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Celeste Baronzzi

April 13, 2024

Matthew 6:21, New International Version

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”


Endurance Part One


“What do you like to do for fun?”


My goodness I used to hate that question. I never had an answer. I didn’t have “fun”. I took care of my husband and my kids full time, and my likes or needs were not a priority.


But I loved to read. The kids and I went to the library frequently.


One day I randomly picked up a book written by an English woman who was just a normal mom like me. She described how she had trained for, and completed, a triathlon and she loved it.


I was amazed by her confidence and pluck. At that point in my life, I had very little of either of those things.


I fell in love with that book.


I desperately needed a hobby!


I told my husband I was going to start training to do a triathlon and he literally laughed me out of the room.


He said I was too old,

I was 41.

I wasn’t built like a runner,

I think he meant the boobs.

I never owned a bike,

Basically true.

I was not a swimmer.

Also, kinda true, but I loved water!


And finally, he said I was too busy taking care of him to pursue something so ridiculous.


That might be what talked to me into it.


I promised him it would not interfere with my “taking care of him”, or the kids.

I asked him if I could buy a bike.


He said “no”.


But I felt a swell of determination and found my own pluck stirring deep inside me.

I got my little stash of saved up birthday money and I bought myself a bike.


I went back to the library and took out every book I could find on running, biking, and swimming.


I started competing in 5K races with my kids. I had fun but I wasn’t very fast.


I helped start a cycling club that consisted mostly of men. They were strong, serious cyclists. It was everything I could do to not get dropped on those rides.


Cycling with them, more than anything else, taught me how to dig deep and find a power and a belief in myself that I didn’t know I possessed.


They talked me into competing. I pushed back all my fears, and doubts and entered a race.


I couldn’t believe it…I made the podium!


In bike races and then in triathlons I began making the podium with regularity.

The longer the race the better I did.


Turns out, I was an “endurance” athlete!


I competed in half marathons and Iron Mans, Olympic triathlons and crazy obstacle races.


I heard about a 100-mile triathlon in upstate New York, the idea scared and thrilled me. I had one year to prepare for it. It required a lot of training, but it brought greater energy and enthusiasm to all aspects of my life, including my domestic responsibilities.


My kids joined cross-country, and track and I was blessed to be hired as the assistant cross-country coach for United Local schools.


Swimming was a spiritual experience for me. I loved to do one-mile swims in Guilford Lake, right at sunset. As the sun sank down into the water, I would glide as weightless as flying through an endless panorama of sky and water, all blended and morphed together …pink or orange or magenta, or whatever gorgeous colors God chose to paint with on that particular evening.


I was ending each day, steeped in gratitude, and giving God the glory, glory!


Please come back next week to read Endurance Part Two.

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