Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Training At Home

I have a little under a week left to train at home before I begin traveling again for both training with the team and competition. I am so grateful for the time that I do have at home. I am the oldest of five kids and my family is very close knit. Though it can be stressful being at home because there is so much more to do on top of regular training every day, it is a blessing to be with the ones dearest to my heart when I can. Especially since tomorrow is my youngest sister's birthday, I am glad I can share in her excitement.

It was a special treat for me tonight when I was asked to substitute teach a beginners ballet class at our dance studio. I grew up dancing, and miss it a lot since I have not been involved in regular classes for about two years or so. I especially miss teaching! I loved my little girls in my classes. So tonight was a gift for me to teach since I happened to be in town.

A normal day of training for me consists of shooting 2-4 hrs in the morning, workout before lunch (weight training and cardio) then another 1-3 hrs of archery practice in the afternoons depending on my training schedule. I shoot a distance of 70m for competition at a 122cm diameter multi-colored target face. So I practice this format as well as shooting close to a blank target butt and 70m blank bale to work on my form and the feel of the shot. When the weather is too bad to shoot outside I train at our indoor range, Cheyenne Feild Archers Club, where I can get up to 50m distance. At this distance I will also use a smaller target face for aiming.

The reason I picked "psalms-girl" as part of my URL is because that is what I was called by a newspaper who interviewed me in Athens during the 2004 Olympics. They caled me this because while I train and compete I like to memorize portions from the Bible, primarily Psalms and Proverbs. It is a way for me to discipline my mind to focus and to meditate on thoughts that are true and good. I believe the words of Scripture holds life, life-changing power and it is a means by which I can come to know and understand the Lord better. The more I can get the words of God in my heart, the more I can live it out.

Memorizing during training helps me to keep life and my archery aspirations in proper perspective, eternal perspective. You see, I cannot take my medals or achievements with me to the next life. For goodness sake! Who cares who won the National Championship 30 years after the fact or after my life is over? My Pastor used to tell me, "Only one life, 'twill soon be passed. Only what's done for Christ will last." If I live for Christ, surrendered to Him... if I shoot and train my best for Him and His glory... if I build friendships that last, pursuing the kind of genuine relationships with others that Christ desires to have with each individual - Then my life counted for something. Then I have purpose for living each day like it's my last. And when I live for Christ alone... I cannot fail. Because He loves and accepts me unconditionally! Not because of anything I've done! I couldn't possibly DO enough to earn His good favor. But because I am redeemed by Jesus, I am fully acceptable to God! Living in light of this truth has revolutionized my life!!! And I am still trying to grasp it. Still trying to get it through my head that trying to earn value or worth is a dead end road full of pain and disappointment. But when my identity is wrapped up in Jesus and living for Him, not myself, there is no greater joy, no greater hope or abundance of life!

This does not discourage me from working hard to be skilled in my sport or to develop a high standard or performance. Rather, it FREES me to perform my best, train my hardest and shoot my strongest because I need not fear failure nor my weaknesses. Because I am living for the glory of God, offering all that I can, all that I am, I will be acceptable in the eyes of my Lord. I strive to trust Him to determine the outcome of competitions as well as the path of my life. He is faithful.

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