I used to have some friends who worked for a music store, so I would pop in quite a bit to chat. Their manager was a nice enough guy, but he was overweight and he smoked. This was right around the time I was getting into triathlons for the first time. We had many discussions about why I would do something so strenuous and why I would put the time into training. One week he said to me, “I eat, drink, smoke whatever and however much I want and I enjoy life”.
The next week, he was dead.
He has been diagnosed with cancer later that very week we had spoken and it was too late for treatment. Very little time to say goodbye, very little time to get his affairs in order. Tragic.
This story highlights for me why I want to be a healthy person. Not some silly notion of cheating death, as if you could. You will die, we all will, eventually. And people die all the time regardless of their overall health indicators. I don’t want to die young, I have a wife and a new son that I need to provide for. I’m also tired of being limited in what I can do. Limited by my thoughts, my beliefs about self, and my physical limitations. I want to be someone that my son will look up to and be proud to call his father. I want to be able to run after him, wrestle with him, and carry him when he falls or his too tired to continue.
I want to swim, bike, and run faster and farther than I did yesterday because I can be more than I was yesterday. When I watch videos of various Ironman races around the world and I see paraplegics completing the race partially by hand biking 112miles, how can I, a perfectly able bodied person, not use what God has given me to its fullest.
I believe in a limitless God who created EVERYTHING out of NOTHING (creation ex-nihilio), so how can I have limiting beliefs about myself. I am, to be sure, a limited creature. I am bound by time and space and I am most certainly not divine. But, I do believe I have the Holy Spirit, living in me as do all Christians, so with all that to my advantage how dare I believe in limitations.
I’ll write a follow-up post talking about what it means, to me, to be human, in light of my belief that each and every person is created by God. This idea forms the core of why I believe I have to do what I do.
But, until then, get active and disciple the body.