Philosophy on Fitness: Always Be Ready
Last November my Rockhurst football team lost in a heartbreaking playoff game against our rivals Blue Springs, 11 to 13. The defeat was tough to accept, because that would be my last time playing organized football and a high school sport. I remember thinking after the game, about all the time and energy I had put myself through physically in lifting weights, running sprints, working on technique and all the effort it takes to play the great game of football. Even now, months later, it still makes me feel sad about the lose, but the years of training for football has helped me shape my perspective on fitness for life. Now, I myself am not a workout everyday, lift or die, type of guy as you can see in the picture. However, I’ve found three motivators that keep me in the gym three to four times a week for an hour or so.
There were many lessons I learned from football, but one that I’ll always remember is to always be ready. Coach Severino, a distinctly Italian man, with dark tan skin and a lean in his step that is all his own, always repeated the importance of being ready, because you never know when opportunity may arise. His words became a reality for me as a sophomore standing on the sidelines in the Edward Jones Dome during the first quarter of the Missouri state championship game. Our starting fullback somehow got a concussion on what wasn’t that hard of a tackle. My opportunity arose when Coach Sev decided to put me in, and I played the rest of that state championship game, which we won! Today, I don’t have a specific event to prepare myself for, but you never know when someone might ask to play a game that’s competitive or do something physically demanding. I don’t want to not be able to answer the call, because I haven’t kept my body in a strong and healthy condition.
This past June a buddy of mine called me up and asked if I would help him bail hay. I had never bailed hay before, but by my mother’s reaction when I told her what I was going to be doing, I knew I was in for some hard work. Well, it surpassed hard work, and was a flat out challenge of will. The temperature rose to 90 while we were out there with little breeze. After putting up 15 or so haystacks I was already feeling tired, but with four other guys working around me, and a nice looking girl driving the trailer, I for sure wasn’t going to show it. I kept on pushing and pushing and even though many times in my mind I wanted to stop and go take a long nap in my suburban townhome, I found the will power, fiber, bravado or whatever you want to call it to keep on. Now, I could only tap into my pool of moral fiber, because physically I was prepared to endure the work. There was one kid named Jordan who was bailing hay for the first time just like me that day. However, by that fifteenth haystack he was exhausted and showing it. We had to stop a few times, because he wasn’t keeping up with the trailer in the beginning, and then he started making excuses like, “This isn’t good for my hands. I have a baseball game tomorrow. If I had known it was going to be this hard, I wouldn’t have even come out,” and some other stuff which was really just a cover up for not being able to endure the work. He eventually left before we finished that day.
I share my bailing hay experience because it’s a good example of what fitness can be and mean. Fitness isn’t just about getting ripped and outwardly looking impressive, but rather another way to test resolve. Whether lifting weights, bailing hay or doing anything else physically demanding, the combination of pushing through mentally and physically brings about a feeling of achievement and is another way to measure yourself.
The Body is a Temple
Keeping your body clean and strong is important, because we only get one. Lack of exercise and/or eating unhealthily negatively affects your state of mind,emotions and spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “ Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” The body is another way to glorify and honor God.