My attitude is like the weather – negative. Right now it’s -17 with the wind chill (maybe more) on the ski hill and we still have to show up – in two hours, for the ski races today.  My body feels resistant and angry about this situation.

Of course we don’t control the weather, just our response to it. And my toleration of this on-going negative weather has turned into blunt anger. These bitterly cold temperatures have been visiting us off and on since November and have essentially stolen many great ski and skating days because it’s been painfully cold outside.

Today I want to throw in the white towel. I want to go back to bed and let the kids sleep in. I want to give myself permission to just skip this race day – and take a day off.  I want to declare today a pajama day and play board games with the kids.  I am physically tired from limited sleep and a hectic pace. I know that the same is mostly true for the kids after a feel week of school demands on them, too.  My husband, the man who manages all the gear packing, is out of town today, which doubles my work load for getting our family out for a day of skiing – with every piece of winter clothing we own along with snacks.  The sum is a costly day that outweighs the benefits. Or does it?

Folks would not blame me/us if we did not show up.  Undoubtedly others will choose not to attend the race today. The kids even said last night that they don’t want to ski today.  After two previous ski race seasons, the kids aren’t even excited about the race – they know that the Alyeska kids have an overwhelming advantage over us on the course and steel, I mean earn, most of the medals.  As a Mom, a member of our team and as a ski coach, this is where the rubber meets the road. (“Idiom Definition for ‘Where the rubber meets the road: Where the rubber meets the road is the most important point for something, the moment of truth. An athlete can train all day, but the race is where the rubber meets the road and they’ll know how good they really are.”)

How committed are we to the ski team in general, to our team mates we’re on and to the players we coach?  How committed are we to our home team, to own well being?  At one point do we just hang on and when do we let go?

Today is an endurance test.  It reminds me of being in labor with my third child. We had committed to a natural, drug-free birth. Yet as the contractions grew tighter, the concept of numbing the pain nearly overtook my prepared commitment to give our child the best start in life – a drug-free birth. It was very hard at certain moments, but in the end, we delivered a beautiful baby girl, naturally. It was exhilarating and one of the three most extraordinary moments of my life. (Tears come into my eyes as I write and my body remembers the overwhelming rush of joy and endorphins in those delivering moments.) I am deeply grateful I stayed true to my commitment (and that we had a medically safe delivery that allowed this opportunity.)

So here we go. Today I begin with you, God. I believe if it’s your will for us to race, we will do so safely. I believe that today is an opportunity to model endurance to my home team – our three children, ages 7, 8, and 10.  It’s my prayer that we stay safe today – and that our precious children learn the value of following through on a pledge with inner strength and a willing attitude.  It’s also my prayer that my mind set thaw out.  Who knows, maybe we’ll have a lot of fun with teammates, bring home the medals (if the competition stays home, we have an advantage)…we might end up having the best race day ever!

2 Samuel 10:12 “Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God.  The Lord will do what is good in his sight.”

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