November 15, 2015

100 Miles Of Motivation

On October 12th I joined something called the Fit For Fall 100-Mile Paddle Challenge. It was just a simple challenge between a group of us regular paddlers to paddle a total of 100 miles between October 12th and December 11th. I was hesitant at first to join the challenge because I wasn't sure with the weather turning colder and the days getting shorter that I would be able to complete the 100 miles within the allotted time frame. But, it was all for fun so I joined in without expecting to really care about my results.

I've never considered myself a very competitive person. But, as I started logging more and more miles due to the great weather we've been having, I became motivated to reach the goal of 100 miles. Not only did I complete the hundred miles, I did so by November 11th, one full month before the challenge ends, and was in 2nd place on the leader board after completing my last paddle, coming in at a total of 102.3 miles. This was a good feeling, but even better than that was the experience of getting to know the other challenge participants at an even deeper level while out there paddling together, working toward a common goal.

There were a lot of days when I was paddling by myself, but also several days where I was with a group, or paddling with one person. This gave me the opportunity to talk with them and learn more about them. It was the one-on-one paddles that led to the deeper conversations which seemed to naturally gravitate toward topics of faith.

Our conversations weren't about the paddle challenge, but instead about the challenges we were each facing in life. It was encouraging to know I wasn't the only one facing similar challenges. And it was an opportunity to be an encouragement to them too.

Even though I've already met the 100 miles ahead of most of the other participants, I'm going to still participate through to the last day of the challenge when weather permits because I want to continue investing in the new relationships this past-time has brought into my life. Who knew the Fit For Fall challenge would not only make me physically fit, but also spiritually fit?