COVID-19 has provided a platform for some people to really excel in athletics in unbelievable ways. They are turning the tough times into terrific things! Here are four examples to read:
A Chinese marathoner named Pan Shancu lives in a small apartment, but he decided to use the extra time running a marathon inside his apartment. It was a 26-foot course – that figures to be about 9 yards.
He ran 31 miles in that small circle, which required 6,250 laps. He did it in 4 hours, 48 minutes, and 44 seconds. Pan said, “I have not been outside for many days, but today I could not bear sitting around anymore. I am sweating all over, feels great!” That’s going around in a circle a lot of times! What are you accomplishing with your time every day?
I love reading about people who excel in some sporting event – especially if they are relatively new to the sport. That happened at the New York City Marathon in November 2019. A 25-year old Kenyan athlete, Joyciline Jepkosgei, had never competed in a 26.2-mile race before, but she had a goal to finish the race strong. She was focused on it.
At the 20-mile mark, Joyciline passed the 4-time champion, Mary Keitany. She then pulled ahead of all 52,000 runners and crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 22 minutes, and 38 seconds. It was the second-fastest time recorded for women on that course! Joyciline said that she didn’t feel any pressure, she just wanted to compete strong. She did! Whatever you’re engaged in – compete strong!
George Wood is a 62-year-old Marine veteran. He wanted to break the world record for holding a plank pose – that’s one of the toughest things in physical fitness where nothing but your toes and elbows touch the floor. Not many people can do it for 20 minutes. He assumed the plank position and held it for 8 hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds! A new world record!
He spent 18 months training for this event. He did 2,000 sit-ups, 700 push-ups, and 500 leg squats every day. It took him 5 hours each day to train for a year and a half, but he did it! Guess what? When he broke the record, he celebrated by doing 75 push-ups! What’s your goal today? How disciplined are you to reach it?
Lloyd Black is 90 years old. He wanted to improve his health, so he joined a local gym. His first day there, he could not accomplish a 10-minute walk on the treadmill, but he continued showing up at Anytime Fitness in Semmes, AL. He now can go a half-hour of power walking and lift weights.
It’s really interesting to see him because he works out in overalls! When asked about it, he said, “Because I can’t keep my pants up!” He is enjoying teaching other seniors how to use exercise machines. Recently, he was recognized as “gym member of the month.” He gives some good advice to anybody who wants to get fit, “Go ahead – get started.”
Remember – in tough times or easy times, the most terrific thing is to win the imperishable wreath! (Read I Cor. 9:24-27)