e mërkurë, 11 prill 2007

Spiritual path to physical fitness

My focus for this blog goes back to the things I spoke of when I started this blog (see Feb 5th posting.)

When I began with my quest, I thought it was a new concept. I thought why hasn’t more been written about the relationship between health and spirituality? I realized when I recently joined the YMCA, it was not a new concept after all. I walked into a gym and saw a prayer request box. I saw scriptures posted on the wall and even though many of these people may be extremely conservative finding my liberal views repulsive, it really felt good to be there. I have really wanted to find a place to work out and to make my work out a form of worship.

Last night, after returning from being out of town with work, I forced myself to go to a “first time fit” class at the YMCA. Having done virtually nothing for so long, I wasn’t sure I could do it. I met two instructors-one was like a very caring drill sergeant! She encouraged me to wait for the first time fit instructor and “made me” work out for the 20 minutes I waited. The first time fit instructor was warm and compassionate but strong. I explained my physical conditions and most importantly she was familiar with my heart conditions.

When the work out began it was pretty easy but ten minutes in I thought I was going to die. Then I went into some arrhythmia and I thought this is it- sudden death. I slowed and paused. The instructor who was working the room eased over to me, removed her microphone and said you OK? Are you have arrhythmia- I said yes but it’s fine now and in less then 30 seconds I was trying to keep up again. The steps then got a little confusing-why do complicated rhythms when you are at a point of cardiac exhaustion in the routine? With those steps I was completely lost but I wasn’t quitting. After 45 minutes of what I’d call intense cardio- we started strength and core exercises- they were not easy (first time fit-yeah right!) but I had no problem with those. I truly saw my weakness is indeed my heart. At the end of this workout- we did stretches.

The music changed from upbeat secular to contemporary Christian worship and as I stretched and prayed in dim lighting I could not stop the tears from rolling down my face. I had done it. We had done it- God and me-made it through my first – first time fit class.

Today I begin what I'll call the Ten Commandments of my calling to a spiritual path of physical fitness:

1. FAITH and Vision. Without vision I will perish. I see myself fit and I believe with faith I will get there.
2. Peace* and rest. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. I will not have vices-like mountain dew or any other food or beverage that controls me (sin will not be my master.) I will pray in a quiet place daily. I will not keep company with anyone who takes or tries to take peace from me. I will be positive and not be close friends with any negative people.
3. Eat healthy. I will think of food as sustenance saying to myself, I will have my anti-oxidants or I will eat my good carbs.
4. Water of life. I will drink water more than any other beverage.
5. Strength training. I will not lift for muscle building but lift enough to keep my muscles strong.
6. Cardio training. I will do cardio training at least 20 minutes everyday beginning today.
7. Stretching. I will stretch daily.
8. Breathing. I will do deep breathing exercises daily.
9. Light therapy. I will sit or walk in the light or sunshine each day for 15 minutes.
10. Fasting. I will fast and pray at least monthly about my spiritual path(s).

Art work by farid de la ossa.

“Therefore… offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship."
~ (Romans 12:1).

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