Fitness is a passion and has been since I discovered endurance running back in high school. I loved feeling the burn in my lungs as they struggled to take in enough oxygen to meet the demand my mind placed on my body. My legs burned as my mind pushed them to run faster and farther.
A few years ago I needed to be reminded my body would achieve only that which I demanded with my mind. Ergo, I joined a fitness club. Yes, I had joined clubs in the past but never with a defined focus. This time I set goals and achieved them! It felt good as my muscles burned in protest. It felt great focusing my mind to will my burning body to finish. Believe it or not, this is the easy part. It’s truly amazing that my body can do much more than my mind believes. Of course, being careful and listening to my body is important to avoid injury and continue building momentum.
True fitness embraces the burn in multiple areas of life.
Fitness is not only about how I exercise and eat. Yes, how I eat and exercise are important. True fitness is a lifestyle. One that is mindful to challenge myself, or feel the burn so to speak, in all areas of my life. For example, how I treat others, who I choose to spend time with, how I write, sleep, read, watch tv, volunteer, and practice my Christian faith must be incorporated for me to live a lifestyle of fitness.
The fun part feeling the burn, particularly in relationships, can creep up suddenly. Today my husband and I were running errands. We stopped for a cup of coffee earlier and engaged in a little teasing. A few hours later, we were snarking at each other and I was throwing up my hands in the Target parking lot saying, “I can’t do this!” while flopping down on a bench. Talk about feeling the burn, particularly when I had to ask my mate for forgiveness for calling him names.
Yes, fitness is a lifestyle and it encompasses my whole life. It doesn’t just happen either, I have to think, plan, and act.
A while ago I had to come clean about the lack of burn in my spiritual life. To correct this, I challenged myself to get up at 8 am for the five of the next seven days (three days have gone by) and spend time in study and prayer. The first day was a bomb, an epic fail! The next two have gone well and I am becoming more fit in this area. I know there are going to be struggles because the enemy doesn’t want me to be burning spiritually. He doesn’t want me to learn and then follow God’s will for my life.
Instead, as I know, the enemy wants me to be a disfunctional Christian. Satan has been having a grand ole time running to God and pointing out all my failures. Fortunately for me, Christ is sitting at the right hand of God and, every time I am accused Christ defends me because of my faith in Him.
Did you notice: I know all of this. Knowledge doesn’t translate into a lifestyle of fitness. I must take action in every area of my life to become fit. I must put myself out there and be willing to feel the burn. In this case, I’m feeling the burn every morning at 8am when that alarm clock goes off.