26 February 2008

Walk in the Light of Your Fire

I was reading the Book of Mormon on Sunday morning and came across a passage in 2 Nephi that has been on my mind quite a bit the past couple of days. It's also found in Isaiah 50:11. The scripture reads, "Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled." I definitely have not wrapped my mind around this passage, but I would like to share some of my very disorganized thoughts.

The first thing that came to mind when I read this was the idea of passion. It seems like maybe we have a responsibility to live our lives passionately. We also may have the responsibility (at least in my mind) to share our passion with others. In my mind, the first step is to discover my own fire and passion. Those of you who know me know that I LOVE to race. I would rather race than train any day, which is why my race schedule is always so packed.

The next step or thing that comes to mind is the idea that we should surround ourselves with sparks. I would like to think this means that I should surround myself with people who have similar passions or fire as I do. Part of the reason that I love racing is the excitement and energy that exists at the starting line. All of these athletes and competitors are together for this moment with the exact same purpose. We've all trained (or not) to get to this point and our goals are to cross the finish line. I draw so much energy from that moment and from all of the moments throughout the race when I see each athlete (or at least the ones I pass or that pass me) struggle through, pushing forward towards the finish line. Those events and experiences and people are sparks for me.

I also think that we have a responsibility to generate our own sparks. For me, that means constantly seeking new challenges for myself. Those of you who know me know that I am always looking for the next race to challenge me, whether its the Goofy Challenge which is so much fun or completing an Ironman triathlon. I'll share a new one with you...I think I want to do Ironman Lanzarote, which according to some is one of the hardest courses out there. Anyways, I challenge myself to generate sparks and those sparks keep me motivated and going, especially on days when its 11 degrees and I need to get a 10 mile run in.

The last phrase of the passage says, "walk in the light of your fire." This is the part that has stuck with me. We have a responsibility to share our passions with others. By generating and building our sparks, our fire becomes bigger and those who are around us notice it, and if we're lucky, want to join us. Sometimes they use our sparks to generate their fires. Since I've started running marathons, I've had the opportunity to influence many others to participate in endurance activities. Most of you know that I work with Team in Training as a mentor and I have the opportunity to help participants fund raise and complete endurance events. I get to share my passion with them weekly and maybe it helps them get closer to completing their goals. My mom has started running because I talked her into going to Disney World and completing the 1/2 marathon. Now she's completed the Goofy Challenge. My sister in law started running and also completed the 1/2 marathon at Disney World. My dad has started doing cycling endurance events and is going to complete his first century ride on June 14. I have several students who have completed and are training for endurance events because they were inspired by me. It amazes me to think of the people that I've influenced just because of my passion for racing. Who knew that racing would become a Hansen family affair?

All of this leaves me with the question: How can I do a better job of walking in the light of my fire and in the sparks that I have kindled? What can I do to build up my fire? How can I generate more sparks? What do I need to do to enjoy my passion more fully? These will definitely require more thought on my part, but I guess life is for thinking about and figuring this stuff out. I definitely have some new things to consider while I'm swimming, riding, or running.