By Anonymous

God represents serenity, a peaceful spirit, a calm during the storm, a rock, a foundation, an unwavering constant of unmitigated, unconditional, and unfathomable love. God represents the ability to go beyond, surpass limitations, exceed expectations, and ultimately rise past the expected normalcy of human existence.

This draws a parallel to my experience with exercise and fitness.

For me, exercise and fitness has been a place of peace. It has been an avenue which has allowed me to express myself physically, emotionally, and mentally. For much of my early childhood and adolescence I felt out of place and awkward. Some days I looked into the mirror and did not like what it was that I saw,

I wished to be someone different, not knowing exactly who, but knowing that I wished to be someone that was not me.

It was very difficult for me to relate to kids my own age and for that reason I was quiet most of the time and spent a great deal of time alone. I learned to internalize my feelings because I did not feel that anyone would understand them or care to for that matter. At times I prayed to God not to feel, because I felt that would be easier than dealing with the emotional pain I experienced on an almost daily basis.

At some point I began to focus my free time and attentions on exercise and fitness. I did not like who I was physically and emotionally and for that reason I desired to make a change.

What I discovered is that my passion and love in this avenue began to become minimal from the aesthetic results but more so

I began to fall in love with exercise because of the way it made me feel.

Mastering the human body, God’s ultimate creation, its intricacies, honing its synapses, learning to control its muscle is something that at times literally gives me goose bumps. There is such a sense of mental, emotional, and spiritual oneness that is achieved through exercise because of the synthesis of these ideas necessary to perform in this area.

For a few brief moments each day I began to realize that I had potential beyond what I conceived.

That I was stronger than I thought, could endure more than I imagined, could withstand much more than I fathomed. Learning to master myself in the realm of exercise, the techniques and thought processes necessary to excel in this area have translated into a change in approach within my life outside of exercise time.

I have learned to accept that feeling is necessary, essential, and a gift from God. I have learned that my emotional capacity is something that God has charged me with not a part of me of which I should be ashamed. I have learned that empathy is not a hindrance but rather allows me to assist others in their healing process much more effectively. I have learned that my body, while at times is not something that I deem acceptable, is in fact a gift from God, created in his image, and therefore is perfect by definition.

I have learned that I should advocate for myself, love myself, and others, as God loves me.

These essential lessons are the ones I have learned to practice through exercise and for this reason it has become my place of solace, my quiet asylum, my tabernacle, my sandbox in which to build with God, my church in the wild.

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