Where I was
I have spent the last decade of my life immersed in competitive cycling and the bicycle industry. Throughout that time I have witnessed the full spectrum of what life can look like for an endurance athlete, especially a cyclist. Being a competitive cyclist myself, I have witnessed first hand the day-to-day life of these athletes and have lived what many of them are living. I have felt the joy and the heartbreak of the sport, living through the ups and downs of training, injury, success and experienced first hand what type of sacrifice it takes physically, mentally and spiritually on a person competing at that level. During my time living around and near these athletes I have found many of them are not spiritually grounded, despite their deeply personal passionate drive to compete at the highest level. The only thing most of them have in common with each other is the pursuit of something greater than themselves. Over the years my heart has broken for many of these athletes, desiring to see them experience a fuller, deeper life than what they already know. I wanted to help more, be more involved in many of their lives, offer, teach and care for them on a deeper level. I wanted to walk beside them in their journey as a helping hand, a guide and a friend.
What I saw
Last year, a friend of mine and I started having the conversation about what true “calling” was: where life calling is birthed out of personal burden rather than an opportunity or a open door. As I dwelt on that for months, I began to realize that I wanted to more intentionally invest my time into the spiritual growth of these athletes. I began to pray more fervently about what these burdens meant and how I could begin to step into a place where I could respond to them with more time and intention.
What I wanted to do
Although my full-time job within the heart of the cycling industry was an amazing opportunity to pour into the lives of many athletes, I was still only getting to do that for a portion of my day. My burning desire was to give the better parts of my day to caring for, serving and chasing after the professional and elite cyclists that I love so much. I wanted to walk with them day to day over the phone, the internet or next to them on the bike. I wanted to be a real friend, that shared real truth and real life. I didn’t want to be another fan, another person demanding something of them. I wanted to be a support and presence that embodied the love and depth of Christ.
Where I am now
This summer I am now stepping into a full-time role with an outreach ministry called Athletes in Action (a ministry of CRU), where I am taking the position of Chaplain in Professional and Elite Cycling. In this role, I get free reign to find creative ways to serve these athletes here in Colorado as well as around the United States. Pursuing this vision has already proven to be an incredible step of faith, where relationships, finances, personal goals are all at risk. It is an incredibly exciting step for me, because I know that the Holy Spirit has been at work in this decision for many years. I could not do what I am doing now, without the last ten years of the Lord’s foundational work, preparing me for this season.
For more information about this story, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.