I’ve been asked often what I did to lose 50 pounds last year. I often tell people that just as important as the “how” is the “why”.
There were two big “whys” that lead to the weight loss and now are pushing me to go to the next level and compete in a half triathlon (a word I didn’t even know completely how to spell at first. How many “i’s” are in this word?).
The first inspiration came for me from the Scriptures. I know a lot of people think Christianity is more concerned with the eternal and spiritual and less interested in the current and physical but I am a firm believer that the body matters. In fact, I had the opportunity to give a talk at the church we attend recently on the topic (you can watch it here).
The second (and it ties back into the first) came in the form of my children.
All three of my boys are tremendous athletes and watching them wrestle, play football, baseball and basketball inspired me.
There was a big moment last year when my son was wrestling in 8th grade. Have you ever seen a wrestling singlet? It’s not flattering. if you have even a single jiggly side roll, its going to show. My oldest looked like a shredded monster in a singlet. I thought “I remember when I used to look like that…” It was at that moment I realized I wanted to look like him when I grew up.
(This is my oldest who started the wrestling season as a Freshman at 119 lbs and because of his love of lifting is now up to 150!)
I decided it was time to make a change.
I had always loved working out the problem was I loved food just as much. I was the gym justifier. “I just ran for 20 minutes! I’ve earned that Big Mac and Coke!”
Watching my son cut weight and train hard pushed me to do the same.
But that was only my inspiration and not my sole motivation.
I realized if I wanted to be a better, more involved father, it was going to require me to go more hands on with the boys because that’s how they learn. I couldn’t very well disciple them to follow Jesus if I was constantly too tired to be involved.
Since then, I’ve been able to inspire my boys and they’ve constantly done the same for me all the while, the drive to be a better father, husband and athlete has come from that desire to point my children towards Jesus.
Today at the gym was one of those days where I went in feeling lethargic.
I put in a quick round of cardio to get warmed up then went hard on the weights. I didn’t feel like climbing on the treadmill for a 30 minute run.
As I often do, I started by listening to music but it wasn’t doing anything for me today so I fired up some videos of my boys competing.
Watching them give all that they have to excel at a sport pushed me to do the same.
30 minutes later, I’d put up the best distance I’ve ran since I started going into a cutting phase for the half triathlon.
For me, becoming more physically fit has become one of the highest spiritual goals I have. It is a way for me to honor God by making my body submit to the greater need vs. the immediate wants.
And my boys (sometimes without knowing it) help drive me towards those goals.
As I continue to work towards the half triathlon I hope to continue to blog about the journey.
It’s just one more thing I’m nerdy about and I hope it will in part, inspire and motivate others to participate in the spiritual practice of disciplining and training the body.
(Also, because I’m a proud dad, here are 2 of the videos I watched today for my run.)