Tuesday, October 4, 2016

"Competing With God" -- Training For Ultimate Athletic Success

Some of you who have followed my running adventures over the years know that in 1990 I wrote a book for athletes titled Competing With God. I dedicated two summers to writing it while I was a fifth grade teacher and high school track coach at a private Christian school.

I've used my book while coaching high school athletes and have also applied it to my own athletic performances. For the past 26 years its been unpublished and it has always been my intention to one day have it on bookshelves.

I'm pleased to say that I finally have solid direction on accomplishing my goal and -- similar to a running race -- I see the course that remains to the finish line. This journey toward publishing my book has certainly been an ultra-marathon and not a sprint!

The book is designed to be used by an individual athlete, a small group of athletes, or by an entire team. Its aim is to give athletes biblical principles to apply in their athletic lives so that they can experience the ultimate joy and success that comes from competing with God as their ultimate teammate. Based on my experiences as both an athlete and coach, I believe Competing With God is beneficial for any athlete -- regardless of ability or level of competition. The chapters are titled as follows:

  • A Lifelong Teammate
  • Your Team Counselor
  • Your Greatest Opponent
  • Listening With The Heart
  • Goals, Dreams and Unbelievable Extremes
  • "I Must Be Out Of My Mind!"
  • Chasing After The Wind
  • "Encouragement" -- Helping To Set The Course
  • "God's Your Coach -- I'm Just The Assistant"
  • Caretaker Of The Temple
  • Temple Visitors: Welcomed Guests or Intruders?
  • Breaking The Tape
  • Themes For Thought

At the conclusion of each chapter is a section titled "On Your Mark. Get Set. GO!" This is an extremely important part of the book in that the reader has an opportunity to study God's Word and to put some thought, or discussion, into the material that was presented in the preceding chapter. Here is how the sections are organized:

  • "On Your Mark" -- In this section the reader will get into the Bible. The New International Version (NIV) scripture references chosen correspond with the material read in the chapter. The reader is encouraged to 'mark' his or her Bible by highlighting verses that are noted in Competing With God.
  • "Get Set" -- This section is designed for the reader to think about, discuss and pray through the truths revealed in the chapter so that they can 'get set' to compete with God as their ultimate teammate. Various questions are presented to deepen thought and to help the reader discern how to apply to his or her athletic life the biblical truths presented.
  • "GO!" -- This section is a closing thought of encouragement as the reader goes out to compete with God as his or her ultimate teammate.

By the way, in recent years the NIV Bible has been the top-selling Bible translation. Although the King James Version (KJV) is arguably the most accurate word-for-word translation, the NIV ranks as the best Bible for balance (between word-for-word and thought-for thought) by using clear, direct modern English which makes it easy to read and understand. All of the verses cited in Competing With God are from the NIV.

The course that I am now on to have the book published will include its registration with the U.S. Copyright Office. I will begin with paperback copies and see how interest in the book goes before considering the addition of a hardcover format. The publishing company will make the book available through Amazon.com as well as the Barnes & Noble online bookstore. It will also be listed in the "Books In Print" database and may be picked up by other resellers via Ingram and Baker & Taylor -- the two leading book wholesalers in the United States. In addition to the paperback format, an e-book of Competing With God will also be available for purchase.

Keep reaching for life's mileposts!

Gotta Run,

Paul Staso, Founder & President
The P.A.C.E. Fitness Foundation, Inc.

P.A.C.E. is a non-profit organization aimed at Promoting Active Children Everywhere.