“The Race of Life”

Mary Rasband came over this morning and worked like a whirl wind vacuuming, cleaning, mopping, and just being great company.  I appreciate her wonderful service.  I tried to be helpful, and she even brought me lunch.  After she left.  I ate the lunch and then thought I’d lay down on the living room couch for a 1/2 hour before Kai came home at 3:00.  Kai came home and then Kawena came at 4:00, and I didn’t even hear them!  I didn’t wake up until 4:30!  Ever since becoming a mother, I’ve been a light sleeper, but apparently not today!

On the back of the Church News from yesterday, there is an article called the “Race of Life” that I loved! (understandably because it’s all about running and finishing.)  Here’s the race story–

Cliff Young a 61-year-old farmer and rancher, walked up to the registration table of the 1983 Sydney-to-Melbourne race in Australia and took his number.  He then joined the world-class athletes half his age, dressed in specialized athletic gear and shoes,  at the starting line of the 543.6 mile endurance race–considered the worlds longest and toughest ultra marathon.  Cliff was wearing overalls and work boots.

The media immediately began asking questions and Cliff told his story. He came from a large ranch outside Melbourne.  He thought he could run the race because, since his youth, he had needed to run for two to three days straight rounding up sheep before and during storms.

No one believed he could finish the taxing race, many believed he would die trying.  Not only had he not trained for the race, but also he didn’t run correctly, instead moving with an odd shuffle.  Further Cliff insisted on running the race without sleep.   He pressed forward as the other athletes stopped every 18 hours to a 6-hour nap.

His sheer tenacity paid off.  Although he ran slower than most of the athletes and trailed most of the race, Cliff eventually gained the lead and won!  He set a new course record.  Pres. Monson told this story, and advised,  “Comforting is the fact that there are many runners, reassuring is the knowledge that our eternal scorekeeper is understanding. Challenging is the truth that each must run.  But you and I do not run alone.  The vast audience of family, friends, and leaders will cheer our courage, will applaud our determination as we rise from our stumblings and pursue our goal.  The race of life is not for sprinters running on a level track.  The course is marked by pitfalls and checkered with obstacles…Let us shed any thought of failure.

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3 Responses to “The Race of Life”

  1. Lynnell King says:

    I loved that story too. What an amazing man, and you are an AMAZING woman- running the race of your life. Have a great day!!!!

    • Debbie Bixby Burraston says:

      Melanie, Bert ran into Jon at BYU yesterday. He shared your story. I got online this morning to find you. I am so sorry you are having to endure this trial. I love you and the time we spent as roomies at BYU in the cutest white house (it is not white now) was So much fun thanks to you! What a tender mercey our meeting at women’s conference was…thousands of women and I was placed at your table to serve. I had so much fun catching up on our lives 25 years later. I remember feeling like surely it hasn’t been that long since we are only in our 30’s right?? ok 40’s. And now to see what you have been living through in these last 6 months just makes my heart ache. I see that you are your happy bubbly smiley self and you have been embraced by friends and family. I would love to drop by and see you and do my share of housework. I am sure I owe you dishes or something from the year we spent living together. I am so happy that you waited for Jon and you have the love of your life to be by your side through this!! The pictures of you and your children are stunning and precious. I hope to see you soon! Our prayers are with you and your family! Blogs are fantastic. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and testimony with us! They bring tears and smiles and feelings of gratitude to my heart! I love you! Your sophomore roomie, Debbie Bixby Burraston

      • Debbie,

        Fun to hear from you! Yes, this is not a trial I would have predicted, but through the faith and prayers of so many, the priesthood, and great medical care–WE ARE GETTING THROUGH IT!
        Love to see you anytime.

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