Tribute to the “Iron Nun”

Over the weekend, I finished a book titled, “The Grace to Race.” It is an autobiography about the life of Sister Madonna Buder. Sister Madonna is a Catholic nun who lives in Spokane, WA (woot woot!), is 82 years old and is a triathlete. Intriguing, right?

Oh just wait! Sister Madonna has not only competed in over 340 triathlons, but has competed in 45 Ironman events!!! Just to recap, an Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. She has done this over 45 times, 21 of those times being the Hawaii Ironman which requires a qualifying time. And to take the cake, she’s 82 years old! She has opened several new age categories and still holds records in a few of those categories. And as of this past Sunday’s Ironman Canada event, she set the record for the oldest woman to ever finish an Ironman with a time of 16:32:00. My hat (and shoes and bike shorts and wetsuit) off to Sister Madonna!

I think the most inspiring attribute about Sister Madonna’s personality is her reverence for others and the Lord. She views her accomplishments as a way to serve her Savior and bring the glory back to Him. She lives a simple life of humility and complete admiration for God’s creation. She is humorous throughout her book and talks about living with the innocence and joyfulness of a child.

I can’t say enough about this admirable triathlete and woman of Christ. Her life is one of complete abandonment to serving the Lord and complete enjoyment of each and every challenge her encounters. Did I mention she’s broken her hip twice, scapular, arm, fingers and toes? So the next time you think, “I can’t do that…it’s just too hard,” think of an 82-year old woman racing 140.2 miles…I bet your workout won’t seem quite as difficult!



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