Personal Goals Are A Team Effort

Mark’s turning 40 next month. Yep, my young hubby is growing up. For years he’s had the dream of doing a triathlon. So as a way to celebrate his new decade he decided he would participate in Boise’s 70.3 Ironman.

I was thrilled. I love triathlons – watching them, that is – but I’ve never considered doing one myself. I have this issue with open water swimming.  The idea of not seeing what is lurking below me kind of freaks me out.

Growing up in the south, I heard urban legends of water skiers landing in beds of water moccasins who aggressively attacked the unsuspecting skier. I know – horrible. What if I swam through one of those? Oh and let’s not forget Jaws! No need to say more on swimming in the ocean.

However, Mark wanted me to train and do a triathlon. I was touched he wanted me to share in his dream with him but still unsure. He has a way of wearing me down, uh, I mean convincing me to do things I otherwise thought were impossible and I finally agreed.

I decided to start with the shorter sprint distance due to a bad knee. If that went well, then I’d try to work my way up to a longer race.

Our local YMCA in Boise has a great triathlon program that prepares people of all levels to complete in all distances of the triathlon. Our kids had participated in the youth program and we were impressed with the other members and coaches, so we decided to join.

My first day in the pool I was so nervous, I felt like I was drowning before I even got in the pool. I did track workout where I almost puked. And after my first time on the bike, I couldn’t sit comfortably for days due to a sore bum.

I didn’t see how I’d ever work my way up to completing any distance, no matter how short.

That was months ago and I still have a long way to go but I’m amazed with how far I’ve already come. I’m seeing for the first time that it is possible for me to complete the distance. I’m even losing my fear of open water.

 Much of this is due to the people I’m around. They’ve helped me overcome my mental demons. They’ve shared their wisdom and stories – all of which has been a source of positive encouragement.

Personal goals are often achieved as a group effort…

1.)  Surround yourself with experts. The coaches at the Y have been so valuable. They’ve given me tips on swimming, running and biking techniques, gear, etc. All of this wisdom would have taken me years to obtain on my own (if ever).

2.)  Surround yourself with the experienced. Other tri-members have shared their stories, past fears and mistakes with me. These have all encouraged and reminded me that my struggles are normal and will soon pass.

3.)  Surround yourself with positive people. I’m amazed with the positive energy in the group. This fuels me not to let a bad day get me down but instead to stay focus on the goal of finishing a race.

Proverbs 13:20 tells us, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

God didn’t mean for us to race alone. He knew we’d need each other.

It’s much easier for someone to pull us down than to pull us up, making it all the more important to surround yourself with people of good character and common goals. Just as important, we need to be that person for others too.

When I do my first triathlon, it’s up to me to cross the finish line but it’ll take a team to get me there.

Who are the people you most spend time with? Do they help or hinder you in reaching the goals God’s given you?

Are you a positive force in the lives of others?


  1. very interesting beausce I am a freshman in college and have been planning on pursuing a Worship degree from Liberty University. I have always loved music and have written over 100 songs throughout my life in order to learn some of the notes i started learning piano/notes and continued playing guitar however, after a little while I got really stressed beausce the notes were getting hard to learn and I felt really pressured to learn the music notes quickly. I stopped really knowing who I was..i got go burned out of rushing through trying to learn the information that I stopped playing piano, stopped plaiying guitar, and stopped writing music. I was so confused beausce not writing music made me feel like I did’t even know who I was anymore. But at the same I time I knew that I loved music and that I would be willing to get up every day to work with music for no pay. After some thought, I realized that music should stay a hobby for me. It scares me to think that I could lose my love for music in an attepmt to make something of my music. I think I am going to pursue a another degree instead (like maybe English) and then spend my spare time playing music for fun. I also feel a lot less pressured to get involved in Liberty’s worship teams-beausce if I do not make the tryouts I will not feel like my whole career is shattered. Overall, I know that I have a huge passion for music, and I want to share my passion with other people. However, I think that I should major in something besides music and then spend my spare time using my musical abilities (like at church.) So thank you guys for putting all the information you did. I actually was talking about how I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career this morning. So God bless you!

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