This year I started to submit my writings to several online publishing sites. One of my favorites is 121 Words. Their tagline is “All you need for a great story.” The challenge is expressing your ideas concisely into exactly 121 words; no more and no less. So far, I have had ten stories published including the following three that deal with Faith, Fitness, and Family (though not specifically mentioned). I have also included a link below in case you are interested in reading all ten of my stories. Each story is a unique expression of a message that is on my heart.
To give you an idea of what you can say in 121 words, this introduction is exactly 121 words.
- Am I Running with You Jesus?
In 1969 I read the book Are You Running with Me Jesus? I don’t remember much about it, but today I ask myself, “Am I running with you Jesus?”
In the final scene of the movie Saving Private Ryan, Ryan, as an older man, sees the grave of Captain Miller and says “I have tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that at least in your eyes I have earned what all of you have done for me.” Then he says to his wife, “Tell me I have led a good life. Tell me I’m a good man.”
Her response was, “You are.”
May Jesus’ evaluation of me be the same.
- Carl Lewis, Baby!
Carl Lewis is considered by many to be the greatest track and field athlete of all time, accumulating nine Olympic gold medals, ten Olympic medals, and eight gold medals at the World Championships in his illustrious career.
This is how he described his race strategy, “My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you’ll win. Channel your energy. Focus.”
Similarly, as I take my place in the second row for another 60 minutes of kick-a$$ high intensity group fitness work, I look in the mirror, take a deep breath and think to myself, “Yeah, I can do this. Carl Lewis, baby!”
- Life is a Fartlek
The saying “Life is a marathon not a sprint” is only partially true. Life generally plays out in long slow strides. However, there are also sprints in life that require sudden burst of energy. That’s why a better metaphor for life is a “fartlek”. Unless you are a competitive runner, you might not be familiar with this awful sounding word.
Fartlek, or “speed play” in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training. Fartlek training is simply defined as periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running.
Therefore, we need to learn when to speed up and when to slow down our lives; this is the true meaning of fartlek or speed play living.