Ah, March Madness. I probably watch more tv in the tournament's opening 4-day span than I do in most WEEKS. Leading up to it, I was trying to convince myself that I wasn't that in to it this year with Davidson/Penn State/Arizona not being in the tourney. However, we get to Thursday at lunchtime and I'm right back in to it.
I was able to catch the RMU-Villanova and BYU-Florida finishes while I was finishing my planning at school before practice. Then, I come home to watch another 4 hours Thursday night only to fall asleep during the late games and wake up around 1am with the TV on. Friday, more hoops in the afternoon and evening (and again falling asleep). Saturday, more in the afternoon (including Villanova losing) and we get out of church Saturday night to find out that Kansas was down to Northern Iowa with only a few minutes left. Wow! Sunday had some great finishes including Pitt losing (hee hee) and an amazing finish to the Michigan St-Maryland game. I'm not faring too well in my bracket (but I never do). However, I still have Ohio State winning it all and WVU and Syracuse in my Final Four. We shall see.
Beth and I have been going to this Saturday night church service down in Export, PA (between Murrysville/Delmont) called Cornerstone. While it's a good 35 minutes away, we just feel like we connect so well there to the music and message. Also, we're finding that Saturday night is working out well with our training schedule right now.
This is a picture of their stage setup for the music. You can check out some of their music at their own site: http://www.cornerstoneworshiplive.net/. It's definitely not your grandpa's music. Don't get me wrong--I love hymns and 4-part harmony. However, contemporary praise music from groups like Hillsong and others just really moves me. This group is just so good that it makes you feel like you're at a concert and the words and music just inspire you. We always think that they're so amazing and they could go on tour like big time music groups. However, it's probably the same line of thinking that wonders why Beth and her triathlon buddies don't try out for the Olympics. They're great triathletes, just not quite at that level. These guys are great, so I wonder what makes groups good enough to go on tour?
One neat item from the message on Saturday was the definition of the word perseverance. It's used a bunch in the Bible, especially in Paul's letters to the beginning churches. The pastor stated that the original Greek word (hupomone) in the text defines perseverance as cheerful or hopeful endurance. Somewhere in there is a motivational slogan.
Not only can this apply to one's faith and weathering hard times knowing that God can pull you through, but you can definitely apply it to life and sports. All of the training that we do is not done reluctantly or begrudgingly. Rather, we do it knowing that it's going to make us stronger and we hope that it helps us reach our goals in racing or fitness.
So, keep up the hard work and endurance in your faith, your relationships, and your training!