After much prayer and careful consideration I’m very excited to have been given, and accepted, the responsibility of establishing the FCA Endurance team in Columbia. I’m very humbled that my friend Tommy Morgan would recommend me for this task as he is being pulled in other directions by other commitments. I’m also very blessed to have the help and support other friends and athletes in this undertaking including Bob Wright and Slick and Donna Douglass, who serve both at the local level in Sumpter and the organizational level.
On a national scale the team is made up of more than just triathletes, it includes endurance athletes of all kinds including the recent approval of the team by USA Cycling as a sponsored club. Although triathlon is my personal passion and focus, my hope is that the local Columbia team grows to include many different athletes including road cyclists and mountain bikers, runners, etc. The common thread is that all these athletes compete in endurance sports, believe in Christ, have a willingness to share their faith, have desire to make a positive impact on the endurance world, and have committed to competing in accordance to the Competitors Creed.
At the heart of the team is the question “Why do you race?” It’s a personal question that I believe endurance competition brings every athlete to ask themselves eventually. When you’re in a race or even a hard training session and you’re giving everything you have, applying everything you’ve built and learned in training, and you’re suffering for the sake of speed or just finishing, you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”, “Why am I putting myself through this?” For me personally, I couldn’t push on if the answer was “To show how awesome I am” or whatever. For me, it HAS to be bigger than me. It HAS to be more than me. My answer HAS to be “To glorify God. To show what He’s done in my life. To demonstrate how far He’s brought me. To show the world what He can do for them and through them. He took a self-serving, addicted, lost, and dying person and gave me purpose, blessed me, gave me a beautiful wife and beautiful children, He preserved and increased my health, He saved me, He redeemed me to Himself. I owe him everything. I’m willing to offer nothing less than my entire life, so here it is. I’m laying everything I have out there. Here’s 100%. Now let’s go!” ~ And I push on.
If you race in South Carolina you’ve probably already noticed a strong FCA-E presence at the two races we’ve had this season in the form of volunteers, expo tent and athletes. This is a result of the partnership between Setup Events and FCA-E. We hope that the more of a presence we have in service to the race director and athletes and on the podium, the more other athletes will be emboldened and encouraged to share their faith or ask simply themselves why they race?
One of the first things that we did was establish this blog (http://fcaecolumbia.blogspot.com) to give the team a place to centralize and publish information. In the coming weeks we hope to establish regular training rides, bricks and track workouts to help athletes reach new levels in their abilities. These training sessions will be open to anyone who would like train with the team and we encourage teammates to invite their friends and training partners. Also, we hope of offer several triathlon weekend training camps during the summer for athletes and their spouses at Clarks Hill (Lake Thurman) where the focus will be on open water swimming and logging some good miles on the bike and run.
So, if you or anyone you know wants to be a part of a team of athletes that will encourage each other, push each other, pray for each other, and serve together, join the team.