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Oklahoma Sports and Fitness January/February 2013 : Page 23

OKS&F: On top of everything else, you two dedicate a lot of time as leaders of the Awana program at your church. What is the best part about that time? TAYLOR: The kids of course! They are so funny. I am the one that gets such a blessing out of teaching them. I love to watch their faces while I am speaking to them. You can see they are enjoying the message and trying to process it all, and then one day ‘click’, they get it and the light starts to shine. I love the nights when you can see God mov-ing through ones even so little as these, and all the scripture verses they’ve been memorizing start to come together. I believe God can do big things through little people. There have been so many little moments and stories that I will always hold dear to my heart. STEPHEN: I gain in many ways from being involved in the Awana program. First, watching my wife teach the kids about God and bringing them into a closer re-lationship with Him is a beautiful thing. Second, it keeps me learning new scripture. The kids in Awana cover a lot of verses and it becomes part of their everyday mindset. OKS&F: What is a positive trait that Taylor possesses that has rubbed off on you? STEPHEN: Her strength and desire. She doesn’t know this (until now), but I cried watch-ing her compete in the Olympic Distance Tri. I rec-ognized the balance she had to achieve to compete at that level as a wife, a mother, and an athlete. She pushes TAYLOR: Yes, there are days when I have a really hard time pulling myself away from everything else I need to get done. Homeschooling three different grades this year has made it the hardest year I have ever had in terms of staying motivated. But there are a few ways I combat that feeling. Running with friends always makes it more interesting and holds you accountable to show up. The only reason I could possibly get up once a week at 4:45 in the morning is because I know my girls will be outside my house waiting for me. OKS&F: What are your goals for 2013? TAYLOR: I would like to continue doing triathlons, and spend more time on the bike to take my riding to the next level. I would like to get my 5K into the 18 minute range, which would make me a little bit more competitive in the local races. And finally, the half Ironman would be a great goal race for next year. STEPHEN: The swim! I need my kids to teach me to swim; it’s my Achilles heel. Those that read my wife’s write up about the Tulsa Tri might know, my technique for swimming is more about survival than racing. Besides the swim, I’m always looking to improve my run, although it appears that, based on my recent times, my running has reached a plateau. In terms of racing, I would like to compete in a half Ironman in 2013, which is both exciting and intimidating. OKSPORTSANDFITNESS.COM | JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2013 23 'TRI TULSA RUNNER' COMPETITION PHOTOS BY CHRIS BARNES, DC, WWW.TULSASPORTSDOCTOR.COM / TOP PHOTO COURTESY TAYLOR AND STEPHEN MURPHY accomplished. Our kids know what it means to have goals and what it takes to meet them. They also learn that there are disappointments, and you don’t always perform the way you ex-pected you would. It’s character building to learn how to handle those disappointments in a positive way. I am always amazed at how encouraging they are of our commitments to our sport. They have never complained about us taking time to train. In fact, there are times when our oldest one will tell me, “Really mom, you need to go swim, let me give you a good workout to do.” As we were taking on homeschooling this year and all the challenges and blessings that this has brought us, the first main lesson was that we can do hard things. We can learn Latin and we can hand draw all the countries in Europe. We can train hard and balance family and do it all to the Glory of God. We have a newly ad-opted motto for our family; “in hoc signo vinc-es”, which was what Constantine, the Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, who legalized Christianity, heard in a dream as he saw a vi-sion of the cross. It means; “in this sign you will conquer”. me all the time. Her love for the Lord and passion to grow as a Christian have rubbed off on me in a very positive way. OKS&F: What makes Stephen a good dad? TAYLOR : When Stephen and I were dating in college, he taught me how to drive a stick shift. I knew then that this guy was going to make a great dad. He was just so patient and relaxed, even when I was grinding away on the gears of his new car, or people were honking as I stalled at the lights. Every mistake was a new learning opportunity. He is the same way with our kids. He sometimes teaches the same lessons over and over again, but with patience and calmness. OKS&F: Do you have days that you absolutely do not want to do your workout? How do you motivate yourself on those days? STEPHEN: This might seem strange, but it is very rare for me to have to motivate myself. I think that it’s likely harder to suggest that I shouldn’t run or bike. However, when it comes to track workouts or the other hard stuff, that’s when I need some motivation. It’s a mental toughness thing to push that little bit harder to get more out of a workout so that I will be faster on the run or on the bike.

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