Faith & Fitness
It’s easy to assume that fitness only involves the physical. But I would say that it involves mind, body, and spirit – together. When my spirit is off, my lack of motivation is apparent. When I’m in a place of anxiety or stress, I turn to food rather than exercise.
To thrive, every aspect of who we are should be in sync with one another. including Faith & Fitness.
Personally, I love that fitness requires hard work…a typical Enneagram 1, I like things that take resilience and effort because the results are actually worth it. Last year I ran my first 10k. When I began training, I kept thinking, “there’s no way I can run 6.2 miles.” It felt insurmountable, especially for someone who is a sprinter, not a long-distance runner.
I had to shake the thoughts that elite athletes would look down on me. Or that once race day came, I wouldn’t be able to make it through without stopping.
After reading tips on, “how not to appear like a novice on race day,” I got my outfit together, ate a massive bowl of pasta, and went to bed early the night before. The next morning, I had the jitters and decided to put myself at the back of the rat pack so I wouldn’t accidentally get caught up with anyone faster than myself.
Once I found my pace it was smooth sailing and I found out how enjoyable it could be to run through the streets of Asheville with hundreds of other people.
The hardest part of my 10k journey wasn’t physical. Preparing for the race was all about talking with the Father. A mental and spiritual undertaking. I wanted Him to be a part of this endeavor rather than it just being about myself. I needed His peace and strength to override my fears.
I needed my faith to integrate into my fitness.
Truth is, most times I work out I draw closer to Jesus. It becomes my time of absolute solitude with Him, where He’s 100% free to talk, and I just listen.
People say, “running clears my head.” While those who hate running groan at that statement, it is true for me. Running refuels me: mind, body, and spirit.
But you must find what works for your dynamic. What form of fitness will actually feel like taking care of yourself? What makes you feel whole when you move your body? Is it tennis with friends, rock climbing, going for a meander and listening to your favorite crime podcast, or kayaking down the river? When you find what you love it’ll be easier to commit. You’ll feel and be better for it.
Acts 9 tells the story of how Saul became Paul. On that road to Damascus, the Lord intervened in a triune way; body, mind, and spirit. All three aspects of the man were hugely impacted by God in an instant. It was on this journey that Saul saw Jesus for the first time. I can’t help but wonder if the Lord chose to do it this way because He knew that’s when Saul would listen. On a long trek, where his mind was available, ears open.
No matter which ways you find fulfilment in fitness, I challenge you to make it an opportunity for more than physical betterment. Let it become an all encompassing part of your walk with the Lord…a time that is available for God to intervene and speak.