Sunday, February 7, 2010

Against the Odds

There are times in life when the absolutely impossible somehow, inexplicably, becomes possible. Saturday was one of those days.

My daughter, Lori, and I were in the mountains for a few days of skiing. I didn't make goals this year for skiing because I have some shoulder problems that seemed to make any progress impossible. The first shoulder rehab exercises seemed to make my shoulder worse. I stopped lifting all weights. I got a "preventive" MRI which resulted in a diagnosis of a (probable?) rotator cuff tear (small), bursitis, tendonitis, and a tiny bit of arthritis. Then add stomach flu the week prior to skiing, and not being able to eat much for over a week. Then laryngitis and a cold behind it. These are not good odds for success!

Yet, there we were, ready to ski. The morning of skiing was horrible--nothing felt right and nothing seemed to be going right. So, to my instructor/friends/coach Charlie, I had the idea to go up to something harder and be tethered (ropes attached from behind my ski to control speed or bad turns). But at the top, Charlie said, "you're going to have to do the first part off tether." What?!! By myself?!! Bad shoulder, weak, no good training, disaster pending! But I made the first part, so continued. 2 turns-->splat. 3 turns-->splat. A few more turns-->face plant--I've never done that. So Charlie started taking out the tether...
enter competitor Beth--no, no... no way I have gone this far and I'm not finishing this thing, even if it's not pretty. So off we went. It wasn't pretty. But I finished. Charlie: "And that's a Bonanza." (Bonanza is the name of the run).

Yes, odds stacked against me, with me thinking there would be no harder runs this year off-tether. Wrong.

That night I truly thought my nose would explode, or I might explode in a cough attack. But I was back the next day, this time with instructor Michael. We did Bonanza but he convinced me to add half of Columbia, much harder, to the end. And it was better. And for this I kept envisioning Jean Ann (old coach who now has ALS) at the trees, watching, telling me not to let the fear win. And mostly, it didn't.

So, there are miracles in life, including that Lori didn't think I could manage the hotel thing without Grandma or Dave. I told her there may be things in life that seem impossible, but you should try them and maybe ask for a little help. And then those things become possible.

Competitor Beth. Jean Ann there in spirit. Perhaps God somehow watching all of this in support. What was definitely impossible was actually possible. Against the odds--turn it over to God, and know that no matter what happens, no matter how many crashes, no matter whether there is actually success, God is there. Thanks be to God.

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