It's been a crazy busy week in the life of a future missionary! With only 16 days until I report to the MTC it's all coming down to the wire. Everything big is taken care of and it's all just details I have to worry about now. Writing my farewell talk and (thinking about) starting to pack is making everything real. In just a few days I'll be able to count down my days left in Idaho on my fingers!
So this past weekend I got to support my dad in a big bike race that we've participated in several times as a family. The LoToJa Classic is a road bike race covering 206 miles and 3 states in one day. Starting in Logan, Utah and ending in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Both my parents are extremely talented ultra distance road cyclists. I have no idea where that gene went when I was born. I hate biking. I would so much rather run. Which was why I started crying a little bit when I got a letter from my mission president stating I'll need a bike for at least part of my mission. But anyways. With my parents always racing and me never racing it only made sense that I start supporting them! In most long distance bike races all the racers are required to have a support vehicle. That's where I come in. I drive the family mini van along the race course and stop at designated feed zones to hand my racers food, drinks, water, whatever they may need. After years of practice, my mom (who didn't race LoToJa this year) and I make a pretty dang good support team. We were able to get my dad through a feed zone in a matter of seconds. We never timed it, but my best guess is that the time it took from him stopping his bike to him starting back out was about 30 seconds total. Ya, we were that good.
But anyways, I always get emotional and inspired at this type of event. And I was comparing this type of race to the gospel all day long. Life is like a big long bike ride. There are uphill parts that are so tiring we're not sure if we'll ever make it to the top, there are downhill parts that you just fly down with no effort and enjoying the scenery the whole way down, there are also the long flat country roads that go on forever and are so mind-numbingly boring that you would almost rather be battling up a mountain. The church and the gospel are like the nutrition and water we need in order to finish this ride. Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are the ones supporting us. We trust them in our mid-exercise state of mind, when we can't tell if we're hungry, thirsty, nauseous, or simply need to go to the bathroom, to get us what we need. We might think we need just water to survive, but they know better and give us water enriched with sports drink, plus they know when to give us sports bars or energy gels. The finish line of this ride we call life is when we finally get to get off our bikes and hug those who supported us and thank them for taking care of us.
Biking 206 miles in one day is hard. Really hard. That's why I've never done it. Life is also hard. But if we accept the support that is so willingly offered to us by our Savior then it becomes a beautiful ride through a gorgeous country.
Another tender tidbit on this years' LoToJa... Last year a man from Mesa started LoToJa, not knowing it would be his last. On a bridge about 180 miles into the race, there was a wreck that resulted in his death. This year, his wife started riding the course on the bridge and finished the race in his honor. She received a finishers medal at the awards ceremony the next morning. It was a really beautiful tribute and many eyes (including mine) were wet with tears. Faith in humanity: restored.
On a happier note! My dad finished LoToJa for his sixth time this year and received his 1000 mile club trophy! Plus he set a PR for this race of 9 hours and 27 minutes!
And so, in conclusion. It was a good weekend. Seeing as I'm done working (quite sad, actually) I have plenty of hours in my days to prepare to leave! Getting all my shopping for the little things like razors and a new make up bag done. I'll actually have to start packing soon... shudder. It's kind of like how it felt when I was getting ready to leave for college. But times 100.
We also got to do a session in the Logan Temple the day before the race, it was so beautiful! First time I've done a session outside the Boise temple!
Hope you enjoyed this post! Come back soon for more and feel free to email me or comment below!