Friday, August 20

Fitness & Physical Activity

Wow. I am totally and completely exhausted. And that feeling is amazing.

Physical fitness has historically been a double-edged sword in my life. Going to a gym and being surrounded by guys and mirrors can easily summon up demons and throw my mind into major temptation. But the endorphin high that comes from exercising also seems to, albeit temporarily, fix some of the problems that I face. If I'm struggling, one of the best things I can do is to go work out - swim, run, bike, lift, or play tag with friends until I'm dead tired. And in that tiredness I just feel tired... and accomplished. No massive, overwhelming urges, just the soreness and fatigue that comes from pushing my body to its limits, and the peace that comes from knowing that I had the force of will to do it on my own.

When I know that going to the gym will be a source of trouble, then I don't go. Instead, I'll go running, or biking, or just do a gazillion pushups and jumping jacks in my apartment (though the latter isn't really all that effective - getting out of the apartment is a really good part of exercise). Even when I don't think that the gym will be a problem, I've learned that situations can quickly degenerate. So I'm always on my guard - trying to keep my thoughts clean. If there are TV's available, I try to watch something educational. I like the round-table discussions on the scriptures from BYU TV, cooking shows, or anything else that will engage my mind in uplifting thoughts. If I'm on my own, or there's nothing worthwhile, then I listen to General Conference talks. I know. It may sound incredibly cheesy. But it helps me work out in the right frame of mind - even when people around me would normally pose a big problem. And Conference talks are really good for the rest of my life, too.

All in all, I think that regular physical exercise is a really important part of the steps that keep me clean. After running for miles or swimming for an hour, I feel amazing. And the Spirit bears witness that I'm that much closer to being master of my body and my soul. Yeah, it's hard. Yeah, it takes a lot of time and effort and sometimes it's painful. But, in the end, I prove to myself that I can choose the path I take in life - for both my body and soul.

1 comment:

  1. This is so awesome! The thing that strikes me with this post is that because your temptations are so great, you have recognized the need to be SO vigilant. We are all tempted in different way, but when our temptations are weaker, perhaps we don't take the time to realize how vigilant we should be. Because of your vigilance, it seems like you are taking a -10 level temptation and turning it into a +10 in spirituality whereas many of us (perhaps me) deal with -2 level temptations and turn them into ... -2 spirituality because it's easier to ignore the effects of the temptations and not feel the need to do much about it. It reminds me of the parable of the talents. It's not how many talents you are given, but what you do with them - how you use them. On the flip side, it's not how shallow your temptations, it's how vigilant you are at dealing with them the correct way. Am I making any sense? Either way, you have inspired me to be more vigilant. Where much is given, much is required. On that note, I better start turning my -2 temptations into some kind of awesome spirituality. As for "cheesy"? The world would call it cheesy. The spirit would call it dead on, amazing! I recognize the spirit in all of your posts. You not only make me want to be a better person, you make me feel like I can be. Thank you!!!


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