Friday, December 20, 2013

Training, Sacrifice, and Merry Christmas.

Its that time of year when we all look forward to our Christmas breaks.  Students get a couple weeks off or nearly a month for you college students.  Teachers, like my wife, look forward to some much needed rest from the students.  For us athletes like myself who have been training for about 4 months straight I sure wish I had a few weeks off!  The truth is I'm beat up, physically my body just hurts, I have plantar fasciitis in my feet and limp around for an hour every morning until it loosens up.  My shoulder aches at night and keeps me from sleeping, my toes kill every workout from my bunion, my body just aches all over.  This is the hardest Ive ever worked for the longest prolonged period.

When most people think of the sacrifices I make they think of this pain, the physical pain of pushing my body to the limit every day to strive toward a goal that most can barely comprehend.  Its true, I sacrifice my body and push it through pain greater than most would ever endure voluntarily and for free!  I'm used to the pain, I know that the pain I endure is necessary, because the rewards in the future will be worth it.

There are other sacrifices that most don't think about.  My parents retired this year, finally!  My dad retired from being a full time minister and my mom as a kindergarten teacher at a private christian school.  They have lived in Freeport, Illinois where I grew up for the past 37 years and decided to move closer to family.  A month before they moved to northern Indiana about 5 miles from where I lived at the time, Amanda and I moved to Knoxville!  Rather than being 15 minutes away we are now 8 hours away.  I knew that If I was serious about continuing my vault career this move had to happen but talk about sacrifice!  I sacrificed some great time with my parents, helping them move and fix up their new place, which was greatly needed.  I will be able to spend a total of 2 days with them for Christmas this year before travelling to western New York to be with Amanda's family for 3 days before meeting the training group in Cleveland, Ohio for a week long training camp.

This sacrifice has been felt the hardest as the holiday approaches, not only the stress of travel but knowing the time spent together will be minimal, its times like these that make me want that break right about now.  But there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  Indoor season is less than a month away!  The thrill of competition reignites the fire under my butt to stay strong!  To keep at it, and remember whats its all for!  I have so much confidence that this year is my year!  The sacrifices are finally going to pay off!  But you know what, even if they don't,  I'm injured and don't get to see my work pay off fully.  I know that I have done what most wont just so I could have the chance to achieve what most cant and I guess that whats its all about, the journey.  I'm thanking God for the sacrifices this holiday season. The sacrifices are what set us apart, taking the high road, not taking the easy way out, its what makes you strong.  Be thankful for the sacrifices you've had to make this year, it makes the good times that much better.

I can only imagine its what Jesus was thinking when he left his place in heaven to come to earth as a baby born in a barn, all to save us!  Now that's sacrifice!


" Well you only need the light when its burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you've been high when your feeling low
Only hate the road when your missing home"
-Passenger- " Let Her Go"


So here's to the heartache, the pain and struggle!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Always Pursuing -Mark-
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