Day 31 – Lunge lunge lunge

Yesterday, I did a bunch of lunges, and it was awesome. (I also did some burpees and squats, but those are for a different day.)

One of my fondest memories on this journey is the first time I could do a lunge without pain — turns out, it’s hard to lunge at 375 pounds. It’s a little easier at 300, and even more so around 260.

I remember visiting my coach/buddy Pete at his work gym way back in Feb. 2014, and I couldn’t move at all. It was awful. He also made me very sore, which was also awful. 🙂

But now I can do them, and I like them. I’m finding I like movements that feel more mobile, if that makes sense. I like exercises that involve a lot of muscles and help me gain flexibility and general mobility.

For example, I can do without bench press (it’s fine) but I really like rows (they work a lot more muscles and certainly apply more to disc golf). Lunges work a variety of muscles and it feels powerful when you push back to a standing position. I like that feeling. Plus, working legs is a great way to burn a bunch of calories.

Now, I should also mention that I hadn’t done a lot of lunges before yesterday, so I woke up to the familiar ache of DOMS. What’s DOMS? Delayed onset muscle soreness. Oh, how pleasant it is! That pain is the sweet, sweet reminder of an awesome yesterday and the hope of a stronger tomorrow. (Just eat your protein, kids. All will be fine.)

Day 30 – A saint triumphant

Today, we gathered at church to celebrate the life of a sister in the faith. It was not morose — it was joyous, because Christ’s work on the Cross was enough for her, and for all of us. So, we rejoice.

In these moments, it is my prayer that we cling to hope and joy and peace, all of which are additional gifts given to us by Christ our King.

It is often repeated at Christian funerals that someone ran the race well and kept the faith. We say it, we smile, we move on. It is, at times, perhaps a disposable phrase.

But to think about what that entails is a different ballgame, because that life is not easy. Running this race is not for the faint at heart — it’s not for the comfortable.

As C.S. Lewis put it:

I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.

So then, it does matter how we spend our time and if we study. It does matter if, over the course of our lives, we have run the race well. It does matter if we pushed ourselves into uncomfortable places — as God often will as part of sanctifying us. But that work is not lost, it is not worthless.

Paul confirms this, in Philippians 1:3-6:

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

So, today we celebrated a saint triumphant. To God the glory and praise.

Day 29 – Sundays

I enjoy my Sundays.

I remember, earlier in my Christian life, I thought of church as nice but sort of disposable. I didn’t need to go, if that makes sense. I’m good on my own. I’ve got this figured out. Sure, it’s great to hear a powerful sermon, but church isn’t vital for me.

Well, age and experience are great teachers. I am not okay — I do not have this figured out. As it turns out, I do need my church family and extended Christian friends, and I need them badly. I love all of you quite a bit, and I eagerly look forward to each chance to spend time in God’s house and with God’s people. And not only do I need the message from the pulpit, I need to sing in worship because of what it does for me. Remembering what God has done for us — and praising Him for it — is vital.

it is worth the trip. More than worth it.

I used to find any reason to not go to church. Now I can’t imagine not going. I hope you, dear reader, also find such joy in your congregation, and if not, be in prayer about it. Fellowship is vital to each of us, and I am grateful to be able to fellowship with so many of you.

Day 28 – Mostly alive

I’m back!

In that I mean, I can eat and not feel a lot of pain. (I feel some pain, but not much, and far less than the preceding days. Praise God.)

What I want to dig into is something I noticed within myself while I laid in bed and binged watched four seasons of “Justified.” Before this week, I didn’t often pray for healing. Perhaps that comes from built-in aversion to the Benny Hinn heresies we see so often, I don’t know, but there is absolutely no reason to not ask God for help.

Was it doubt that God could do it? Nah. I’ve never struggled with that. He’s the Creator God.

Or, was it doubt that God would do it? Did I, in my past, avoid asking God to heal me from pain (physical, emotional or spiritual) because I didn’t think He would, therefore avoiding disappointment? I cannot say, but there’s probably something to that. I have rarely been good at processing disappointment, but thankfully that has improved some too.

But this week, I did. Whether God directly intervened or time simply made things better, all credit goes to the Lord. (After all, who else would be responsible for time and its passage?)

Day 27 – Better, but not good

I’m still feeling a little off. (Hold the jokes.)

Being sick provides just the kind of motivation I need to do nothing. Rarely do I miss bible study — not being pious when I say that, I really like studying with my friends — but I did so. Rarely do I miss school — okay, that’s a stretch — but I did so.

Rarely do I miss the gym — my issues with weight are always nutritional — but I did so. I felt just bad enough to not want to push it, and so down I stayed for a few days. I also hadn’t missed putting out a post, but I did so the last two days. We’re caught up now, even if Days 25 and 26 are rather … shallow posts.

As I write this, it appears that I’m over the hump, but a few lingering “ugh” moments remain.

It’s been nearly all discomfort and little of anything else. Again — just bad enough to keep me down, always threatening to get worse. Sigh. Such is life.

Now, to take those quizzes I’d avoided …

Day 24- Ugh

Nothing makes studying, applying for jobs or working out more arduous than a random stomach bug.

But, even so, things have to be done, and so I will try to do them. I’m hardly incapacitated, so at this point I can either whine or be productive.

… we’ll see.

Day 23 – Focus

One of my heroes is The Rock.

As a lifelong wrestling fan, that’s no big surprise, but in a lot of ways my appreciation for him has only grown as my desire to achieve better fitness has crept into focus. He is a constant source of motivation (particularly on Instagram) and inspiration as he manages a ridiculous schedule and a million business interests.

He’s very busy, and yet he doesn’t skip that annoying work out. (But, you might be saying, his fitness is a direct part of his brand and how he earns a living. True — but so what? He still does the work.)

So, here I am again, trolling around Rock’s instagram, and he delivered. Apologies for the somewhat coarse language and the picture of the big, scary veiny dude:

Mornin’ raise of the ‘brow from my new (yet still dirty) West Coast Iron Paradise. We’re doin’ that 4am anchor thing again to close out the week strong. Shooting one big final additional scene for Hobbs and FAST & FURIOUS today. Bad ass Hobbs scene, so it’ll be fun. I’ll wrap that out this afternoon then switch gears, energy, tempo and definitely wardrobe;), to shoot BALLERS tonight. It’s kinda crazy but in order for me to operate at a highly efficient/effective level, I need that 4am wake up to train like an beast. It’s one of my anchors. Even at this “what the f*ck are you thinking at this stupid hour of 4am”. Buuuuut remember it’s the fun crazy ones that dent the universe. Find your anchor. Get crazy. Dent it. #4am #WestCoastIronParadise #DentingInProgress

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on Jan 20, 2017 at 7:52am PST

 

So, what am I focusing on? Better nutrition and more diverse workouts. My calorie consumption has to come down and my movement has to increase, including venturing back into some weight lifting.

What about you?

Day 22 – Come Thou Fount

My two favorite hymns are “In Christ Alone” (I wrote about that, here) and “Come Thou Fount.” Today, two of my close friends sang the latter during our church service, and I was reminded of the role that hymn has played in my life lately.

This particular piece has grabbed me since the first time I heard it:

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee:
prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
seal it for thy courts above.

“Here’s my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above” has echoed through many of my prayers in the last few months. My heart wanders and dithers and dances down dark paths — only God can be trusted with it.

And so I pray that He — and only He — will direct where it goes.