Friday, February 6, 2009

Sowing and Reaping

In today's society everything seems to be about instant gratification and excitement rather than principled growth and sacrifice.  Training is no different.  Everyone loves to do the sexy exercises and the latest program.  Very few people are willing to put in the work behind closed doors when no one is watching.  Even fewer are willing to endure the pain and sacrifice necessary to become a champion.  Galatians 6:7 tells us "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap."  I have applied this very directly to my time in Boston and I believe that I will reap a great harvest from the seeds of hard work and a sense of delayed gratification.  What a timeless lesson!  I believe Jesus spoke in parables because it hit directly at the heart of the issue, the analogy of a farmer sowing seed with the faith that those seeds would produce a harvest is a universally understood concept.  I have found in everything I have done in my 22 years on earth, preparation is vital to success.  Every game, every test, every speech's success is directly tied to the level of preparation (sowing).  To go one step further, I believe it is impossible to live an effective Christian life without preparation, spending time with Jesus.  Just as victories on the field in October are won at 6 AM in January and on a 110 degree field in July, victories in life are won in those quiet hours of prayer and meditation with the Lord.  

If I lost some of you along the way, bear with me.  Those of you who know me, know that I can talk for hours at a time when such clarity presents itself.  In my mind I tend to look for trends, as I believe that many of these are explained in the Bible.  Lately with the confluence of troubles in the economy, being a newlywed and training for the NFL, I have seen the law of sowing and reaping very evidently.  With our economic troubles it seems like no one is willing to realize that we have reaped the harvest of greed and living beyond our means (obviously this is an oversimplification and many innocent, hard-working Americans have been affected regardless of their level of involvement), even with this bailout it seems that the concept of saving, living wisely and being a good financial steward is lost.  We would be much better off if we were willing to take our medicine, I pray that this bailout doesn't turn into a case of the operation being a success but the patient dying.  In my own life I have seen the temptation to live large and in the moment as a newlywed rather than driving down deep roots and foundations for our future.  A very wise man, Byron Weathersbee, advised me to remember the concept of "delayed gratification" when starting out as a newlywed.  In this case, sowing early results in a bigger harvest down the road.  Finally, I have seen this law at work in the game of football.  In the last five years I have spent countless winter mornings getting up from my warm bed at 5:30 and driving to Floyd Casey, the stadium lights being the most prominent sight in the darkness before the dawn.  

I could go on indefinitely on this topic but the point is that I am very blessed to even be able to be in the position to work towards this goal of playing in the NFL.  For some reason I have not always been credited or utilized to the level of my abilities.  It didn't make sense to me why I was not heavily recruited out of high school but I never questioned myself or felt victimized, I just worked.  Now that I find myself in a similar situation I realize that I will once again have to work to be recognized for the abilities and talents that I know I possess, I wouldn't have it any other way.  God will have all of the glory from my success, He is with me and I know I won't be ashamed.

Now onto today's training!

Bench Press- 8x135, 6x185, 6x225, 4x245, 2x275, 1x295, 1x315, 17x225

This was a good workout, I haven't benched heavy since the summer but was pleased to find my strength intact.  315 shot up pretty easily and I would estimate that my max is somewhere around 340-350 right now.  The heavier work did dampen some of my elastic response so the 17 reps at 225 is down from what it would be if I set up the workout around it (20-21 reps most likely).  The good news is that I am ahead of schedule in this area as Carl projected 16 reps following the heavier lifts.

After the workout, we went to eat dinner with Carl's friends Glen and Karen.  The food was exceptional and the pre dinner rock concert from their young boys was awesome.  We spent hours after dinner discussing current affairs, political theories, American history and faith.  The conversation was very entertaining and stimulating.  Such conversations and debates are always fun for me because I get to articulate my beliefs and try to relate them to others.  Overall a great night.  Thanks Glen and Karen!

Tomorrow is a big day with sprints, heavy lifts and the Boston Indoor Games at night.  I'm excited to see some speed on the track and if there is an open lane, White Chocolate would be more than willing to make an appearance!

Until Next Time,



  1. Thomas,
    Just thought I'd let you know that I've thoroughly enjoyed following your progress. You're an inspiration and, I hope, indicative of what the "new breed" of professional athlete will embody.

    Good luck to you in your future endeavors.

  2. Thomas when I read your blog I'm always amazed to learn things about a young man I feel I've never met. It's like reading a novel that you can't put down.

    God Bless you both!

    Love, Dedra