In honor of the Tour de France, this week’s tip is from 2 time stage winner at the Tour, Davis Phinney. In addition to his tour wins, Davis took home Olympic bronze in 1984 and won an American record 328 races! In 2000 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and four later he founded the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s.
“People who are waiting are just declining. Waiting is not acceptable.”
Clearly there are some times when waiting is good, times where it is prudent to be “slow to speak.” But Davis is referring to people with Parkinson’s who stop living in the present moment and simply wait for a cure. A cure that may never come in their lifetime. An aggressive, successful athlete like Davis can’t simply wait around; he has to take action. Waiting is too passive for him.
Davis’ quote reminds me of the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River. You can read about it in Joshua 3: 13-17. The Lord told His people to cross the flood swollen river. The priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant did not wait for the waters to recede, they obediently dipped their toes in the water, then the river stopped flowing.
I got to know Davis in 1998 while calling bike races for the Outdoor Life Network. For the next two years we called races in California, Colorado, Canada and points in between. Although I haven’t seen him that much since then, I still consider him my friend. I’ll never forget being on a plane leaving Italy in 2000. I had just covered the Giro d’Italia with Bob Roll. Someone in the row behind me said Davis had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and I laughed. Being the era before smart phones and lap tops I had no idea what had gone on in America the past month. It wasn’t until I got back to the states that I found out the sobering truth.
Successful athletes do not manage decline. The train & work hard to see improvements. Do not wait for things to improve before you take needed action. Do not postpone working out or competing while you wait for this or that. Go do it! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.