“Sprint the finish”, I said to my son, Levi, as he was struggling to put one foot in front of the other during the last few miles of his half iron man. “No matter what happens, you have to reserve that little bit of energy to sprint the finish”!  And sprint the finish he did! He didn’t just sprint across the line he jumped high in the air and clicked both heals together after swimming, biking, and running over 70 miles.  That is what I hope to do as I finish this journey here on earth.

We are each here on earth serving our own individual mission. Our missions were specifically designed for us, at the right time, in the right place, and under the right circumstances to teach each of us all we needed to be taught. As we courageously move forward, day after day, on these missions we’ve been assigned to, if we learn endurance, but reserve enough energy to sprint the finish, we will be able to help not only ourselves, but others along our path.

On the spin bikes at the gym, there is a digital monitor. It indicates the RPM (revolutions per minute) or your speed, your LEVEL, or how much resistance you add to the bike, as well as a readout called WATTS.  Watts is a combination of speed and resistance, showing you at any given time how much energy you are expending. As we rode though long endurance pushes today I cued the class only to watch their watts.  The only goal was to gradually and consistently maintain or increase watts throughout class, ending with a higher number than we started with. Each participants watt output was different according to what they, personally, could handle.  The speed and resistance levels were completely different on every bike.  So it is in life. We are all given what we can handle. Sometimes we move fast and sometimes we have much resistance, but regardless, we are always learning and growing and hence, increasing our ability to move closer to reaching our full potential or output.

Last week some dear friends of mine lost their son in a tragic automobile accident. (Well, I hate the term “lost”, Stetson is not lost, he is actually found.  A merciful father in Heaven has taken him home to walk with him and help him recall his mission and purpose so that he can fulfill it from the other side.) Stetsons Dad, “coach Peck”, was my son, Riley’s, football coach.  Three years ago when my son was diagnosed with cancer Coach Peck (Dave) and his loving wife, Christy, did a fund raiser for our family and throughout the past three years have prayed for us and checked in with us and been worried about the chance of us losing our son to cancer.
As I have pondered what I feel is not a coincidence, but rather a very powerful lesson, I have been asking myself, what is being taught?
This is what I’ve learned. While my family has been living in fear of death, the Pecks have been living each day to the fullest. The possibility of death was not knocking at their door (at least not that they were aware of) and so they lived in the present rather than the future. Meanwhile, my family lived in fear of cancer and the possibility of death, and I ask myself, did that prohibit us from living life to its fullest, but mostly, did it keep me from living in the present… from BEing where I am?

None of us know how many days we have on this earth. None of us are guaranteed a certain amount of time. We cannot control much, especially not cancer, but what we can control, is how we spend each moment. If our minds are on a hamster wheel, running the circles of “what if” and “if only” we are not HERE. We are in our head, and worse, we are living in the past or in the future and we are missing RIGHT NOW.  The biggest tragedy in not staying present is not the time we waste, it is the inability to connect to what some refer to as “our higher power”.  I, personally, know this higher power to be God and His Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ. When I am present and aware and fully awake, I am able to send and receive light, the exchange is fluid and seamless. Frankly, it is amazing and miraculous to feel within yourself or to witness in others. It is truly astounding to see this or experience this place of alignment.

My dear son, Riley, has been assigned a particular mission that includes cancer. He is one of my greatest hero’s and I have learned more from him than almost anyone. He is in a unique situation, Dr’s have told him and statistics show that people in his situation often don’t survive. No one knows for sure, miracles happen and if anyone could be a miracle it would most definitely be my son, Riley.

Because of, or through, I should say, this battle with cancer our family has been engaged in, I have been schooled at a very fast and intense pace. I have learned many valuable lessons about the importance and the advantage of “Embracing Adversity”.

This blog is a place where I feel impressed to share what I’ve learned, through my sons cancer, and other trials, about how and why to “Embrace Adversity”.

I’d like to share my family’s journey through this treacherous and horrifying word and disease called cancer. It does not define us, nor will it destroy us.  I have chosen to put cancer in its place and use it as a stone to step on as I learn and grow from the experience. It is not easy.  It is not fun.  At times, it is in fact, excruciatingly painful and scary. I would like to share all of this, in hopes of helping another who is struggling with cancer or any other “mission assignment “ they have been given, to offer hope and encouragement and to validate those who have not been validated in their suffering.  I want to share my light with others because I feel the Lord has blessed me with an outpouring of light from Him.