Often, I write messages focused on healthy eating & honoring God with your food choices. But there’s a huge side of this I have yet to touch on: exercise.
For advice on fitness I turn to Aly, the athlete & trainer behind Black Flag Fitness. I’m lucky to call her my cousin & forever friend.
Thanks, Aly for sharing some workout wisdom with us today!
We are free of obligations only once in our lifetimes-when we are born. For this very short period of time, we have no responsibilities, and we are depended on for nothing.
Far too soon, though, the world starts to count on us to participate in basic societal norms. We must learn to dress ourselves appropriately, we must feed ourselves politely, we must attend school, we must learn to responsibly and safely drive a car, we must get a job, we must find our own home, we have to keep that home clean, we have to do laundry, we should get married, we should raise children, we should give back to charity, we should volunteer. As adults, there is so much that we have to do and there is even more that we should do.
If you are anything like me, I grew more and more overwhelmed the older that I grew and the more responsibilities I realized that I had. When I decided to drop out of college for a year or so, I was somewhat relieved to get to leave behind classes and professors and homework to join the workforce. And while I was incredibly heartbroken to be leaving behind soccer and my teammates and practices and games, I couldn’t wait to see what I would do with all the extra time that I’d suddenly have on my hands. It turned out, that I would use that extra time to eat.
And without those hours of practice every day and without the time in the gym, I quickly gained weight that I never knew I could gain. All of a sudden I had another responsibility. Now I had to figure out how to workout on my own without a coach in my face and I had to find the time to do it.
All too often, my clients see their workouts the way that I first saw it, as a chore. It was something to check off my list because I had to do it. It was another thing that was expected of me in this new adult world that I had entered. Maybe you see exercise the same way. You go to the gym in the morning because you need to lose the weight but you hate it. You meet up with a friend after work, but you both grumble through the workout. It’s nice to check it off your list, but you dread doing it.
But what if I told you that you don’t have to hate fitness? And what if I said that there’s an easy fix to your problem? If you hate lifting weights, don’t lift weights. If you hate running, quit. If going to group classes gives you a pit in your stomach, don’t go to anymore group classes. Find an adult sports league to join. Pick up cross-country cycling. Grab your suit and swim some laps. Join a climbing gym and get your workout in there. Find the thing you love. Find the thing that makes you excited. This isn’t to say that you’ll never dread it, you’ll never want to skip it, you’ll never get tired of it. But once you find the right fit, you’ll realize that it’s worth pushing through to get better, to get stronger, to find the best you.
It took me almost a year when I started working out to figure out what I loved. Since then, I’ve gone through highs, where I wanted to spend every spare minute at the gym getting stronger and more powerful. I’ve also gone through lows. I’ve spent months dreading the gym, wishing that I didn’t have to go. During those lows, I chose to work out in other ways that I enjoyed more. There are too many things in life that we have to do that aren’t fun. Fitness shouldn’t be one of them.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received through God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” A little further on, 1 Corinthians 10:31 reads, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Quit spending time in a gym complaining about being there if you don’t want to be. The time we have to work on our health and our fitness is a small, precious part of our day where we get to spend time with God in a very unique way. No other time do we get to worship Him with our whole bodies, moving and working in the way in which He specifically designed us.
Quit dreading exercise. Find something that you love to do. Take care of your temple. Use that time as worship. Praise God for the gift of your body. Praise Him for your legs that can run, your arms that can carry, your strong lungs that can breathe. Praise Him for giving you the ability to pursue a better, healthier, stronger version of yourself.
For more from Aly –> checkout https://www.blackflagfitness.net/
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