Those of you who read my weekly e-letter know I just joined a gym. I had been inactive (exercise-wise) for about a year and a half. I had also gained twenty pounds. As I have so rudely discovered, these things do not result in all things beneficial.
It occurred to me that I needed to stop living the good life and get down to brass tacks. I’ve never been exactly sure why brass tacks are the epitome of hard work, but I guess it’s as good a term as any for the not-so-good-life. The good life is now behind me, and I have joined the ranks of Charles Atlas and the like (hopefully).
“Endorphins and All That”
I had been away for so long (and had amassed such a lipoid-ridden midsection) that I realized I had better ease back into the aerobic process. After all, I’ve heard one can get addicted to exercise—endorphins and all that (I don’t know what those are, but they sound like trouble). I don’t want to compound my health problems by becoming an addict. I’m hoping to be able to quit any time I want.
So last week I went back to the gym with the full intent of easing my way into things. When I arrived for the first time, I was told to swipe my new ID card, which would acknowledge my presence. That was the only instruction I was given. When I swiped my card, a voice said, “Welcome.” I didn’t want to be impolite, so I stopped and spoke to the unknown host for a few minutes, only to discover I was speaking to an electronic device. I should have known.
As I entered the area of no return, I spotted a bench. This was particularly fortuitous considering I was amped up to take it easy on my first day back in action. So, I lay down on the bench and took a nap. I’m not sure how long I was there, but it proved to be a fine start on my road to recovery. When I awoke, I stood up. Having the sense that all this up and down action had been enough for one day, I did some speed walking—back to my Jeep, which I drove home.
Frankly, I had expected my body to be a tad more achy and sore after my first day in the gym. I was surprised to find that I felt perfectly fine. Apparently, I’m in far better shape than I had first surmised. This isn’t going to be so bad after all.
I should have known everything would be okay. I was an athlete in high school. True, that was fifty years ago, but who’s counting. Certainly not me… The Apostle Paul once wrote, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (New International Translation) Since I’m a preacher, I guess I should do likewise.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]