Monster Trucks, ear plugs, and the voice of God

at the supply store before the show

at the supply store before the show

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

When it started we were stunned. I wondered how loud it might really be, assuming that from our vantage point the noise would be manageable. It rattled our senses when they started. I laughed softly in one short forceful exhale from my chest. Your eyes widened and focused, first on the source of the sound and then upon me.

I took you to the Monster Jam monster truck show a few weeks ago, Max. We went with Uncle Stephen and your cousin Allen. You boys were wild about the trucks, the noise, and the experience itself.

After trips to a couple different supply stores I finally found ear plugs for us to wear during the show. Orange spongy things that we crammed into our ears. You watched me as I worked them into your 4 year old sized ears. I laughed once they were in, because they stuck out a half inch. You sat uncomfortably afraid they would fall out.

The first half of the night you yelled over the roar of the trucks in my direction. I leaned in, bringing my plugged ear down to your level. I watched your mouth move and tried to decipher what you were asking. A hundred questions. But I couldn’t hear you. And you couldn’t hear me. So I nodded in your direction and said

“Yeah. Yep. Wow.”

Eventually, in frustration, I took my ear plugs out. You looked at me and I could tell you wanted yours out too. After a few minutes I removed them. Over the rumble of trucks I could finally hear your questions. You climbed up on your seat, onto your knees and yelled into my ear. I sat close to you and answered them. You smiled at our new ability to communicate about the trucks.

taking it all in

taking it all in

Since then I’ve wondered what plugs my ears as I go through life. Lately I’ve been listening for God’s voice in my life. That quiet whisper we hear about. I’ve been frantic. Hard listening. A wrinkling of my brow and squinting my eyes kind of straining to hear over the noise. Orange spongy things blocking my father’s voice when I have a thousand questions. It’s frustrating.

It was a relief when we took the plugs out and I could hear your voice, Max. I remember that slow grin and gap toothed smile as I told you about the trucks; your daddy answering your questions.

I don’t know if this is a good analogy. Maybe somethings lost in the silliness of ear plugs. Maybe it’s not that simple.

But then again, maybe my life is too crowded, too connected to the wrong things, too plugged up,  and I can’t hear the one voice I’m desperate for these days.

I love you,

– Daddy


I’m working with a coach for the first time in my 12 year triathlon “career”. Cliff Duhon from Breakthrough Nutrition is keeping me on the path towards Rev3 Knoxville 70.3 on May 5th and Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6 on September 7th. That’s right. 140.6… first FULL distance race. I’ll be writing about my decision to finally go the distance on Rev3’s blog this winter, spring, and summer. I’m honored that they asked me.

Friday: Swim test day. Total yardage: 1900. Test: 2 x 500. I did them in 6:52 and 7:09. Not where I want to be, but not too far off either.

Saturday: Bike test day: 1 hour trainer ride w/ 20 minutes “all out” for average HR. My initial bike Lactate Threshold is 171.

Sunday: Run test day: 45 minute run w/ 20 minutes at 5k for average HR. I covered 2.85 miles in 20 minutes (7:01 pace) for an avg. HR of 184

Monday: REST

Tuesday: Swam 2000 / Run 5 miles