Sweat stung our eyes. Our arms shook as we attempted one more push-up. Our legs were jello after the lunge set. As the class ended and we carried our weights to our cars, a student turned to me and said the most unlikely thing. “This is the highlight of my Saturday.”
Seriously?! We had just completed an early morning rigorous Power Strength class. We hit every major muscle group, pretty much non-stop. We pushed our bodies to the limit. “And this was the highlight of your Saturday?” I wanted to ask.
On the drive home, it dawned on me why the student felt as she did. Body & Soul offers an excellent work out, it’s true. But it also gives much more than that. Its spiritual component is unique—strengthening every person inside and out.
It’s not just the music, though the music is motivating and uplifting. It’s the camaraderie, the friendships, the laughter, the connection. In some fitness classes, you arrive, you exercise, and you leave without even talking to a single person. Body & Soul is not like that. It’s the opposite actually.
Class after class, you see many of the same faces and you get to know each other on a deep level. We pray. But it’s not like some syrupy or surface-y prayer. We genuinely open our hearts as we pray for issues close to home—hurting friends, a sick nephew—and for those on the other side of the globe—natural disasters and political refugees.
The next thing you know, you can’t imagine missing a class, not just because you want to stay strong physically, but also because you just want to see your friend and find out how her family is doing. Or share a worry that you want to get off your chest.
Without a doubt, a Body & Soul class helps our bodies get in shape, but in very tangible ways it shapes our soul as well. It puts our stresses and difficulties into perspective. (The endorphins kicking in help with this, too!) The songs, the prayers, the friendship—they renew our hope and remind us that we are loved.
If you are a person who can’t possibly imagine that exercising in the early morning could become the highlight of your day, awesome. I dare you to come to a Body and Soul class. I triple dog dare you. You will see that inconceivable notion become your reality.
If you’re already in a class, the triple dog dare is for you, too! Add one more class per week. I promise it’ll re-shape you, inside and out.