The faith of fitness


Fitness is both concept and ideal. I often use metaphor in speaking about fitness – to relate fitness choices to other areas of life where we may be more prone to making mindful choices. The realm I compare fitness to most is that of faith – reverent faith. Fitness dogma may sound silly, but there is a definite parallel between religious faith, and the realization of fitness objectives.

To succeed in fulfilling a fitness goal, there must first be curiosity. After curiosity, there must be appreciation for structure, for leadership, for observance, obedience, and for ritual. Finally, there must be belief; the belief that something better awaits a person for adhering to the concept and the ideal. Sounds like religion to me.

Should exercise be observed as a religion? It already is by some. Although I celebrate exercise as I celebrate religion, it is not where my true faith lies, but it is where my ritual best connects me to my creator. Suggesting that exercise be the new world religion could be as offensive to some people, as suggesting that Toy Poodle be the next white meat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a blasphemer of biceps, and I don’t see fitness as being divine – exercise is not what created me.

In the absence, however, of ever identifying a creator, perhaps when can get to know our creator better through exercise – I have certainly lived an entire life time doing this. Exercise has been the path to all I know, and all I am. If my creator did make me in his own image, I can honestly say that I have nurtured and fulfilled that image the best way I can, and honored that creator in the process.

So I wonder today, whatever your faith, whatever your religious convictions, what will you do to your body to be appreciated by your creator. More specifically, what would your creator think of all that you choose not to do with your body today. Do you truly treat your body as the metaphoric temple of your creator? Or, do you treat your body as a vehicle of forgivable sin?

Like a rental car, your body is just a loaner, and it must be turned back to the rightful owner when you are done with it. So I ask you, are you the type of person who would abuse a rental car, or the type of person who would respect a rental car and return it in tact?

One never knows when one will be asked to give back the keys – and the car. The stakes and consequences, I suspect, are much higher in offering a proper return of your body. Be well.

 

3 responses

  1. “What you are is God’s gift to you, and what you do with it is your gift to God.”

    I’m serious about being fit. I like being an athlete, being healthy, being…

    I was thinking just yesterday as to why I push so hard to maintain the level I do. All I could come up with was, because I can.

  2. Fabulous points and even more fabulous questions.

    I look at my body as a temple. I work hard at it day by day and take it a day at a time. It is my religion. I’d hope to remain this way until I give the body back to the creator.

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