April 2, 2019

Are You An "Exercise Person?"

(Hint: you are. ?)

“For in him we live and move and exist.”-- ‭‭Acts‬ ‭17:28‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬

I used to think that some people were just born to be exercise people. Lucky. So easy for them. And then there's the rest of us, right?

I was most definitely not an exercise person. In school, I was the last person to finish the mile. I was curvy and overweight, and every single step was hard.

As a young mom, I was not one of those energetic yoga-pant-wearing types. I didn't know what a lat pulldown was and was completely intimidated by gyms and the people in them. Perfect people. Thin, strong, confident people who knew stuff I didn't and had really cute pants.

No, for me, exercise was not easy and not fun and I was not drawn to it. So I concluded: there must be exercise people and non-exercise people, right?


Okay, perhaps some folks do have a more natural inclination to go to the gym. But we were all created to move. All of us, including me and you. Consider these words from the Bible:

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”-- Psalms‬ ‭139:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬

Yes, first he formed us. Every joint, muscle, tendon, organ, body system....all of it carefully and skillfully designed to work together. Modern science marvels at the mind-blowing complexity. It was very good:

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”-- ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬

Did you hear that?! You are a masterpiece!Let's just pause, sit back and enjoy that truth for a moment, especially you non-exercise people out there. Because if you are like me, you probably have plenty of days where you do not feel like a masterpiece! You are. You ARE, and God has good work for you to do with that body of yours.

When I began attending a Body & Soul Fitness class (nervously, in my not very cute pants) it was the first time I had ever heard the idea that exercise is for every body. I was also introduced to another idea: that exercise can be a form of worship. I remember one of my instructors saying that we exercise not so we look better, but so we can serve better. Wait, what? I thought exercise was to lose weight. Exercise was to be able to fit in my clothes. To make the doctor happy. Exercise was, well, just a dreaded, necessary obligation.

I was wrong, again. Yes, exercise does have many, many health benefits, but I soon learned that it is so much more. Exercise is a way to honor the Creator by taking care of his creation. I learned that I didn't need to be an exercise person. I learned that I needed to exercise simply because I was a person.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”-- 1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬

Once I began to apply regular maintenance to this machine God lovingly put together, a lot changed. Slowly it became more efficient, my health improved, and exercise even became, dare I say....fun?

I became an exercise person!! Not exactly...I always was one. ? We all are. Even if you don't feel like one. Even if you can only move a little bit right now. In fact, we have the great privilege of movement, even when we don't feel very strong (and please allow me to emphasize here that it is truly a privilege that some do not have).

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”-- 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬

So okay, now you know you're an exercise person. Now what? Well, it's time to get moving, and yes, you can do it. It will work better if you have some support in place. A class is good, or even one friend to spur you on.

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”-- ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬

If you have a Body & Soul class near you, I highly recommend it.

Whatever you choose to do, know and believe this: you are an exercise person. You are an intricate masterpiece. You were created with movement in mind, and you honor God when you live as he intended. You also have work to do, so strengthen that body to the best of your ability. It will never matter what you're wearing or if you're curvy or thin. You were made to move. You get to move. Now you know who you are.

Paula HussPaula Huss is a certified group fitness instructor with Body & Soul Fitness, and also serves as assistant Western Regional Director. She currently leads classes at Mt. Olive Ministries in Milpitas, CA, where her husband, John is Senior Pastor. They have three creative kids: Max, Gina, and Drew as well as two energetic rescue dogs. Paula is passionate about encouraging others to keep moving, eat well and enjoy healthy, renewing rest. She also loves to sing, and listen to crashing waves.