I started a new workout routine last week. It’s called the Deck of Cards WOD (workout of the day). You can read more about it in this blog entry. I did this workout 3 times last week and 4 times this week.
When I do this workout, it isn’t pretty. I get red in the face. I sweat. I often make sounds that have my puppy looking at me with concern. It’s a tough workout. It is based on the crossfit theory which basically goes “hard exercise works.” Crossfit blends together cardio and strength training. The work out changes daily because our bodies adapt pretty quickly to any new exercise and the benefit of that exercise is reduced. So in crossfit, you are always doing different combinations of moves.
This week I have done (for example), 4 variations on sit ups (regular, v sit ups, twist sit ups and hand-to-foot ball passes), squat thrusts, air squats, lunges, jumping jacks, skipping, mountain climbers, 2 variations on push ups (ball push ups and regular push ups) and chair dips.
It is true, I am bragging right now. I am bragging because 6 months ago I am sure I could not have done what I am able to do now. I am bragging because I know once I’ve shared part of my fitness routine with with others, I am less likely to wimp out on it. I am bragging because I have a goal and I WILL reach that goal. I am bragging because just maybe someone will read this, think “I should try that” and find themselves living a healthier life. I am bragging because hard exercise works. I am bragging because it feels good to be muscling up.
My body is stronger today than it was yesterday. It will be stronger tomorrow. It is not easy to build up muscle, but it is good.
And that makes me think of faith. I had a conversation with a congregant recently in which we were joking about all the things we don’t want to pray for. For example – we said: don’t pray for patience, because God doesn’t just flick his fingers and make you patient. God puts you in situations where you have the chance to work on your patience muscle. And it is hard work.
But it is also good work. And if you have the guts to pray for patience or humility or self-control or any of the things that you can imagine might lead you into some days of hard work to build up that muscle, I promise you two things: first, God will be with you in any situation you face. And second, you will find your life transforming into something beautiful and everlasting.