This morning I woke up and began my morning routine. While still in bed, I offered the day to the Lord and read a chapter of Overcome by Jason Redman. Then I got up, drank a glass of water, folded laundry, and hit the road for a 12 minute Rosary run. I was psyched to see if gone 1.1 miles by the time I’d come back! 1.1 miles may not seem like much, but there’s a story behind it. Isn’t there always? 🙂
In high school, I was a three sport varsity athlete, a big fish in a small pond, but I took my body and fitness for granted. I worked on serving and shooting, and skills, but neglected fitness, strength, and flexibility. I was complacently fit. I had no respect for my body as a vehicle I’d need in eternity.
Because my kids may read this one day, I won’t go into all the things I did to my body or put in my body through high school and college and even beyond, but it was no place anyone would recognize as a temple for the Holy Ghost.
I’d had disappointments in my body before. Stress fractures caused pain and were the perfect excuse for not making the college volleyball team although there were other problems too. One of the biggest was that I hadn’t asked my high school coach to make a simple phone call. She’d have done it for me in a heartbeat and later said she knew I’d have made the team. My pride and fear of rejection trumped my humility and desire to be part of the team. I’d pay for that forever wondering if life would have been different if only…
Despite minor injuries caused by improper training and equipment, my ectopic pregnancy was the first time my body really let me down. It was the first time I realized how powerless I was and how someone so tiny could pay for what was wrong with me. It didn’t matter that I could not have prevented the baby’s loss, it was still a loss caused solely by something that was not right with me.
Five more children would take a toll on my body. So would the bus that ran me over as I walked across my school parking lot. The last was a painful and miraculous story I’ll explain another time. So did the abuse of suffered in multiple ways. I guess that’s also a story of pain and miracles I’ll explain more another time.
Despite all I’d been through that was out of my control, what damaged my body most of all over all these years, was me.
I’d mistaken relaxing for laziness and treating myself for gluttony and pushing for punishing. Now my body is paying the price. Injuries, weight gain, and discomfort have taken hold in a house which God asks my spirit to dwell in eternally. What’s more, is that blah body has given me a blah mind, a blah heart, and a blah soul.
Or is it the other way around?
Did the blah body come from a blah mind, heart, and soul? I’ll probably never know. If I do know, it’ll probably be so late I won’t care.
What I will care about is what I did about it.
If we want to be a Patriots and Saints, especially great ones, we have to train mind, soul, heart, and strength. We have to break the complacent and punishment mindsets and embrace God’s plan for our health and well being. We have to rely on discipline over motivation as retired US Navy SEAL Jocko Willink says. We have to train ourselves to trust ourselves and train ourselves to work harder and smarter and more faithfully.
Today I made a great stride toward doing just that! I went to the doctor a month ago and got cortisone shots in both knees. I’m in less pain and can move better but have still been nervous about pushing a run despite the doctor telling me more damage cannot be done and it’s just a matter of what pain I might be able to take.
Today I decided to trust him and run. I didn’t push speed or distance but figured I’d just run for 15 minutes minus a couple for warm ups. I was happily quite surprised to see my distance when I’d returned.
1.1 miles would not have been much for me to have celebrated two years ago, but today I am choosing to be thankful rather than resentful or regretful. 1.1 miles and an opportunity to learn what it means to be fit without being hurt.
The point is, God gave all of us one body to have through eternity. This is the body that was welcomed into the Faith at Baptism, that invited Christ’s Body to become one with mine through the Eucharist, the body that’s received last rites, and that will someday be lowered into the ground until it is called to rise again in Glory through the Love and Mercy of God.
This body needs to be loved and treated well, exercised and stretched, and appreciated and admired as God’s handiwork put into my hands.
I’m beginning to see this more clearly now. I don’t remember it all the time and fail more often than not right now, but I have faith that with continued training, humility, and self discipline I will reverse that trend and succeed more often than not.
1.1 miles shows me it is possible, and that little win is something I appreciate knowing as I commit to doing a physical workout that is right for me and my body six days a week. I may not always “feel like it,” but I can remind myself about loving the wins and someday seeing the fruits of my labors, not just in a reflection in the mirror, but when I meet God face to face and see how the Holy Ghost lived within me. I will see it when I hope to see Him welcomed now that I know better. I will see it when I am assigned ti the eternity I’ve chosen in part by how I care for, honor, and give thanks in God’s creation of me.
My 1.1 mile helped me see my body and all I’ve done wrong and excuses I’ve made but also all the potential and love contained in it.
God created you ti be the temple of the Holy Ghost and to the bodily resurrection at the end of time. What is the 1.1 mile strength that will take you a little close to that home?
Gratitude Journal – May 21, 2023
Thank You Lord for…
- Another beautiful day
- A stress-free day teaching.
- M, Z, R, and C being at the game today.
- R letting me know where the game was.
- A quick meeting.
- Chatting at the game.
- Meema coming to the game.
- The text from S. telling about the trip.
- Including me!