For thirteen years now, I’ve flown into Las Vegas on Saturday, often accompanied by Sharon. I’ve spoken at Upland Bible Church on Sunday morning. Then on Sunday afternoon, I’ve driven over to St. George, UT, where the annual Huntsman World Senior Games are held. (This year was the 35th annual year of competition.)
In the early years, I competed for three days, Monday to Wednesday, in the 1,500, 3,000, and 5,000-meter racewalk events. After a while I cut down to two days since Sharon was ready to go back on Tuesday. In years when Sharon has been unable to go, I’ve just competed on Monday and flown back Monday night.
We got airline tickets for both of us to go this time. But Sharon’s hip and legs started bothering her too much to make the trip, so I changed my trip for a Monday return.
The fellowship at Upland Bible Church is always fantastic. On Saturday night I had a gourmet meal at Tim and Daria Vanselow’s home with them, Pastor Rich and his wife Debbie, and with Al and Sheri Bingham. What a great time we had.
In the first hour Sunday I spoke on the fact that God is just in all His judgments. In the second hour I spoke and on how the LGBTQA+ movement is at odds with God’s creation mandate (Gen 1:26-28). Both messages were well–received.
The drive to St. George on Sunday afternoon went well. I stayed in a nice Airbnb.
The problems started Monday after my two races (3,000-meter racewalk and 3,000-meter powerwalk, with a 30-minute break in between). BTW, I was fortunate to win two silver medals in my age–group. While a bit tired, I was running on adrenaline and felt great.
The drive back to the airport was long (2.5 hours) and tiring after the two races. The adrenaline had worn off, and I just wanted to get home and get to bed.
I was scheduled to leave at 6:00 PM, which is 8:00 PM Dallas time. I had signed up for standby for the 2:50 PM flight, and just missed getting on.
So I had a four-hour wait for my flight. Tiring.
The 3-hour flight after that was fine but tiring.
We arrived at DFW airport at 11 PM. By now, I wanted Scotty to beam me to my house. Instead, I had to go to remote parking.
My first groggy error was walking the wrong way to go to ground transportation. Late at night, in the terminal I was in, they shut down all the exits except the one at gate 19. But I didn’t know that. I walked about a quarter mile the wrong way, then had to walk about a third of a mile more to get out to where the parking shuttles are. Since these shuttles only run every 15 to 30 minutes, once I got outside, I was in a hurry. I turned the wrong way and walked about a third of a mile to the end, only to find out that the remote parking was on the other side of where I’d exited. I raced about more than a third of a mile and finally found the place I was to wait.
Once I got to remote parking and exited, it should have been a 30-minute drive home. Instead, I missed one tiny turn, and that took me on a crazy detour. I finally got home at 12:15 AM.
What a final day. I competed in two 1.8-mile races, drove for 4 hours, waited in the airport for 4 hours, flew for 3 hours, raced all over the airport schlepping my luggage for 15 minutes, and rode buses for 30 minutes.
As nutty as it sounds, I still think it was worth all the hassles. This competition motivates me to work out all year round. And while bodily exercise doesn’t profit very much in comparison to godliness (1 Tim 4:8), it does have some value. I find that exercise is vital in light of all the sitting I do during the week at work.
Next time, I’m going to pay a bit more to get terminal parking. And I’m going to book an earlier flight if at all possible.
Pastor Rich gave away my secret when he told the congregation that my goal is to keep competing so long that eventually I’m the only guy left competing in my age group. Then it’s guaranteed gold! Of course, the ultimate gold medal I want is at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor 9:24-27). But the geezer Olympics reminds me that I’m called to fight the good fight and finish the race that God has set before me (2 Tim 4:6-8). All of us who have everlasting life are given those marching orders. It would be great to hear Him say, “Well done, good servant!”