"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'll give it more than anyone!

Kiki Running Like the Wind at 2007 Country Music Marathon
Her knee hurt badly but she didn't say anything when I talked to her upon my arrival in Appleton, Wisconsin for the Fox Cities Marathon on September 16. Then later that evening she called. I could hear the emotion in her voice and the tears were flowing. I was far away from home and my best friend, wife, and the love of my life - Kiki - had hurt her knee while playing tennis. "This time," she said, "it's bad!"
I did my best to comfort her in her pain of the heart and body. She knew that this wasn't good. As a certified athletic trainer for more than 28 years, I was trying to diagnose her injury over the phone. Eventually, I asked her to send me a picture of her knees, side by side, via email. When I got the pictures I saw that she had a lot of swelling and I was concerned about several things that might be going on in that knee. So, I emailed my good friend and world class orthopedic surgeon, Larry Lemak. He called me when he got the email and asked me to send Kiki to his home for him to examine on Saturday, the 18th.
After examining her knee, he scheduled an MRI and eventually surgery for Wednesday, September 22. We arrived at the hospital on that day and after Kiki was taken back to be prepped for surgery, Dr. Lemak met me and took me back to the surgery viewing room so I could watch the surgery. After I had watched the repair and clean-up work he did in her knee through the arthroscopic procedure, Dr. Lemak came back to the room where I was and simply asked, "Did you see that!?"
Kiki's many years of tennis, running, biking, and so much more had taken a toll on her knee. The wear and tear to the knee was significant. She had arthritic changes, a meniscus tear, and defects in the articular cartilage that covers the ends of the bones. Dr. Lemak told me that she would most likely have to do non-load, non-weight bearing sport activities from now on. He knows Kiki but I'm not sure that he knows how driven and tough she is .... so, I'm not betting against her being able to run again!
Regardless, I had to tell her what was going on in her knee. When she returned to her room from surgery, I told her what they had done to her knee and how significant the problem was. She asked me what all that stuff meant .... what would she be able to do? When I told her that she might not be able to run or play tennis competitively again, she began to cry. She was heart broken and her sadness lasted most of that day.
Still, she is tough, stubborn, and has the strongest will of anyone I know. She will out work anyone! So, the idea of her not being able to do the things that she has done all of her life hurt her heart. As is our mantra, "Never allow your circumstances to dictate your character" -- I began to see and hear a change in Kiki over the next couple of days. She told me, "Then, I'll do what I can do to help grow TEAM 413. I'll work just as hard as if I were training for a marathon. I'll give it more than anyone. I don't have to run to minister."
Needless to say, Kiki's words hit me like a ton of bricks. She believes in the ministry of TEAM 413. She has seen the impact that this ministry has had on thousands of people from all over the world. She understands that TEAM 413 is important and that we have to keep moving forward and continue to glorify God in all we do and say. We simply cannot turn around and retreat when things get tough!
Through the years, countless people have told me that they want to be a part of TEAM 413. They tell me that they want to do whatever they can to help us grow. They just want to be a part of this ministry so they can help other people. Yet, when it comes time and they are asked to help, only a handful have lived up to what they have said. Many have had excuses. Others never call or email us back. However, a select few have the same attitude as Kiki. They just ask me to point them in the right direction and they'll get it done!
We need more people with TEAM 413 like Kiki. We need folks who will give their time and resources to help us move forward as a ministry. We need people who love the Lord and will shed tears of joy and sorrow with those of us who are "locked in" on this God thing we call TEAM 413. We need individuals who will do what they say and get on with the business of helping others all across this country. We need people who don't say that they will "believe it when they see it" but will say "I'll SEE it when I BELIEVE it!"
This world would be a much better place if it were filled with people who have a heart of service like my wife -- no complaints -- no whining -- no excuses! Just get it done! It's time for people who want to be a part of TEAM 413 to step up and step out of their comfort zone. We are long over due to accomplish many things and it's time to live up to the standard that Kiki has set!
If you are committed, let's get it done! No excuses any longer! In the words of Kiki:
"I'll do what I can do to help grow TEAM 413. I'll work just as hard as if I were training for a marathon. I'll give it more than anyone!"
Praying for God's blessing and for servants to come our way!
Under HIS Grace...

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