At the ripe old age of 22, I’m starting to feel less and less like the virile athlete that I once was and more and more like the computer geek that I had been hiding inside. An average afternoon for me used to consist of a 2-3 hour sport practice and then a nice 2-mile run. Nowadays my afternoons usually involve playing Day of Defeat: Source for 2-3 hours with my roommates and then running virtually through Cyrodiil (a computer game land) until my eyes can’t take the glare from my PC anymore.
I watch Ultimate Fighting Championship and, in an Al Bundy sort of way, imagine that if I only tried out to be the next ultimate fighter that I could certainly beat any of those guys. Of course my fiancé’s roll of the eyes at my comments like that bring me back to the reality of how far I’ve come from my days as an adept wrestler with endless energy.
I haven’t completely given up on staying active. I still play on a church softball team and play intramural soccer, but my dedication to training for such an activity has dwindled considerably and so has my performance. Of course nobody likes to see their skills taper off, but I have noticed one positive byproduct of my declining skills. My pride has taken a hit.
When I was in great shape I had this feeling that I could handle anything that came my way on my own. I felt that it was up to me to handle anything that could be thrown at me, and working out was my way of being able to keep that sense of control. While that might sound like a good attitude to some, what it really meant was that I wasn’t willing to give control over to God. I thought I could handle my life on my own.
Losing that control over my sports world is helping me to see that I can’t do everything on my own. When your chest feels like there is a gorilla sitting on it after just sprinting to first base, it’s easy to be humble. It’s much easier than when you just pinned a guy in front of a couple hundred people. I’m finding that I’m much quicker to turn to God when a problem arises instead of looking to my own strength to solve the issue.
Health should be something that brings us closer to God, not something that keeps us from letting him in. Sometimes it’s easy to let the temple we’re building become a temple to ourselves rather than a temple to God. Luckily, I’ve found that when you no longer have to carry life’s burdens on your own, you don’t have to have massive sculpted shoulders to carry them.