By Tricia Frey
Full discloser, fitness has always been a challenge for me. I have asthma, scoliosis, eczema that hates getting sweaty, flat feet (there’s gotta be other excuses)… but way more than that,
I just didn’t want to.
For sure, I also didn’t see a lot of working out or even people playing sports as I was growing up. I know now that my parents had been very active before having children, and both work out tons now, but it wasn’t part of our life when I was young. People on TV always look flawlessly fit, the women impossibly thin but you never see them working to get there or keep that look. And again, I just had less than zero interest. I was busy doing other things that I didn’t need to smell to achieve.
I would hear people say “sweat is just fat crying” or “suck it up now so you don’t have to suck it in later” and admittedly, I liked those little motivational sayings. I knew they were right and I absolutely wanted to not suck it in, now or later. I wanted my fat to cry. I have struggled with body image, like most girls I’m sure, for as long as I can remember.
But none of that made me want to do anything about it.
Then, however, I thought about why I do so many things that I don’t really feel like doing. Why I bust it out, giving everything I have every day. I do it for God. At least, I truly try to have that be my singular focus. And I know in my head, and preach through my words constantly that God loves each of us, that we each are His precious child, that each of us are heirs to the Kingdom and we need to act as such.
I preach that head, heart, and body are not separate beings, but one. Our bodies matter to God and so does how we treat them.
And if I am a princess in the Kingdom of Heaven I need to be healthy enough to live out the role. There is so much work to do in the vineyard, and if I don’t take care of my body I will not be well enough, strong enough, have the stamina to do all that the King needs me to do to bring all of His little ones home to Him. I need to love myself enough to sweat through it. But honestly, so so much more than that, I need to love everyone else enough to sweat through it.
I need to love God enough to get off the couch, lace up my shoes, pick up the weights and deadlift this culture back to life with Christ.
We have been told we are made for greatness. But I have let stress, and work, and busyness get in the way of my health and my fitness to the point that I am no longer physically capable of that greatness. And that is too selfish for a daughter of the King.
The time is now. It doesn’t matter how slow I am--what matters most is that I start.
For the glory of God.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tricia is the Director for Teen Faith Formation at St. Mary of the Falls Parish, working in ministry for middle schoolers, high school teens, and young adults. Her top three loves are Jesus, family, and Cleveland, closely followed by sleeping, popcorn, a perfectly chilled glass of white wine, and a great comedy show.