Happy post-Valentine’s Day! I hope everyone is recovering from their chocolate binges and/or Cupid-inflicted arrow wounds. 😉 I also hope no one received a Hoodie-Footie which I repeatedly saw advertised on TV as the “must-get” gift for your special someone. Perhaps I’d buy into that if your special someone was from “Whoville”…
Anyway, I had an incredible time last Saturday in Dallas as a sponsor at a retreat hosted by the LIFT Conference. You’ll read on the conference’s website that their mission is:
“to inspire CrossFitters to train for something greater in their lives than just the next WOD by equipping and encouraging athletes to step out and share their faith in their local affiliate communities.”
Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?
Before I moved with my husband down to San Antonio, he and I were part of a CrossFit affiliate/ traditional gym that continues to shine in my hometown as a fitness facility that strengthens members spiritually as well as physically; my husband is just one example of someone whose spirit was stirred and reawakened to a zeal for Christ because of the friendships forged inside that CrossFit box (such testimonies deserve memoirs all their own!).
The LIFT Conference was like Vacation Bible School for active adults. There was praise and worship music led by a sweaty CrossFitter with a guitar, a guest speaker who preaches as well as he push-presses, and small group sessions. But instead of arts and crafts, skits, and puppet shows, there were CrossFit WODs (workouts of the day) and challenges for prizes, such as holding a 30-second plank position with your girlfriend on your back ;-).
In the first talk given, CrossFit coach, speaker and author Wade Hodges posited the question, “Do you ever think about what it would be like if church were more like CrossFit?”
By “more like CrossFit” he means filled with individuals who drive their friends and family – not to mention complete strangers – absolutely bonkers with their effervescent passion for the workout, the sport, the fun, the community of CrossFit.
“Why is it that I’ve introduced more people to CrossFit in the last three years than I’ve introduced Jesus?” Wade asked.
Crickets. I didn’t know a CrossFit box could be so silent!
If you follow my blog or have read my book, you know I get excited about emphasizing both physical and spiritual health as interrelated components within the “abundant life” Christ died to give us (John 10:10). The LIFT Conference further elucidated the striking similarities between fitness – particularly CrossFit, in this case – and our Christian walks.
To quote Wade again:
“CrossFit teaches us how to train our bodies for maximum impact. The gains are steady and our effort is rewarded with faster times, heavier max lifts, and better fitting clothes … What if we took CrossFit principles and insights about training for physical fitness and applied it to training for spiritual fitness? What if we pursued spiritual fitness with the same tenacity and intensity with which we pursue physical fitness?”
It’s been three days since the conference, and my heart and mind are still absorbing the sobering challenge to lead a Christian life that burns, bleeds, and battles for Christ just as my CrossFit life literally perspires with a fervor to help others find fitness an exhilarating facet of each day.
I’m continuously awed by how the Lord moves and motivates His children. There’s not a doubt in my mind that He’s not interested in how well we eat or how diligent we are about our workouts (1st Cor. 10:31). Moreover, there’s no question that He desires we implement what we know to be true of fitness and apply those principles where they matter most: in the lives of the lost, the lonely, the starved, and the searching.
Jesus asked, “…what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” I wonder if He might also add, “and what do you benefit if you gain your fittest physique but lose sight of what matters most?”
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di