Thursday, November 25, 2010

Torn Fibers, Unbroken Spirit


Little known fact: Sometimes I fist pump when I read something really amazing. The above article is one such occasion. I love reading articles about the elderly and their accomplishments. As I believe I've said before, I want to become the coolest, strongest old man ever. I want to make Death drop to his knees panting because he can't keep up with me. When I meet Him, I want to greet Him as an old friend who I've been waiting for all along. Don't fear the reaper.

"You have to know, not fear, know, that some day you're going to die."

Embrace reality. Embrace the fact. Stare deep into the monstrous truth until the terror melts away and all that's left is a friend that's been hurt by your absence. You. Will. Die.

What an odd thing to write in light of an article about increasing the quality of life and prolonging the livability of life. But I don't see it as antipodal ideas colliding. A few years ago I may very well have written something bemoaning the fact that a long life, well-lived, full of spirit but without Christ was meaningless because put on a scale of infinity, any non-infinite particle may as well be zero.

That's no longer something I can write with integrity. My great fear as I've written before was actually going to Heaven. So far as I was concerned my options were fluffy cloud, existential hell or fire, brimstone sensate hell. What difference did it make? My life was lived out of John Piper books and Reformed sermons, taking the conclusions of others as my own premises for building a life. Soli Deo Gloria, punk.  A catastrophic, if understandable, error on my part.

Racing has given me reason to look forward to eternity because racing is where my soul comes alive. I don't particularly care about impressing others with my accomplishments. I'm no Scott Jurek, David Goggins Superman with merchandising and media support. Fine by me. I feel extraordinary ecstasy racing and a true sense of peace training. How much would you pay for euphoria and tranquility? Money, time, fame, friends are fungible. Joy is not.

Any option for eternity is hell if you have not discovered joy in this life. And behold the body. I've been interested in the esoteric, the soft-science, the mostly ridiculed aspects of somatic knowledge for quite awhile now. Yoga is a major contributor to my interest. I'm looking to start up Pilates at some point in the near future. My foundation lays in body-building, power-lifting and Ross. I've always been fascinated by how the dedicated always seem to be the happiest, or to use a more interesting word choice, the most blessed.

In the article, the idea that we're exercising far below our capacity continually peeks through behind the clouds. And that under-performance may well cause our premature chromosomal decay. Let me say this more clearly. Not finding joy in this world may be one reason why our bodies are so quick to leave this world.

Quadriceps that look like they've been devastated by potent serpent venom often accompany faces beaming, bursting with joy. My face certainly shone like that on November 7th. Have you ever had a groin pull? Nasty injury that. I skirted that cliff several times that day. Though the light may have went out of my eyes a few times, the smile never left my face. I was truly overjoyed by the act itself. Not the accomplishment of completion, not the knowledge that I've already done things that most humans could not imagine themselves doing, not anything but the simple act of exertion.Our bodies, our souls crave challenge. Growth, our capacity, is a huge part of our joy. God has made us with so much power and capability. For what? For Facebook? For rotting in front of 500 channels? For shopping and material acquisition? Does this challenge you? Does this make you come alive? Heaven or hell, when you die? Honestly, what's the difference if you've never lived?

It doesn't matter where you are, what you do or what you've done. 100% of your future remains to be lived. How are you going to live?

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