
It was intense. I was looking for friends I knew and rejoiced when they crossed the finish line. The crowd of specatators would break into shouts as they saw their dad or sister or brother or mom or whomever cross the line.
Two years ago, Andrew and I, and the rest of the family were spectators as we watched Andrew's mom Cross the Finish Line. She passed away after almost 4 years of fighting breast cancer.
There are lucid moments I have when I know that the Other Side is real. When the veil is thinner between the worlds and we know that those who have believed, are saved. We know that seperated by time and space, we are never seperated from God's love.
And so, my own journey here continues. Crazily enough, I ran a 5 k over Christmas break. The sensation of having everyone cheer you to the finish line is intense. Sometimes you feel exhausted and unworthy of their encouragement..but you know you must finish. I always wondered why people did races, and now I know. Because doing one is like a shallow reflection of this life, and sometimes we need to remember, we are in a race, and I hope to finish well. I think Mom would be proud to know that the race goes on, and we look forward to seeing her at the finish line.