A Determined Rise

"Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light." --Micah 7:8

Read: Micah 7

HurdlesLast night, I had an epic wipeout on my new beach cruiser -- an "into-a-rail-and-over-the-handlebars" kind of spill. If you've ever fallen, you're probably familiar with the question you are faced with in the moments after: Do I get up and carry on, or stay on the ground and wallow in my misfortune? Two Olympic hurdlers illustrated the difference for us last summer.

In one of the heats of the women's 400-meter hurdles, two athletes met disaster but each recovered differently. Just a few seconds into the race, Vania Stambolova of Bulgaria hit the first hurdle, tumbling hopelessly to the track surface as her competition shrunk quickly into the distance. Maureen Jelegat-Maiyo of Kenya stumbled disastrously over a hurdle a few moments later. Both fell. But only one finished.

Dejected and physically beaten, Stambolova picked herself up and ambled reluctantly off of the track, conceding defeat. Jelegat-Maiyo, on the other hand, sprung up and continued on. She finished in last place, almost four seconds behind her next nearest competitor -- a lifetime in the world of elite hurdles. Despite her heroic recovery, there was little fanfare for the Kenyan hurdler to look forward to at the finish. No flash bulbs, no doting reporters -- just the knowledge that she'd picked herself up, run hard and given her best effort, both for herself and her countrymen.

How often do you charge out of the blocks on faith, only to stumble at the start? We misjudge our own power, we underestimate our weaknesses, and we short ourselves on hurdles of health. Sometimes, as was the case on my ride, the falls are catastrophic and sudden, leaving us to wonder what happened. But those stumbles are never enough to knock us out of the race. In fact, our victory -- which begins with a determined rise -- is assured because of the One who has already succeeded on the same obstacle-ridden course. As long as you commit to collecting yourself from a fall, there is no hurdle ahead you can't bound with His help.

--Eric Velazquez

UPDATE ON JIMMY'S 14-DAY POST-SURGERY APPT Great news! Jimmy's check-up went incredibly well yesterday. He's ready for a 3-month healing and rehab process. Thank you for your sincere prayers. Let's raise praise.

 

EXERCISE IN FOCUS: REVERSE CRUNCH Yesterday's Workout of the Week started off with the reverse crunch because the lower abs are typically the most undertrained area of the midsection. Leading off with it -- you should always train weaknesses first -- allows you to target this hard-to-change area of your body faster. Here's a bit more about it, and some info on how to get it right.

Reverse Crunch | Focus: Lower abs

Lie faceup on the ground with your hands extended at your sides, your feet up and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor. Slowly bring your knees toward your chest, lifting your hips and glutes off the ground, and try to maintain the bend in your knees throughout the movement. Return under control.

>> VIDEO: THE REVERSE CRUNCH

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