I married into a triathlon family that goes three generations deep. With two triathlon Olympians, National Champions, World Champions, Ironman Kona competitors and Escape from Alcatraz winners, my family gets the sport like nearly no other.
(Do you like the picture above? It’s from 2008 in Sebring where my oldest five competed and each of them won their age group…Great day!)
Personally, I am pretty clueless about the whole ordeal. I’m just a cheerleader that yells my heart out nearly every event and does all the laundry afterwards.
But this video about the Brownlee Brothers, the world champs, olympians, and all around superstar duo is going viral and it deserves a little love from all of us.
When you watch the video, you see that as they come to the finish of the world championship race in Mexico, Jonny Brownlee is about to “bonk”…about to pass out from exhaustion. With very little power left, it would be a tragedy to drop so very near the finish line.
He was winning at the time.
Second place competitor, Schoeman of South Africa, quickly realizes his good fortune and speeds towards the finish… He wins the race and good for him. Sometimes it just happens that way, Jonny ran out of steam before he ran out of pavement.
But Alistair Brownlee (gold medalist from Rio) is not far behind his brother and sees him about to go down. Taking his brothers arm, he pushes, pulls, drags, and leads his brother to the finish line. Once there, with one final push, Alistair shoves Jonny across the finish and he gets second place.
This is the picture of brotherly love. As parents, it’s our goal that we should all raise the kind of young men and women who would love others and especially their siblings in such a sacrificial way.
But that’s not my point today.
How many of us, as parents, have felt much like Jonny Brownlee at the end of a day? At the end of a hard season of parenting? At the beginning of what turns out to be a very challenging time in our marriage, careers, or even facing a personal struggle?
(raising my hand behind the screen.)
You can’t see me, but trust me, it’s up. Is yours?
And how many times, about to bonk out from heartbreak, exhaustion, fear or crippling circumstances, did we need a brother or sister in Christ to come along and drag, push, pull, lead, or throw us across the finish line?
(again, raising my hand…)
Yes, train and teach and persuade and beg your kids to love each other and serve and encourage their friends and the community.
But in the end, I’d like us all as parents, as brothers and sisters in Christ to see one another like the Brownlee brothers. Doing whatever it takes to help one another finish the race that God has marked out for us.