Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Staying Warm

When I ran track a big thing that our coaches always made us aware of was the importance of staying warm. We were frequently told, "You warm up, and you need to stay warm in order to compete at your best ability and to avoid injury." We made sure put sweats on, do our warm up runs and then keep our sweats on so that we are always warm when the time to race came.
Yet again, we can take this and draw a great parallel to life! We are competing right now, and throughout our life we have "warmed up." We now need to keep our "sweats" on so we can be ready when the race comes. We can do this by going to church and keeping the commandments. If we don't keep these "sweats" on our warm up is good for nothing, and we are just as likely to get "injured" as we were before; such "injuries" may come in the form of sin.
Plain and simple, put your sweats on and don't get injured! Isn't it amazing how many similarities life has to sports?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Playbooks and strategies

As we approach any game in sports we practice and we establish a game plan; we establish a strategy. A game plan helps us prepare so we are ready for what the opposing team is going to give us when we play them. We prepare for the different aspects of our opponent's specific strategies so we do not get caught off guard when it really counts.
The scriptures contain our own game plan for this game of life. The adversary has strategies and he has techniques that he uses as he tries to defeat us. But if we use what we've been given in the words of prophets of old and even living day prophets we will not fall. We will be victorious!
This is the time that really counts! This is our chance! Let us prepare ourselves right now!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


To improve athletic performance in any sport, sport camps are often offered. Different places throughout the world allow athletes to come and devote time to bettering their athletic abilities. Good coaches are present to help and provide tips and pointers on how the athletes can perform better. As I was growing up I attended both football and basketball camps; the benefits were obvious. It seems any time we can focus our thoughts and energy on one particular thing we are then able to refine and polish our skills, thus making us better.
On April 2-3 we have a special opportunity to attend one of these "camps". However, it doesn't require shooting basketballs or catching footballs. It is a spiritual camp that we can attend from the convenience of our home. General Conference (as it is specifically called) is a time where we can focus our thoughts and energy on our lives and see where we can more align ourselves with Christ's teachings. We get the privilege to hear from the best spiritual "coaches" on the earth today-Prophets and Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ! The best thing about it is that it is free, and the results WILL be obvious! Beginning Saturday April 2 at 12 noon East Coast time we begin this sacred spiritual camp, and it can be viewed on I guess the real question is: why wouldn't you go?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Downfall of us All

I thank Sister Yandt for reminding me about this principle and giving me this idea.
When playing any sport, we see situations where a team will quickly get out to a large lead. They may even seem to pulverize the competition so far into the ground that after one half of a game it looks as though the opposing team is ready to quit and go home. However, the game is not over. There is still time to play. After this how often is it that we see the winning team come back out after halftime and then lose it? Why is that? Because pride enters their hearts, and the scriptures teach us that "Pride cometh before destruction."
Just think of the similarities that we can see to life in that aspect. Life seems to be going so well, nothing appears to be wrong. What do we seem to do in that situation? We allow that same pride to enter into our hearts. We let our guard down. As a result we get surprised and we are brought down!

This downfall does not have to be the result. If we follow the counsel to be "Steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works" we won't worry about the possibility of being brought down by pride! If we will listen to our leaders, keep our covenants, and do what we are supposed to we will be ready when difficult times come. We will "play" for the entire "game" and we will win!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The lightest. The best.

As athletes in all sports, we want to have the best equipment. From shoes to protective pads we want the newest, the strongest, the best. A very key characteristic in our choice of gear is the weight. We want it to be as lightweight as possible! If the equipment is too heavy we know that we won't be as fast, and we will use up our energy faster.
In life we don't want to be weighed down by unnecessary things either. Sin causes us to acquire unnecessary weight in our life's journey. We can't expect to perform our best in our individual life's duties if sin is burdening us. It will just slow us and cause us to fatigue faster!
However, all of us will acquire the additional weight of sin at one point or another in our life. Luckily for us, we have someone there to replace our crummy, heavy "equipment" for new, sleek, LIGHTWEIGHT "gear". Jesus Christ provided the means for us to repent and lift those unnecessary, heavy burdens from off our shoulders. And the great thing about this "equipment" is that it doesn't cost $100. The only cost is a broken heart and a contrite spirit! So what are you waiting for? It's yours for the taking, take it!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Life's Hurdles

During high school I ran track, and I loved it! I competed in the hurdles, the race that has obstacles every so often throughout the entire race. It was great, it was challenging, and very rewarding at the end. The first time we run the race it isn't a fluid thing, it just looks bad. However, after much practice we get better form and running the race can go from being a start and stop kind of run to a graceful and consistent sprint. In fact, it got to the point that hardly any speed was lost as we went over each hurdle. This race is very similar to our life here on earth!
Oftentimes our earthly trials are referred to as hurdles, and just like in the race I ran, we can't avoid them. It is not an option to just go around them. When we face our trials we should work to be "graceful" just like those well-trained hurdlers are. When we face a trial (or a hurdle) we should not get shaken up, we should not stutter, but we must trust our practice and meet them head on confidently; we should continue going smoothly. We ought to continue working to improve our form that will come as we put our trust in our coach, Jesus Christ. When a hurdle comes, if we allow fear and doubt to shake us, just like in the race, it ends up just being a waste of energy and you just have to begin running again.
King Benjamin taught us that we should be diligent in life, so that we might win the prize. We must  be diligent and continue to stride over life's hurdles. As we do so, we have the promise from the Lord that, "After much tribulation come the blessings."(D&C 58:4)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bruises and Broken Bones

Broken arm, broken leg, surgery, multiple visits to physical therapy. I have played football my entire life, I have loved every minute of it. However, I did suffer a few injuries which were listed at the beginning. Immediately following those injuries I was in a lot of pain. When people would try to comfort me, I would think "You don't understand how badly my leg hurts right now!" People's words just couldn't give me the comfort I longed for as I sat, totally dependant and basically unable to move for days.
I know I am not the only one to suffer pain from incidents relating to sports or other accidents, nor did I suffer more than others. I wasn't the first and I won't be the last. For all of us that have suffered pain from one thing or another we can find true comfort in the knowledge of our Savior's great atoning sacrifice for us. In the Book of Mormon the prophet Alma prophesied of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind...that he may know how to succor(help) his people according to their infirmities." Jesus Christ suffered EVERYTHING. When we may feel that no one knows how we feel at any given time, we are wrong. Someone does. Jesus Christ does!
From now on, let us all find comfort in the knowledge of our loving Savior. He will give it to us as we seek it! Let us seek his comfort in prayer as we move forward keeping his commandments and enduring in the faith!