What Are We Training For?

by Rich Dixon on May 11, 2012

Thursday I did my first extended training ride of the season. “Extended” is a relative term—I have a lot of conditioning to accomplish before I’m ready to get On The Road Again in July from Cincinnati to Washington DC.

While I cranked along I thought about training. I wonder if most of life is training for something. When I choose a particular activity it might be useful to ask, “What am I training for?”

I choose to ride almost every day because I’m preparing for long distance rides. You can’t just show up for something like that. Or you can, but the result might not be what you hoped for.

When I train, I choose routes including difficult stretches. I don’t especially like climbing hills or cranking into a headwind, but those are the conditions for which I need to be prepared. The only way to be ready for challenging roads is to ride them in training.

So I think about other parts of life. When I decide to avoid a difficult conversation, what am I training for? When I skip morning quiet time and reading, what am I training for?

When I consistently choose “easy” and “comfortable” I’m training for easy and comfortable. But when adversity arrives—as it inevitably does—it’ll be like showing up for a challenging ride after training by coasting downhill.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

What are the decisions we’re making? What are we training for?

Are we training for the right crown?

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If you’d like to contribute to International Justice Mission (IJM) through my next ride, please go to this page. Please find my name under “participant name” to be certain your donation’s properly credited.

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