Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Where Has All the Fitness Gone?

Where has all the fitness gone?
Long time passing...
Where has all the fitness gone?
Long time agoooooooooo....

Where has all the fitness gone?
Gone to middle age every one.
 Oh, when will we ever learn?
Oh, when will weeeeeeeeeeee ever learn?

I used to be a fairly fit person. Not triathlon fit, but I could bend over without passing out. My sister was fit; she liked to go on long hikes and climb random mountains and such. My brother-in-law was fit; he worked for the forest service and spent his summers carrying fire-fighting equipment and dashing up steep slopes in search of fires.

What happened to us?

I certainly never gave my body permission to change, but in spite of my comfortable aura of well-being and fitness-hood, I am discovering that somewhere along the way my body has betrayed me. I've always had the feeling of fitness...that sensation of coiled energy just waiting to be unleashed. At any moment....if I wanted to, of course.....I could run for miles, zoom around on my bike, or do other feats of super-fitness. The ability was there...I could feel it!

The fact that going up stairs left me slightly winded and riding my bike half way down the driveway ( I have a long driveway, OK!?) was enough to do me in for the day had no impact on my assessment of reality. But then this January came and I began P90X. It really wasn't for me, you understand. My sister had started a new exercise regimen and needed moral support, so I began going over there to humor her.

I planned to hold back my awesome fitness powers so I didn't embarrass anyone, but I was eventually compelled to admit that there was no need to hold anything back. I was giving it all I had and I could make it...oh...about the first 15 minutes of the hour-long routines. I mean, who was I trying to kid?---the warm-ups pooped me out. If there was any small consolation, my sister was in worse shape than I was.

It is now March. We are almost finished with Week 7 of the 13 week course. And I am just starting to feel the first stirrings of fitness somewhere deep---very deep---inside me. Things have progressed to the point that I am able to finish the entire workout most of the time. Of course, I fast-forward through all the repeats of exercise sets, so I am really only doing half the video, but I am still finishing.

It has been a real eye-opener how hard I had to work to get to the place where I am ready to BEGIN getting fit. Evidently, you can't store up old fitness any more than the 5 foolish virgins could store up oil in Jesus' parable. Those ladies felt like they had plenty of the Holy Spirit in their lives, but feeling wasn't enough to combat the reality that they were running dry.

I didn't have to make a decision to get out-of-shape; all I had to do was quit exercising and keeping my body fit. It was so easy that I didn't even know it was happening. I hope I never slip back into the complacency of thinking my physical fitness is better than it is, but more than that, I hope I'm never fooled into thinking that I'm a spiritual giant when I'm really a spiritual couch potato. I'm pretty sure that being spiritually fit takes purpose, time, and a commitment on my part----just like P90X.

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