Monthly Archives: July 2015

How the Ocean is Like God

On Monday Paul and I went for a night swim in the ocean and I was sort of rescued by a lifeguard.  Stop laughing.  It happens.

He didn’t have to get in the water or anything, but he could tell I was struggling so he parked his truck right in front of me and turned on his brights as if to say, “Hey girl flailing in the waves, I see you.  I’ll come get you if you start to drown.”

Meanwhile, my husband was out past the crashing waves and had no idea I was getting repeatedly pummeled and pulled by a current that refused to let me swim to shore.  It was a little scary and a little more embarrassing.  I’m a grown woman.  I thought these rescue operations were a thing of my youth.

See, I was rescued several times as a teenager.  Rip currents can be such a drag.  I was rescued once in my mid-20’s, but that was only because Christy (9 months pregnant) and I didn’t watch the news to know a hurricane was coming or notice that no one else was in the water. (There were no lifeguards so a random, concerned man swam out to get us.)

As a California kid, I am well-acquainted with the water and have known for a long time that while it is beautiful and peaceful, the ocean can be freaking terrifying as well.  My family has spent the last week at the beach so I’ve had lots of time to watch the waves and think about the many ways the ocean is like God.

5 Ways the Ocean is Like God

1. They both bring peace and are enjoyed by people of all ages and walks of life.

Whether it’s the cutest nephews you’ve ever seen running from the waves and catching them on their boogie boards,1

or a yogi holding her pose while gazing at the sea,

or an elderly couple strolling beside the crashing waves,

or a seasoned surfer “shredding the gnar,”…

everyone seems to be mesmerized by the ocean.  We flock to coastlines like moths to the flame.  And while some of us are content to sit and stare at the water, others of us dive in.

Isn’t that true of God as well?  Many are content to sit in pews and learn all about Him without actually engaging Him.  Others are hungry for more and dive in, not satisfied with merely hearing about him, but desiring to truly experience Him and know Him and feel His love crash over them.

2. You don’t have to see them to believe they exist.

Many people have never been to the beach, but they don’t doubt the ocean exists.  So it is with God.  You need not see His face to know He is there.  Emily Dickinson wrote a poem about this truth:

I never saw a moor;
I never saw the sea,
Yet know I how the heather looks
And what a billow be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven.
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the checks were given.

3. They are both filled with beauty and wonder and mystery.

There’s a reason we all fell in love with The Little Mermaid.  We go sailing and snorkeling and scuba-diving to experience this truly fascinating and hidden world under the sea.

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(This was the scuba adventure in Mozambique when my friend Lisa threw up UNDER THE WATER and fish surrounded us to eat her puke.  One of my favorite life moments thus far.)

We scream and point and are filled with delight when we see dolphins playing in the surf.  We marvel at the creatures found on the end of fishing lines.  We put conversations on hold when the sun illuminates the clouds and sinks behind the sea.

Both the ocean and God fill us with awe and reminded us just how small we really are.

Just as we can spend our whole lives exploring the ocean depths and still never discover all there is to know, so too God is a God of mystery and unknown depths.  We experience Him in new ways every year and even 95 year-olds continue to learn and understand new things about our truly awesome and mysterious God.

4.  They are both wild and powerful and unpredictable. 

If you’ve ever been tossed around by a crashing wave, you know the sea is not just beauty and peace and tranquility.  It is strong and will not hesitate to flip you around till your nose is full of water and you don’t know which way is up.

God won’t beat you up and leave you gasping for air like the ocean sometimes does, but He is still wild and unpredictable.  One of my favorite parts of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is when the Beavers tell the 4 children about Aslan, the lion, the Christ-figure.

“Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.” But their brother Edmond, who has gone down a path of sin and betrayal, has quite a different reaction. He felt a “sensation of mysterious horror.”

Then when the children find out that Aslan is a lion, they are all struck with fear. They are talking with Mr. Beaver and they ask him “Who is Aslan?”

Then Lucy asks, “Is—is he a man?”

“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”

“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King. I tell you.”

Like the ocean, our God is good.  But He is not tame.  He cannot be controlled or manipulated.  But He is oh so very good.

5. They both deserve fear and respect.

If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you’ve most likely seen the video of Mick Fanning, the pro surfer who was attacked by a shark during a competition in South Africa.  You guys, he punched the shark and swam away unharmed!  I just read his interview on BBC where he talks about the attack and how his friend swam towards him to help.  Buckets of tears over here.

Sharks are no joke.  I know they say more people die every year due to deer than to sharks, but that statistic means nothing when you’re in the water.  Especially since this summer we all had to evacuate the water after an 8-foot Great White bumped a surfer not too far from where we were swimming.  Yowzers!

Naturally my 8-year old nephew twisted the story and when telling his cousins about the shark, HE became the one bumped by it.  Makes for a better story, doesn’t it?  In his defense, my dad confessed to bumping him under the water to make him think it was a shark.  What are grandpas for if not to scare the bejeezus out of us?

Not only should a shark fin instill a bit of healthy fear in us, so too should rip currents.  Obviously I am a bit foolhardy when it comes to currents, but the ocean demands respect.  The power of the waves and the currents cannot be ignored.  They must be respected.  Or else.

So must God.

We needn’t fear Him as we fear sharks, but we must respect Him.  We must acknowledge that He is more powerful than we are and that He holds our lives in His hands.  My pastor recently said, “Your morality is shaped by your fear or lack of fear of God.”  If there is no fear of God, no reverence or respect or acknowledgement that He is holy and will one day judge us all, well then you will not live in a way that pleases Him.

And just as one will suffer the consequences for not respecting the sea, one will face much more serious consequences for refusing to respect God.

On that note, I’m off to the beach.  Hopefully I won’t need any rescuing.

Sunday Morning Confessions # 13-15

In an effort to force myself to blog regularly, I’ll be making 3 confessions on Sundays.  Seems like the right day for it.  Please don’t judge me, but do share your own confessions in the comments.  I need to know that I’m not alone on some of these.

13. I am a wedding crier.

This should come as no surprise since I am also a commercial crier, sad song crier, touching sermon crier, sympathy crier, book crier, little kids’ movie crier (Inside Out, anyone?!?), long day crier, beautiful sunset crier, powerful worship song crier, sad news story crier, high school graduations crier, national anthem crier…you get the idea.

But weddings?  Weddings are the worst.  I mean, they’re wonderful, but they’re guaranteed to make me lose it.

The tears typically start when the bride walks down the aisle. Sometimes they fall before I even see her but simply hear the music and see everyone stand.  People still tease me about how much I cried during my sister’s wedding 14 years ago.  I was standing up front BAWLING as Heidi and our dad walked down the aisle, since I realized for the first time that this meant my life was changing too.  Now, just as Pavlov’s dogs salivated at the sound of bells, it seems I have been conditioned to cry at the sight of a bride walking with her dad.

Naturally I lost it at my cousin Jenise’s wedding last week. She is the cousin who set up Paul and I, and as the final two female cousins to wed, we both had waited for our Mr. Rights to arrive for quite some time.  She looked incredible and so very very happy.  God had proved Himself faithful once again through the story of David and Jenise.  So as I watched Jenise lock eyes with David, I remembered God’s goodness and the floodgates opened.

I know I’m not alone in my nuptial tears.  The ring bearer broke down during the sermon because he thought the pastor was saying he would never get see his now married auntie.  And after David and Jenise took the bread and the wine, my sister had mascara streaming down her cheeks as she whispered, “Communion gets me every time.”

What?!  Now that’s weird.

This is also the sister who did not get the floral-print memo for the wedding:

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I suppose it should also be a confession that I look like a mannequin seconds before a picture is taken.

14. I jumped on the Birkenstocks bandwagon.

I’ve been copying my big sister all my life and my closet is half-full of  her hand-me-downs.  (Can I get a AMEN, little sisters?)  Heidi is one of those girls who always knows what’s trendy and pulls it off, no matter how ridiculous the trend.  In 1999, she convinced me to buy “pedal pushers” before anyone else was wearing capri pants.  A few years ago, she bought me lacy shorts from Wet Seal before any of the other stores were carrying them.

Two weeks ago, I made fun of her for wearing Birkenstocks because they seem soooo out of style.  But she assured me they had made the full circle and were now back in style.  Naturally I copied my cool big sister and went and bought some of my own.  (Well, the imitation-brand. The real deal are expensive!) Turns out the sandals of our youth are really quite comfortable.

15. I talk to myself.

Based on the number of people I catching conversing with themselves, I’m guessing you do too.  It’s really not so weird.  Sometimes you just gotta talk it out.

But I had no idea just how much I was talking to myself until I got married.  Before Paul, chats with Katie were a normal thing but only my cat would overhear.  Now that I share a room and a bed with another human, I’ve had to curb some of the solo-Katie convos.

However, the other day Paul was at work and I was home packing a suitcase.  Prime time to talk to oneself.  “How many bathing suits will I need? Well, we’ll be there 3 days so I should probably bring 4.  No, 5.  Maybe 6? Yeah, definitely 6.  Should I bring a sweatshirt?  Duh, I always get cold.  But which one?  Let’s see here…. Alaska hoodie, you are the winner.”  

And so forth and so on.  Don’t tell me you don’t have similar self-talks.

But in the middle of the great underwear debate (you never want to have too few undies), Paul arrived home an hour early.  I had left the front door open for a breeze to come through, but this made for an ideal scaring environment.  Paul tip-toed to our room and yelled the classic, “Boo!”

You know the whole “fight or flight” saying?  I think it should be, “fight or flight or scream and fall into the fetal position.”  You can guess which one I did.

Now it’s your turn. Do you scream and fall when startled?  Do others catch you shooting the breeze with your lonesome?  Do you wear ugly shoes simply because they are comfortable or in style?  Do you copy your sibling because they’ve always been cooler than you?  Do you lose it at weddings or cry at weird moments?  I’d love to hear any and all of your me-too confessions.

Baby Talk

About a week after the wedding, it started. I figured we’d have at least 6 months.  Maybe a year.  But no, one week after the wedding the question arrived:

“When will you start having babies?”

The people who asked are the same ones who asked if I had a picked a wedding date the very day after Paul proposed.  Apparently, once you get engaged people get weirdly curious about your life timeline.  When’s the wedding?  When’s the baby?  When’s the second baby?  Geeze Louise, people!

I know they ask with good intentions so I don’t get annoyed.  They loves us and are eager to see a little Pautie or Kale running around.  (Kidding, Mom!)  My high school students confessed that they watched by belly closely all year to see if it was growing.  Not exactly what you want to hear when your pre-wedding diet is over and your pants are getting tighter!

It seems everyone who knows us wants to know the answer to this seemingly harmless question.

“When will you start having babies?”

But the question is actually super personal, and if you’re not a friend or family member, you probably shouldn’t be asking it.  Our society struggles with personal boundaries, though, hence the reason strangers will touch a pregnant woman’s belly.  (So weird!) People don’t realize it, but by asking a woman about her pregnancy plans, they are not just shooting the breeze.  They are asking about her deepest hopes and dreams.  They are inquiring about her secret fears and her fertility.

I know you haven’t asked, but since you’re probably curious and since I’m a ridiculous over-sharer, here’s our answer to the question.

We haven’t started trying yet, but since I’m 33 years old and apparently my eggs are drying up, we’ll try soon.  Since I’m no spring chicken, I have a colossal fear that when we do try, it won’t work.  Or I’ll miscarry.

Too many women dear to me have struggled with fertility and miscarriages.  I have wept with too many friends not to fear the sorrow I know could come when we start trying to have kids.

Paul doesn’t wrestle with this fear like I do.  Perhaps because his faith is stronger or perhaps because he hasn’t sat and sobbed with a friend who has just lost a baby.  Either way, I am glad he doesn’t tremble like I do.  When I dissolve into a puddle of fears, he is there reminding me we trust in a mighty God who will be with us no matter what happens.

I was thinking about this during mile 15 of the Alaska marathon.

I was feeling good at that point, but then I started remembering what mile 23 feels like.  Basically it feels like hell. Every step you take your body screams, “STOP IT!!!  SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW!!!”  My feet hurt.  My knees hurt.  My lungs hurt.  I’m on the verge of tears and if I hit the infamous “wall”, I start hallucinating and slow to a snail’s pace.

So at mile 15, before anything was hurting, I started to fear the pain and agony I knew could come in the next hour.  But then the Holy Spirit brought these words to mind:

“All you can do is run the mile you’re running right now.”

I breathed a sigh of relief and pushed a little harder.  All I could do was worry about mile 15.  I couldn’t run mile 23 yet so there was not point in thinking about it.  Just as I relaxed in this truth, I passed by a sign a volunteer had planted in the woods:

“Behold the beauty all around you.”

A huge smile crept from my soul to my face. This was not a typical sign for runners.  Usually the signs say things like, “You’re my hero!” or “You can do it!” or “Watch out for # 607.  She’s farty!”  (Thanks for that, Paul.)

But this sign was different. This sign was less about running and more about life.

“Behold the beauty all around you.”

We were deep in the Alaskan wilderness so it was not difficult to be awed by the beauty around us.  But if I had been focusing on mile 23, I might have missed it.

Jesus told us in Matthew 6 that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow- that each day has enough troubles of its own.  But I needed to run a marathon in Alaska to be reminded of this.  I can’t worry about what sorrows might or might not be waiting for me around the corner.  If I do, I might miss the beauty around me right now.

Since I can be hard of hearing, God spoke a little louder and reminded me of this again as I was reading 1 John.  Chapter 4 verse 18 reads, “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear…”

My fears aren’t crazy.  It’s not uncommon for women my age to struggle with infertility.  But if I have faith that God’s love will sustain me- no matter what- that His love will be enough to carry me through whatever future trial we may face, then my fears start to dissipate.

This battle with fear has been a daily one.  If I don’t read God’s word and talk to Him every day, I start to forget about His love and the fears creep back in.  But every time I look to Him, He faithfully drives out my fears.  He daily reminds me that He is in control and His perfect love drop-kicks my fear out of the stadium.

If you too have lingering fears of what the future may hold- maybe it’s not about babies but about college or a job or a move- I encourage you to stop and behold the beauty all around you.  And then open your Bible and talk to the only one who knows your future and can drive out your fears if you listen to Him and believe His love.

After reading this, if you’re still tempted to ask me about babies, please hold off until you see pictures like this on Instagram:IMG_2730

Closet Full of Stories (Part 3)

Before I left for Alaska and my cat died, I started a series about my closet.  I got a little carried away and what started out as 5 stories about 5 items of clothing, turned into 12 stories about 12 items.   (Here is Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.)

This is the final post about a topic near and dear to all your hearts: my clothes.

The following 4 items of clothing have stories behind them- reasons I won’t ever throw them away and I smile every time I put them on.  They hang in my closet as reminders of God’s goodness.   Here are their stories.

9) My red and white striped bathing suit cover-up.

This started out as a church dress, but I am terrible at doing laundry and shrunk it so much it became inappropriate for God’s house.  However, I recycled it and turned it into a cover-up that shows up at Bass Lake every year.

One summer I was a single girl who spent the vacation wrestling my nephews in this cover-up:IMG_5211

The next summer I was engaged and taking jumping pictures with my fiancé!

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Clearly a lot can change in a year.

One of the reasons I love Bass Lake so much is that it never seems to change.  The Forks, the beloved local burger joint, is still decorated how it was in the 60’s.  The mountains never move.  And the lake remains the same.

Until this year.

This year the California drought has devastated not only our state, but also our family traditions.  The lake was drained and couldn’t be refilled this year, so for the first time in 50 years, the Vander Dussen clan is not going to Bass Lake.

I know this is a first-world problem: we have to vacation at the beach instead of the mountains!  The horror!

But it’s more than just the mountains we will miss.  We will miss the place that has been a constant in our lives since birth.  Everything around us changes all the time, but we always knew we could go back to Bass Lake and it would be exactly the same.

So there is something deeply disturbing about our ever-constant lake suddenly becoming inconsistent.

It reminds me that God truly is the only constant in our lives.  I go to Bass Lake seeking a place of refuge and consistency, but I don’t have to drive 5 hours to find that.  I can find it when I open my Bible.  Or when I look up and talk to the creator.

My shrunken, striped cover-up will be worn at the beach this year, but it will continue to remind me of Bass Lake.  It will also remind me that though our lake might change, our God will not.

10) My grey jacket

I love this jacket because it is long in the back and covers my butt.  But I love it for more than just the butt coverage.

I love it because this is one of the many items of matching clothing that Megan and I have.  I bought it for her as a Christmas present a few years back and liked it so much I got myself one as well.IMG_6677

From a young age, Megan and I have enjoyed matching each other.  Whether it was our DARE t-shirts, or matching body suits, we have always loved twinning.  Megan lives in Colorado now but we still like to match.  For my most recent birthday, she bought two of these tank tops:IMG_2672

One for me and one for her.  And she’s not even Dutch.

All the matching clothes I have with Megan remind me that God truly does go before us to prepare the way.  Only He knows what lies around the corners of our lives and in what ways we need to be strengthened and equipped.

Only God knew the friend I made in first grade would be a source of joy and comfort for the rest of my life.  I had no idea how much I would rely on friends like Megan, but God did.  He knew how rich my life would be if I had dear, true friends with whom to share it.  So He provided the friends.  And we provide each other with matching clothes.

11) My traveling pants

Paul named my striped yoga pants my “traveling pants” because I wear them every time I get on a plane.  Can’t blame a girl for wanting to be comfy.  They were given to me as a gift from my mom a few Christmas’s back.  Every year I would get one more present than my siblings.  A “sorry-you-don’t-have-a-husband-to-buy-you-presents” kind of present.  One year it was these pants.

At first I was a little insulted by the extra gift.  I don’t need your pity and I don’t need a husband to be happy!  But then I remembered how much I love presents, so I swallowed my pride and proceeded to wear the pants everywhere I went.

When I enrolled in Biola’s seminary, these pants became part of my uniform.  I wore them to almost every class along with an oversized Westmont sweatshirt.  I used my clothes to make 2 things very clear to my classmates.

 1- I was not here looking for a husband.  If I was, surely I would have dressed cuter.

2- Even though I was at Biola, my true loyalty still lied with Westmont.

These pants accompanied me to all my Greek classes and meetings with my cohort:IMG_7593

Please disregard our demon eyes; I assure you we are all very holy.

My traveling pants reminded me that even though I didn’t have a husband, God was still lavishing His gifts on me.  I had a sweet family that gave me extra presents, the money and freedom to travel all over the country visiting friends, and the ability to go to seminary and take classes I loved and meet guys like the ones in the picture who encouraged and affirmed me for two years.

The pants took on new meaning this past Christmas.

Ironically, my Mom gave me this matching shirt:IMG_0947

She had no idea the shirt matched my old pants perfectly.  But God did.  And how like Him to remind me that while I only knew about the pants, He knew a matching shirt was coming…. along with a husband.

12)  My wedding dress
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Some girls grow up dreaming about their wedding day.  They envision the dress, the flowers, the cake.  All they need is the groom.  They make secret Pinterest boards where they pin engagement rings, center pieces, and Save-the-Date ideas.

In all the dreaming and scheming, many of them pin their hopes and dreams to a lie: once I get the white dress, I will be content. 

I wasn’t one of the little girls dreaming about her white dress (mainly because I was a morbid little kid who thought I would die young), but I confess that I did subconsciously start to believe the lie that only a white dress could bring contentment.

Our culture perpetuated that lie.  Well-meaning middle-aged women told me, “One day it will be your turn.”  People with good intentions asked me more about my dating life than about my opinions or my career or my travels, seeming to imply that my singleness was the most important thing about me.

But I have wonderful friends who told me the truth.

My married friends admitted that a white dress doesn’t bring happiness.  It does change your life dramatically and it is a wonderful change, but that didn’t make my single life any less wonderful.  They admitted to envying my free time and ability to travel and explore and do whatever I wanted.  They saw me as a whole person- not just the single side of myself.  And they encouraged me to find contentment in Jesus- not in the hope of a man one day sweeping me off my feet and ending all my sadness and loneliness.

They assured me that nothing was wrong with me and that while marriage is fantastic, so is being single.

I thought about this yesterday as I ate eggs with Hilary on the patio of her new condo.  Hilary is a beautiful, intelligent, hilarious, God-fearing, compassionate, creative, energetic woman.  She also happens to be single.  But that’s not who she is.  She may not have a white dress, but she already has the joy, the peace, and the contentment I used to think came only with marriage.

Don’t get me wrong: marriage brings an immense amount of joy.  I absolutely LOVE being married to Paul.  But I think there is great danger in making the white dress the end game.  If we tell little girls they are not complete until they are wed, that a husband will satisfy all their needs, well then we’re telling them lies.

Only Jesus completes us.

No one can ever satisfy us completely except for our Savior.

Let’s not pin our hopes and dreams on a future spouse who will never know us as intimately as God does.

I love my wedding dress, but my life was not made complete once I slipped it on.  I found contentment long before I found Paul and the white dress hanging on the wall.  And I still feel sad and misunderstood at times, even with a ring on my finger and a new last name.

Marriage doesn’t cure all of life’s problems.

Only Jesus does.

But let’s be honest, it sure is fun to twirl in your wedding dress and dance with your new husband:vandyk09202014-919

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Sunday Morning Confessions # 10-12 (Alaska Version)

In an effort to force myself to blog regularly, I’ll be making 3 confessions on Sundays.  Seems like the right day for it.  Please don’t judge me, but do share your own confessions in the comments.  I need to know that I’m not alone on some of these.

10. I peed on my shoes.

Somehow when I go to Alaska, I always end up with excrement on my shoes.  This time it wasn’t from the RV sewage so it was thankfully just my own pee that was splattered all over my shoes.

I am a city girl, so there aren’t many occasions that call for me to do my business in the woods.  But since we camped for two nights in areas only inhabited by animals, we did quite a lot of squatting.  I prefer this 10 thousand times more than using porta-potties.  Hovering over piles of poo belonging to strangers is one of my least favorite things in life.

And I can’t imagine a much more scenic place to do our business than here:IMG_2355

I mean sure, there was a strong fear that a bear would appear at the exact moment I dropped my pants, but I strongly prefer the fear of mauling to the stench found in porta-potties.

However, since I lack experience, I have not quite perfected the pop-a-squat technique.  This is why my shoes always ended up sprinkled with urine.  And why I left my shoes in Alaska.

11. I am not quite as strong as I’d like to think I am.

When I felt a tug on the fishing line and proceeded to reel that sucker in, I thought the fish was going to be huge.  Like big as a human huge.  My face will show you just how hard I was working:IMG_2661

I required Paul’s help to pull the pole up while I reeled like mad and was a little shocked when I pulled up this guy:IMG_2285Not exactly the 5 foot beast I had been envisioning, but he was still delicious.

12. I looked HORRIBLE when I finished the marathon.

Like REALLY horrible.

Like, “should we call a doctor for her?” horrible.

You’re probably thinking, “Oh I’m sure everybody looks bad when they finish a marathon.”  But it’s not true.  Most people look perfectly normal.  But me?  Well I’ve been in races where people point and laugh at me as I finish.  No joke.

I’ll show you the picture from this years race in a moment, but first let me explain myself.  At mile 24 I was hurting.  I had a cramp in my quad and was on the verge of tears.  But then Paul called and told me I wasn’t too far behind the next girl in my age category and if I passed her, I would be in 5th place for my range.  That was all competitive Katie needed to hear.

My cramp went away as I hunted down my opponent.  I still hadn’t caught her when we reached the final stretch of the race.  A giant uphill.

I figured nobody would ever witness what came next.

I gritted my teeth and went into what kids these days call “beast mode.”  I grunted.  Loudly.  And I pumped my arms violently.  I knew I looked insane, but I didn’t care.  I was going to catch that girl.

I paid no attention to the people looking at me like I had rabies, and I caught her in the end, beating her by 3 seconds.  I assumed a handful of Alaskans would know I was nuts, but I’d never see them again so what did it matter.  However, then I got home and was telling this story to my parents and my dad started cracking up.

Apparently his coworker ran the half-marathon and showed my dad the website where you can look up pictures.  He and my dad had a good laugh at my face as I finished.  I figure if they enjoyed laughing at my look of distress, you will too.  So here is my gift to you this Sunday morning: my photo-finish.IMG_2662

You’re welcome.

Now it’s your turn.  Have you ever peed on your shoes?  Have you ever realized you’re not quite as strong as you thought you were? Do you look like you’re going to die when you exercise? I’d love to hear any of your “me too” confessions.