My goal has been to go into this experience without any expectations. But training camp was nothing like I expected.
Almost from the moment I got there, I was overwhelmed by the number of people, the constant interactions and the magnitude of the year ahead of me. For the first time, I saw the bigger picture of what life on the race was going to be like. And it terrified me.
On Day 2 of training camp, I crawled into my tent around 11 pm, and decided I couldn’t do it. I was going home. I didn’t know how, but I knew that if I put my mind to it, I could find a way. Because I certainly didn’t have the strength to stay.
But then I stopped and prayed. I asked God to give me the strength to make it through the night, and prepare me for His will the next day. And even though I wanted to go home, I knew that He wanted me to stay. I fell asleep in shambles, but I woke up the next morning ready to take on whatever camp threw at me. And it was in that moment that I knew I had made the right decision when I chose to go on the World Race. It was in that moment that I knew that God would carry me through whatever struggles and hardships are going to come at me in the next year.
I prayed a lot last week. And it was mostly for strength because training camp was nothing like what I expected. It was hard. It was trying. It was hot and cold and humid and rainy. It was never comfortable. It was everything I imagine the Race will be like, but in a much more condensed time frame.
I considered not telling you guys any of this. Mostly because I still need your help (prayers, please!!) to make it to the starting line, much less the finish. But one thing we talked about at camp was being honest and not keeping secrets. If I want you guys to trust me, support me and believe in me, I can’t just tell you the good stuff. If I’m going to grow as a person and as a Christian, then I have to be willing to bare it all. And for those of you who know me, you know that won’t be easy.
But I promise to be accountable, not just to God, not just to myself, but also to all of you. Community was a huge focus during camp. We’ll be living in a group of people 24/7 for 11 straight months, sharing food and clothes and living spaces. We started doing all of that last week. It’s important that my squadmates and I are living for each other as part of this experience.
But for me, community extends beyond the 6 other women that I’ll be sharing my daily life with from September of this year until July of next year. Community includes the people that love and support me at home. The ones who will only hear from me via this blog or the occasional Facebook post or tweet. The ones who are giving me the chance to grow in God and share His love around the world.
I’m accountable to all of you. If you have anything that you specifically want to hear from me, please let me know in the comments. And I hope that you’ll keep commenting throughout my entire trip. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with each and every one of you.
P.S. Keep your eyes open for a pretty cool little story from training camp that I’ll post either later today or tomorrow.
P.P.S. If you’re interested in donating to my mission, please head over to my WR blog tristianahinton.theworldrace.org