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Gotta Run: How many times should I have learned to not worry?

Editor’s note: David Freeze is riding from the West Coast to the East Coast along the southern border.

Wednesday afternoon, I had tossed around the idea of making a big push for mileage on the bike. I thought I could do 27 more miles, but hadn’t decided for sure. The riding surface was rough.

Just a few minutes later, I had a very worrisome flat tire. I couldn’t seem to fix it and blew out one tube just by being in too big of a hurry. I went to bed with it still not fixed and afraid, anxious actually, that I might be stuck in Amite City. All the worst scenarios went through my head, wasting precious sleep time.

Then, just as often happens, I woke up to find that my morning devotion talked about why worry. I am not a big worrier usually, but after reading through the devotion, I realized that Charles Stanley was right. I had said last night and again this morning that I needed a miracle.

What I needed was just to relax and think about two things. First, I have been through so many scenarios on these bike trips and survived, God has to be watching and listening to my morning prayers. I’ve been hit by a car and bloodied pretty well on other occasions. The totaled first Surly bike and the time that a motel desk clerk asked me to stop bleeding on her counter came to mind quickly.

The second thing was I just needed to relax and open my mind to the help that God would give me. I woke up this morning with a plan to do several things but none of those those things helped. Things weren’t going well because I got an egg McMuffin and it didn’t have the egg.

I thought that I really needed to do just two things, well three including my morning prayers. I needed to find out where the nearest bike shop was, even though my maps and several locals told me yesterday that none existed for more than 100 miles. I found one, just 18 miles away.

My second thing was that I needed to get myself and the bike to Hammond, Louisiana. Uber doesn’t exist in Amite City, neither does a taxi or limousine service. But one of those two did exist in Hammond, and with a quick agreement from a willing dispatcher, I had a plan. By the way, we barely got the bike in the SUV they sent, but it cleared the doors in the back seat enough to close them.
We got to the bike shop, and the owner, who was not so happy to see me, said,  “Now you see why I don’t like to do same day appointments!” But the end of our 90-minute long conversation and repair, I think we both enjoyed our time together, I know I certainly did.

Merely as a reminder to myself, I just had to write this epic of a total turnaround. Each time these things happen, I know it makes me closer to God. I actually wrote a chapter called “God moments” for the book about summer memories from the Post faith writers that is currently on sale around town.

Something more will probably happen before this adventure is over, and this time I will open my eyes more quickly to the opportunities made possible by God. The classic one is how I had broken a plastic tire tool several years ago that is used to change out tubes on the bike. I rode for about half a day, worried that if I needed to change another tube, I couldn’t do it. Around midday, I saw a spoon lying beside the road. Minutes later, I realized that I could have used the top of that spoon to change a tube, but I had missed the gift. About an hour later, he put a fork by the road. I didn’t miss it.

I look forward to being back home soon and helping keep good things rolling with the running club. For more information, go to www.salisburyrowanrunners.org .

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