Monday, September 21, 2009

Faith and Fitness

I have a very strong faith, it is the kind of belief that really does impact my daily life. For me, it gives meaning to the mundane and purpose to actions that would otherwise seem empty. It gives me strength and courage to step out in life and do what I feel I should do and it literally gives me the strength to do things I want to do, like stay fit and take care of myself.

How are faith and fitness connected?

For me, it starts with who I believe God is. Over and over he is called our strength, our sustainer, our rock, refuge, he is called the great physician and one of my personal favorites:

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the
strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalms 73:26 )

You see, it doesn't say that he will GIVE us the strength of our hearts and give us our portions, it says that HE is those things.

Strength for what? Do I think that God is why I love weight lifting? Well, not directly, but he is my strength. I go to him when I am run down, tired, emotionally (and yes physically) and he renews me. I read his words, meditate on who he is, talk with him and ask him to help me do what I should --and he strengthens me.

Am I still tired? Needing sleep and motivation?
Of Course!!

But the days when I don't feel strong and yet I get through, sometimes better than I could have imagined, I know he was my strength, I didn't do it on my own.

He is a refuge too, which is what? A place of shelter, relief, and aid. I run to him when I need to rest!!

We ALL know just HOW important rest is to athletes! What if we had no rest days and had to keep adding miles and miles daily? We would breakdown and not be able to workout, run or bike anymore! Our bodies would fall apart from injury, fatigue and overuse if we had no rest, no refuge.

When the world is moving too fast, when the people are relentless and the problems that are hurled at us are too many we can take our rest day and find rest in him. We can bring all our sadness, our frustration and pain and say, "Here, take this! I can't handle it and I don't want to try!" And he will. Stop right now and think about your life and about eternity. What matters?

God and People.

Think on that as you find your rest in him and pass along all your worry. You will find that refocusing your perspective will rejuvenate, encourage and build you up, just like a fitness rest day puts a bounce back in our step. Having a resting place and rest day is vital to our getting through and not just barely, but getting through as WINNERS in this race! Those are a few thoughts on who God is and why he is a part of my daily life and workouts. Being my strength spiritually bleeds right over into being the strength of my life and my heart. There is more of course, this is that tip of the iceberg--but I have to save some for ya!

For me, the ideals in my faith and my fitness are deeply intertwined. The values and goals I have in fitness come from a deeper place and have a deeper meaning in the journey of my life. I am encouraged every time I write about what I experience and every time I strive farther, harder or even have to start over. I know that my provider, my rock and my strength is standing at the finish line waiting for me cheering me on and THAT is what keeps me going.

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