Have you ever raced a cycling time trial? Last year, some cyclists-turned-triathletes put the word out that the Tennessee State Time Trial Championships would right outside of Nashville, and that it was only $25 to enter. No swimming, no running- just 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) of pure cycling on a straight out and back course.
I’d never done a bike-only event, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I borrowed a friend’s aero helmet (are those weird or what?), and headed out. When I arrived, I asked one of our resident uber-cyclists, Lisa Starmer, for any tips she might have for a first timer. The main thing, she said, was to get rid of everything that was unnecessary. Now as a triathlete, you’re used to having a loaded bike, because you have to be prepared for a lot, and you need to be able to fuel (eat and drink) to be able to run a 10K or a half marathon afterward. Not so here. Lisa proceeded to point out everything I needed to remove. “You need to get rid of every ounce of extra weight you have. No Bento (food) box, no second water bottle, and no tire repair kit. If you get a flat, you’re done. They’ll just come and pick you up.” Thanks to Lisa’s advice, I did a lot better than I thought I would.
This got me to start thinking about what else in life we might be able to streamline. What can we remove to make our lives lighter, so that we can endure our own trials, and be able to focus on doing what we need to do best? One of my favorite verses helps in summing this up:
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
What’s one unnecessary thing can you remove from your life that is holding you back? What is one thing you’ve removed in the past that helped make you better?