Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 2, 2012

The Pain Will Come

With the Texas Water Safari just one-week away, my assignment today was to purchase a few items to add to our first-aid kit. Those who compete in this 260-mile long marathon canoe race are required to carry a first-aid kit, a snake-bite kit, emergency flares, and a space blanket. Today I purchased some additional items that we will need along the way, including Biofreeze Pain Reliever, Ibuprofen, waterproof first-aid tape, insect repellant, and zinc oxide. As I walked through the pharmaceutical aisle at the store, it hit me that everything I am purchasing today is designed to relieve or mitigate pain. There is no question about the fact that the pain will come along the way in the form of sore muscles, insect bites, cuts and scratches, and a blister or two. There is just no way to escape some level of pain or discomfort on this race, regardless of how healthy or strong you are. The pain will come!

The theme of my blog (and my life) is Go Beyond. I am always looking for ways to step across the line that marks the farthest I’ve ever been and the most I’ve ever done, especially in terms of serving God and His purposes. I understand that stepping across that line means that I will have to forsake some level of security and comfort in order to make progress. The same holds true in terms of the Texas Water Safari. This experience will stretch me beyond anything I have ever done physically. One thing is certain, I don’t need any of the pain relievers if I stay on my side of the line — after all, it’s safe there and there are no extra demands to push my body to new limits. I will only need the pain relievers after I step across the line, push myself to do something I have never done before, and call upon my muscles (such as they are) to put my paddle in the water approximately a quarter of a million times.

I know that in a few days I am going to experience aches and pains I have never experienced before, and that’s a good thing. My son Jonathan has talked to me plenty about what it will take to keep paddling through the pain and the exhaustion and the hallucinations that inevitably come when you are sleep deprived. He has told me repeatedly that going slow is acceptable but stopping is not! As long as we keep moving we should make every check-point on time. And, barring no equipment problems or physical emergencies, we should be able to finish the race in less than the 100-hour time limit. Pain is a part of the equation. As sappy as it sounds, the over-used axiom is true: No pain, no gain. I’m looking forward to the journey in spite of the fact that at some point along the way pain will hitch a ride in our canoe and dog us mercilessly all the way to the finish line.

• • • • •

Happy 21st Birthday Gina. We love you and miss you.


  1. I discovered “Icy Hot” while suffering through back pain after hours bent over boxes as I helped my daughter move and unpack. I found it a great relief to sore, tired, overworked muscles. You might want to include it in your ‘bag’!

    • Thanks, Pam. Sounds like something I may definitely need along the way.

  2. I remember seeing a sign during my first marathon that read, “I’m not quite sure how you measure courage, but I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere around 26.2 miles.” I think it may be more like 260! Blessings to you and Jonathan, Omar. And happy birthday, G!

  3. Amen! That is a good reminder to keep pushing forward, to not settle for comfort but to endure some pain for Christ!

  4. Amen! This is a good reminder that we are not called to a life of comfort, but to press ahead to what has called us to…and it will be difficult! Great word Omar!

    • Thanks, Steve. And thanks also for always going beyond in all you do for the kingdom. I look forward to seeing you again in Cambodia in August.

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