My Wife and I Trained to Play Dirty

My wife and I got down and dirty. It was fun.

Coming up out of the water crossing.

Here we are coming up out of the water crossing. Six miles, twenty-one obstacles. What could be better?

There were mud pits to crawl through, cargo nets to climb, walls to scale, push-ups to push, hills to run up and down, and lots of sandy grit that immediately fell into our shoes and ultimately worked its way into every nook and cranny of our beings.

My goal for the race was to have fun and keep a running pace for the entire course. Mission accomplished on both counts – although on the long uphill stretch that came in mile five I would say that my running pace was what the writer had in mind when coining the phrase “snail’s pace”.

Our race times were good. My wife finished about two minutes ahead of me and came in second out of thirty-six in her division, while I came in ninth out of thirty-seven in mine. Overall we ranked well within the top 20% of the 1202 runners who finished the race.

We didn’t just show up and run, of course. We work out, lift weights, run miles – all the things you’d expect for someone who signs up for one of these obstacle course races. Our ordinary routine paid off for an extraordinary day of fun.

Training Pays Off

Keri Wyatt Kent wrote last week of getting back into running and being ready for her first 15 k race.

A few years ago, a milestone birthday reminded me that my habit of giving up running for, oh, a year at a time, was not sustainable. If I was that wildly inconsistent, eventually I would not be able to run. I realized that I needed to run while I still could, so that I could keep running as I got, ahem, older. If I wanted to be running in my 70s, I couldn’t start then.

Keri Wyatt Kent (not running)

Keri Wyatt Kent (not running)

Why do I run? Today, it was sheer discipline. I ran so that when I show up for the race on Sunday, I’m able to finish. It is a preparation for things to come. But more than that, running reminds me that life’s difficulties need not define me. Facing challenges builds strength, not just in running but in life.

Her words remind me of Paul’s advice to Timothy.

Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8.)

But what does it mean to train yourself to be godly? I think it goes to the advice given by the writer of Hebrews.

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3.)

This is what that training regimen looks like:

  • Loosen your grip on things that entangle you, whether sin or anything else that hinders.
  • Focus on Jesus, not yourself or your sins.
  • Keep your mind on him, finding that in considering all he has done for us we can take heart and not grow weary.

This is the training that pays off, then: our relationship with Jesus who is the “perfecter of our faith”. After all, there’s no one better trained than the person whose faith Jesus has already made perfect.

***

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20 Responses to My Wife and I Trained to Play Dirty

  1. keriwyattkent says:

    I love how you tied this into training for godliness. I believe that if the Apostle Paul had lived in our day, he might have been a marathoner. 🙂 Congrats to you and your wife on running the race with endurance! (in so many ways!)

  2. Aimee Byrd says:

    Great picture!! I love this article, Tim. You know how much I love to talk about our need for theological fitness, and physical fitness offers so many wonderful analogies. As we train in the Word, our faith is conditioned to hold fast to God’s promises as we face different experiences (aka obstacles and mud!), but we can be confident that we will make it to the end because Christ has run before us and won the victory! He has qualified us to be in the race, and he is with us.

    • Tim says:

      Theological fitness and faith conditioning are great ways to put it in today’s exercise-oriented society, Aimee. God prepares us in godliness for his glory. There’s nothing better to train for.

      When it comes to physical training, you and Matt should sign up for one of these runs. There’s one in Maryland next year, so it’s not too far away for you.

  3. Jeannie says:

    That’s a great photo, Tim (and another great post title!). And congratulations to you and your wife on your results in this race. My husband is the real athlete in our family but we both believe in fitness as a lifestyle. So I appreciate your keys to making spiritual fitness our lifestyle too. I like Paul’s reference to how Jesus endured what He did because of the joy that was set before Him.

  4. marsdenmom says:

    So awesome, Tim! Looks like you had a great race. I’m hoping to conquer my next Rugged Maniac race in the spring. You guys should check it out!

  5. Laura Droege says:

    I needed to read this today. Thanks, Tim.

  6. Adriana says:

    Wow! What a great picture! I’m so impressed! Looks like a lot of fun. Love how you tied your experience to Scripture.

    • Tim says:

      We actually swam a portion of the water crossing while most others waded in water up to their necks. This crossing was in the first half of the course and we’d just come out of the second mud crawl so this rinsed us off a bit, but there was still one massive mud pit coming among the many remaining obstacles. Plus there was more grit than you could shake a stick at.

  7. Pastor Bob says:

    Cool – I knew the physical dirt was coming, but to train for godliness – not bad, in fact very good. Was this one of the “Run Amok” (a muck) races we hear about?

    Hear about the racers who were disqualified for helping an opposing team member cross the line after being injured? All the coaches thanked them, as did the officials- before breaking the bad news.

    • Tim says:

      This one was called the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run. everybody who needed help over an obstacle or across the finish line got help. No disqualifications allowed!

  8. Bronwyn Lea says:

    It made me so happy to see you and Liz in this picture 🙂

  9. Your wife’s got crazy muscles! I feel so out of shape now. hehe. How exciting for you guys to do this together. Aw.

  10. Pingback: Running Like an Inflated Drunkard | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

  11. Pingback: Running Like an Inflated Drunkard | bronwyn's corner

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