Last week we did our Family Fitness Assessment so that we could start doing our “Focus on the Family Fitness” routines. Although, in my eagerness to jump right into getting the kiddos out there moving and stretching, I realized it might be important to assess where we WERE before deciding where we needed to GO in our fitness endeavors.
Using the assessment tool I mentioned in last week’s post (see above link), we set out on our Family Fitness journey. Here is what I learned from that experience:
- I learned how many situps/push ups each one of us could do in a minute, how far we could reach and how long we could hold our balance. (We did not do the running component yet…schedules, stifling heat…you get the picture.)
- Improving their abilities (and mine) in the aforementioned areas will be a walk in the park compared to the other lessons they will need to learn. All of these, I would say, fall under the heading:
LEARNING PROPER FORM
First, as we went through the exercises, I noticed that both children lacked the awareness necessary to create proper form for the movement required. Therefore, they moved in ways that, despite their strength, were inefficient and left them not able to complete as many reps as they (and I) expected. It is crucial in fitness, and in faith, to be aware of the proper alignment necessary to complete the task at hand. If we fail to maintain this alignment, we will be ineffective and inefficient in our movements. Our bodies are designed by God to move, lift, stretch, and do many things. He created the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and organs to function best when properly aligned. He also made our souls, our innermost beings, with a certain “alignment” in mind. We were made to stand with Christ as our center. We can live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28) This comes through prayer, study of His Word, and constantly seeking His Will. As I seek to improve my children’s ability to be properly aligned physically, it will serve as a reminder to me that I also need to be teaching them how to stay aligned with God at the center. Family Fitness Time will lead into a Family faith time of prayer, study, and seeking the Lord.
Another part of proper form is not just in our alignment, but also in how we mentally respond to the challenges we face in our given exercises- in fitness and in life. During our assessment time, I noticed that one of my children, the “athlete”, was very proud of his ‘scores’. So much so, in fact, it seemed that he was feeling like he did not need to improve in any of these areas. To sum it up, he lacked humility. This, of course, not only will cause problems as we attempt to increase our level of spiritual and physical fitness, but it will also cause issues with the other members of the family. Which brings me to my other son, we shall call him, the “mathlete.” This child, although he intellectually understands the need for exercise, does NOT like it, or any physical activity (save dancing…boy can cut a rug!). Even without his bragging brother, the Mathlete probably would have experienced defeat. At any rate, he was completely unable to press on, to persevere through the assessment. It was very difficult for him, he begged to just write “zero” down and give up. Of course, we tried to encourage (and I may have even told big brother to “shut it!” with the bragging) and he did complete it. But, I could tell that perseverance was going to be an issue for him.
In order to move through sports or life, proper formation of our attitudes is necessary. We must work toward humility and we must do so with perseverance. These two things will be greatly beneficial to us.
Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. Psalm 25:9
We see in these verses that just like proper attitude will bring us reward and will also lead us in the right way. We also see how humility is about centering and aligning ourselves with the Lord. Proverbs 22:4 states that humility is the fear of the Lord. When we fear, or respect, something, we put it in its proper place. Humility is about placing Christ at the center so that we can be guided to move in the right way.
Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. Psalm 37: 24
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Yes, life is difficult. There will be trials on the athletic field; there will be obstacles to overcome in life. But God, who has created us, has a purpose for us, and reigns over us, will not let us be permanently defeated. We will stumble, but He holds us up with His hand, so even when we are “down”, we are not left in the dust. He will pick us up and as we stand aligned with Christ as our center, we will remain, and receive His reward that is, a crown of victory, the Crown of Life.
Note: Here are the physical alignments for the assessment exercises: