God speaks through people and that was certainly the case when an email showed up in my inbox this morning. Let me start by backing up.
I went live on Insta yesterday and talked about a predicament I was in. I scaled down my workouts last week because I’m trying to heal a pesky first rib that keeps popping out. I still moved, but instead of doing my usual 4-5 Crossfit classes a week, I only did one. And the rest of the week I snuck in short cardio-focused workouts like rowing and walking. After about four days of that, I couldn’t deny the darkness that was settling in. By mid-week I was in survival mode. I always give 100%, even if I’m not feeling 100%. So last week I gave 100% of my 50%. My goal for the day was to simply hold it together, and that’s not a fun place to be. That’s not flourishing.
When I’m not pushing my body as hard and as often as necessary, my mental state suffers. Contrarily, when I’m pushing my body as hard and as often as necessary for optimal mental benefit, my body suffers.
I talked about how I need to find a happy balance. What’s the minimum effective dose of physical exercise to elicit the mental and emotional impact I desire? I don’t want to feel like I’m living under a storm cloud, and I don’t want ribs popping out either. What do I need to do to feel good physically and emotionally?
It’s an honest question for me to ask, but because of that email I got, I can now see that I was missing the point.
Here’s part of the email I got from Pat Flynn:
“So much of culture, and especially fitness culture, tries to place a person's value in what they can do, rather than what they are. This, as should come of no surprise, is what often causes people to have a disordered relationship with fitness and eating and, fundamentally, themselves.
We see this mindset all the time being manifested (a word I very much dislike using, but seems appropriate here) in self-destructive behavior, comparison games, eating disorders, obsessive tendencies to over-exercise, etc.
This is why not all fitness habits are created equal. Two people can be following the same plan and one of them can be doing so from a place of virtue and the other from a thoroughly cemented feeling of inner inadequacy and shame.”
In my frantic searching for achieving “balance” I had forgotten who I am. In my frantic searching for answers I had forgotten who ultimately holds them all.
I wasn’t seeing myself the way God sees me; as “infinitely precious and unconditionally deserving of love.” (Flynn)
I was flitting and flopping and trying to create order even though that’s not my job. It was subtle, but I was being a control freak. I was trying to make sense of things because I was scared. The solution to my fear isn’t found in a workout. Spiritual problems can’t be solved by human answers. Maybe I should workout more? Maybe I should workout less? I can imagine God watching me struggle, looking for answers in all the wrong places and trying to keep my head above water on my own strength. And He patiently waited for me to trust Him.
No God, no peace.
Know God, know peace.