Friday, August 24, 2012


In LDS culture, we teach our kids to CTR (Choose the Right) at a young age.  By 4 most kids have their first CTR ring, have colored a CTR coloring page and even sung a CTR song.  In teenage years we learn to poke fun at the seemingly cliche phrase saying "Choose the Rich"  or "Choose the Red (UTAH)" 

A couple years ago we wanted the Young Women (ages 12-18) to become more physically fit.  We challenged some 16 year olds to create a logo and theme to help motivate the girls.  Their theme astonished me: CTR!  Choose-- Train-- Run.  I have thought of this theme many times since they introduced it, and want to modify/elaborate on their brilliance.

When we have worthy goals in life we need to Commit-- Train-- and Race.  CTR!

Commit-   Making the decision to change can be the hardest part of the process.  Recognizing weaknesses and flaws can be brutal to one's self esteem.  I think the only constant in life is the need to improve-- to discard the habits that leave us (or those around us) miserable in favor of harder paths that lead to the joy of accomplishment.  Make the decision to trust, to change, to live a fuller life.

Train- Non-elite Ironman competitors spend 20+ hours per week for 3 or more months training for a one-time event that they hope to complete in 16 hours or less.  These competitors work HARD to prepare for the race.  Is training for life any less grueling?  Should we expect it to be?  Training for the virtue of patience will require a minimum of 20+ hours of patience exercises per week with intense sessions that push us to the limit.  We will fail in training-- but in failing we grow, improve and recognize our limitations.  Training is essential if we wish to run the race of life.

Race--  Our lives really do represent the agony, joy, exhilaration and eventual triumph of an Iron competition.  The race is long; fraught with unforeseen obstacles.  Flat tires hold us up; discouragement  dampens our mood; injury slows us down or forces us to abandon the race prematurely.  But conquer we do.  Even the attempt is glorious.

Have you noticed that most CTRs are mounted on a shield.  I like to think that the Lord carries a shield and has my back during the whole life/race process.  He wathces over us, guides us and gives us the mentors we need to succeed.  Our ultimate triumph will come as we return to Him and he welcomes us back with as much love and celebration as He can give.  No matter what slows us down in the race of life, He loves us!  And He cheers for us and is excited to see our progress and ultimate triumph.

I love to Choose the Right-- and I am excited to continue on my race.

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