"Strip down, start running - and never quit!"
If you're a serious runner, you recognize the wisdom of these words. They come to us, not from Track and Field, but from Hebrews 12, or at least a contemporary version of it (12:1). Two thousand years ago, the Bible is telling us to get into soul-shape by applying the same type of discipline long-distance racers do today.
The formula for successful distance racing or soul-shaping is simple but tough: Perseverance equals Perspiration, Panting and Pain. When you mount your alloy Aegis frame and start pedaling and sweating - feet fixed to toe clips, wind whipping past you, or when you lace up your Nikes and run for mile after mile, or when you slip into a Speedo and slice through chilly, pre-dawn water on your way to 100 laps, you understand the concept of perseverance.
Right now, there is a select cadre of athletes preparing for perhaps the world's most grueling athletic event. The Xterra World Championship race, scheduled for October and...
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