Personal Training

“O Lord, you examine me and know ….”  Psalm 139:1 (NET)

Have you ever worked with a personal trainer?  Someone who helps you customize your workouts to your specific lifestyle, tendencies and goal?  If you get a good personal trainer and follow the program, you can see great results.

A good personal trainer will study you.  They will learn your workout history, and they will learn about your injury history.  They will study how your body adapts to training.  They will discover how easily you build muscle, burn fat, grow in endurance, etc.  They will see where your muscles are tight and where they are loose.  They will help you discover where you are imbalanced and what needs to be corrected.  They will also reveal your strengths and show you how to capitalize on those in beneficial and limiting ways.  A good personal trainer get to know the uniqueness of you so that he/she can help you get closer to your goals.

Said differently, a good personal trainer knows your story.

I have heard it said that, in Eastern thought, it is easier to experience God as an all-forgiving God.  You see, in the West, we tend to feel condemnation when we think of God as an all-knowing God.  If God is omniscient, to us in the West, that means He knows all of my flaws, faults and mistakes.  And that is true.  But to a more Eastern-mindset, the fact that God is omniscient means that He knows my story.  It means He understands me.  The fact that He is all knowing means, in fact, that He knows all about me.  He knows why I struggle with the things I struggle with.  He understands what brought me to that place.  He sees it all.  He knows why certain things hurt me the way that they do, because He saw it all.  He walked through it with me.  He already knows my underbelly, and He loves me anyway.  He always has.

The truth is that because He is omniscient — because He knows everything about me and my story — He can sympathize and understand and love me no matter what.  It is because He knows your story, because He understands you in detail, that He pursues you relentlessly and knows precisely how to restore and renew you.

The best personal trainer?  Jesus.  Simply Jesus.  Omniscient, omnipotent Jesus.

Output

“For ever since the world was created, people has seen the earth and sky.  Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature.”  Romans 1:20 (NLT)

As I was discussing ShemaFit with a friend, she mentioned that many might not know how to care for our bodies or steward them well.  My prior entry was about considering our Input as one way to steward our bodies well.  Today, we will talk about Output.

Years ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services comprehensively reviewed all the research linking physical activity to health, and the findings conclusively reinforced this truth:  the human body was meant to move and, when it does so with regularity, it responds to the stress of physical movement with improved fitness and health.  And yet, about 25% of the U.S. population is not active at all (CDC report, 2010).  

God made the body to move.  He made it not only to respond positively to exercise, but in fact to improve with exercise.  Inherent in our very design, God encourages us to use our bodies and explore their potential.  Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise (see http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf). That’s less than 30 minutes a day!  If you struggle with your Output levels, here are a few suggestions:

  • Move more in your daily life.  Stand up and walk around the room whenever you are on the phone.  Walk to a co-worker’s office instead of calling or emailing.  Take the stairs.  Go for a walk at lunch or just to clear your head.  Take an after-dinner walk with your family.  Sedentary begets sedentary; movement begets life!
  • Take a strategic review of your exercise history.  Consider the seasons you were more successful — what helped you succeed?  Did you have an exercise partner?  Working out in the morning or evening?  Classes?  Personal trainer?  Once you’ve discovered some of your secrets to success, combine as many factors together as possible and recommit yourself.  The goal is to set yourself up to succeed.
  • Seriously consider meeting with a personal trainer.  If you don’t have the budget for a long-term commitment, then meet only two or three times.  Have the trainer help you put together a workout plan that fits your lifestyle, has measurable goals, and a tracking system.  It will be worth the investment.

As you become intentional about your Output, you will begin to understand more about the way you were made … and, as a result, will begin to more clearly see the invisible qualities of your incredible Maker.