The Station

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This weekend is Ironman Mont Tremblant. I signed up for this race nearly a year ago. Six months ago, to the day, I was hit by a car, knocked unconcious and my collarbone was broken in three places. I have come back, swam until my arms felt like they were going to fall off, put in hundreds of solo miles on around hilly and brutally hot Austin hill country and then laced up my shoes to run to my hearts content (and then some). As much as Sunday is about the finish line and the culmination of many hard months of work, I have to remind myself that it's just one moment in my very exciting triathlon journey. It took me a while to find my reason—that thing driving you for 140.6 miles—and I think this is it. Life must be lived. Triathlon makes me feel alive. See you Sunday, Mont Tremblant.

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by Robert J. Hastings

Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that almost spans the continent. We’re traveling by passenger train, and out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hills, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. There will be bands playing and flags waving. And once we get there, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering … waiting, waiting waiting for the station.

However sooner or later we must realize there is no one station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

“When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry. Translated it means, “When I am 18, that will be it! When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes Benz, that will be it! When I put the last kid through college, that will be it! When I have paid off the mortgage, that will be it! When I win a promotion that will be it! When I reach the age of retirement, that will be it! I shall live happily ever after!”

Unfortunately, once we get it, then it disappears. The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track.

“Relish the moment  is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: “This is the day which the Lord hat made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow  Regret and fear are twin thieves that rob us of today.

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot oftener, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

St. Marguerite