Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
My husband retired in January. He was feeling the physical pains caused from years of athletic activity and could no longer perform the grueling demands of his coaching job.
That meant we would actually be able to take a summer vacation together, the first that would include pleasurable, pre-selected stops as opposed to harried cross-country sojourns controlled by Dave's baseball schedule.
We began making plans in April. Our first stop would be Las Vegas where we would relax with Dave's daughter, Nikki, and her family before I headed to Mexico to meet my girlfriends and Dave went on to San Diego to see more family and old school chums. I had packed several books, and the most activity I had planned was to watch my grandkids' after-school activities. What I didn't know was that Nikki and her husband (Dave) had become exercise freaks and expected us to join them in their activities.
The day we arrived we played wally-ball (volleyball on a racquetball court), a sport at which Nikki's family excels and some even compete. My accurate shots, on the other hand, were as rare as a rattlesnake in a good mood. When the game was over, I needed arm casts.
We were to ride bikes the next morning. Is there something wrong with a good book and a cup of coffee? I asked myself.
"It's 10 miles, but most of it is downhill or level, so it's just a great workout," said Nikki, using her cheerleader voice.
It wasn't until we were biking down the street that her husband "mentioned" something about the three-mile uphill trek that preceded the "downhill/level" part. I soon found out there are not bike gears low enough for senior citizens faced with such a laborious task. By the time we returned to their home, I was comatose. The two Daves and Nikki were rejuvenated. Rah-rah.
Over the next four days we played another game of wallyball, two sessions of racquetball, and even repeated that monstrous bike ride, this time with (what seemed to be) 100 mile gusts blowing us backward as we pedaled up Mount Whatchamacallit.
I was thrilled that my flight left Vegas at 6 a.m. the following day, but honestly shocked that Nikki didn't plan some other form of torture in those wee hours before takeoff.
I arrived in Mexico today and a weird thing happened. I found myself planning tomorrow's schedule around a morning workout. I booked three tennis matches over the next week (doubles, of course) and have determined to not let a day go by that I don't do something to get my heart rate up; for that I need to thank Nikki and Dave.
Proverbs tells us that iron sharpens iron. In my case I'm not sure it wasn't iron sharpening tin, but the point is we can all benefit from someone coming alongside us to encourage us. And we need to do the same for others. But it doesn't stop with physical activity.
We are to also mentor each other spiritually. That's what Jesus did for the Twelve, Barnabas did for Paul, Paul did for Timothy and even older women are to do for younger women (or, in my case, what Nikki did for me).
According to Paul D. Stanley and J. Robert Clinton in their book "Connecting," the God-given resources we have to share with others include "wisdom, experiences, patterns, habits of obedience and principles."
My five college sun-aholic friends arrive here in Mazatlan tomorrow afternoon. I'm already planning a few activities to help get them in shape. Something tells me I might be doing all of these alone.