Sharing the Gift

January 3, 2018

I hate racing – that is, until I’m doing it and I’m living in the moment.  I don’t like the thought of an upcoming race, the competition, my inadequacies as a runner, and the myriad of things that can go wrong.  And I especially hate the moments before a race when I feel all clammy and want to throw up.  Once I take the first few hundred meters and can settle into a pace though, the running comes back naturally to me and all that other stuff leaves my brain and once again I am in the moment, simply running, and breathing.  The disdain for racing probably also stems from the pressure I put on myself to perform well, which is ridiculous considering that I’m an amateur and relatively inexperienced.  The selfishness and self-centeredness of my alcoholism plays a big part in this, no doubt.  But it also pushes me to be the best I can be on any given day and it helps me to write this ongoing story of my life wherein I seek to suffer and persevere. 

I hate racing – that is, until I’m doing it and I’m living in the moment.  I don’t like the thought of an upcoming race, the competition, my inadequacies as a runner, and the myriad of things that can go wrong.  And I especially hate the moments before a race when I feel all clammy and want to throw up.  Once I take the first few hundred meters and can settle into a pace though, the running comes back naturally to me and all that other stuff leaves my brain and once again I am in the moment, simply running, and breathing.  The disdain for racing probably also stems from the pressure I put on myself to perform well, which is ridiculous considering that I’m an amateur and relatively inexperienced.  The selfishness and self-centeredness of my alcoholism plays a big part in this, no doubt.  But it also pushes me to be the best I can be on any given day and it helps me to write this ongoing story of my life wherein I seek to suffer and persevere. 

The results are also up to my Creator:  what I say as a speaker and how it affects others, how I perform on race day – I do not necessarily have control over these things, but if I put the work in, day in and day out, I trust my Creator to work for the good.  At the end of the day, I’m not defined by an AA talk or a race result, but by my consistency to practice The Steps and to run more steps, with joy and gratitude – a race bib or a podium is our chance to give back, even if it be daunting. 

“We no longer strive to dominate or rule those about us in order to gain self-importance. We no longer seek fame and honor in order to be praised. When by devoted service to family, friends, business, or community we attract widespread affection and are sometimes singled out for posts of greater responsibility and trust, we try to be humbly grateful and exert ourselves the more in a spirit of love and service. True leadership, we find, depends upon able example and not upon vain displays of power or glory” (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, 124).

AA Grapevine’s “At Wit’s End” Joke of the Week:

I went to the liquor store Friday afternoon on my bicycle, bought a bottle of vodka and put it in my basket.  As I was about leave, I thought to myself, “If I fall off the bicycle, the bottle will break.”  So I drank all the vodka before I cycled home.  It turned out to be a very good decision because I fell off my bicycle seven times on the way home.

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