February 19, 2021
Written by Tabitha Earwood, Personal Training Manager
As a personal trainer, I hear women say these two phrases all the time: “Lifting weights will make you bulky,” and “I don’t want to be bulky—I just want to be toned!” Nothing is more frustrating for me than these two misconceptions. Since our perceptions shape what we do, believing something that isn’t rooted in fact can lead us to avoid the very practices that could help us grow. One of my passions is helping women understand their body’s physiology so they can be empowered to make educated choices.
I Promise, You Won’t Look Like a Man
Female physiology just doesn’t allow us to gain a masculine physique. Because males have more testosterone than females, women aren’t able to gain muscle at the same rate or size as men. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends similar general guidelines for both men and women, including strength training 2-3 days per week.
Carbs Can Equal Curves
Strength training can introduce you to a whole new world of understanding about your body’s physiology. Most people don’t realize that building muscle is one of the only effective ways to speed up your metabolism. The only two places that your body stores carbs as fuel (in the form of glycogen) is in your liver and muscles. Having more muscle increases your insulin sensitivity, which means that the cells of your body use glucose more effectively. Muscles are calorie-burning machine that we should all want more of!
Build Those Bones
What most women don’t know is this: bone mass usually peaks in a person’s mid to late 20s. Later in life you, cannot regain lost bone density; you can only slow down the rate of loss. Now is your time to build those bones to decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis. Strength training exerts healthy stress which stimulates bone growth, and it is the only way to improve your bone density.
Control What You Can
Everyone has something they want to change about themselves. Some things can be changed, and others cannot. One of the reasons I love strength training is that it helps you channel all your energy toward something you can control. You can control your effort. You can control your form. You can choose to show up consistently. While you can’t reduce fat in specific areas, you can train specifically to gain muscle in certain areas!
Start Where You Are
Everyone in the gym started somewhere, and I can guarantee no one was born knowing exactly what to do. You must start somewhere. Your first step could be Googling exercise techniques. You could download any number of apps, including Apple Fitness, Motify, Freeletics, or Nike Training Club. Take it one thing at a time, and know that you won’t get it perfect the first time. Repetition is key.
Bring a Friend
Bringing a friend can also help to eliminate the nerves of trying something new. Just remember, you are not alone! The Women on Weights Workshop offered Saturday, March 6 is your opportunity to learn the fundamentals of strength training with other women just like you. Together, we will delve into basic movement patterns, learn the fundamentals of using free weights, and discuss how to create your own individualized plan to see steady progress. You can register for the workshop 24 hours in advance through the Membership Portal.
Ask for Help
Your next step could be reaching out the personal trainers at LaHaye to schedule a free consultation. Getting a professional to guide you can help to eliminate all the fears of not knowing what to do. Regardless of how scared you may feel, not doing anything at all is even scarier. You will grow both mentally and physically by learning to strength train. Taking the risk to try something new will be worth it!
December 21, 2020
Written by Alivia Chenoweth, Marketing Manager
You’ve probably heard the saying “new year, new me” for as long as you can remember. At the beginning of every year, the pressure to set goals to be healthier, be more productive, and ultimately to seek out self-improvement in some form looms over us. What if this year we put the pressure aside and stayed true to ourselves? The busyness of life will always take priority over our fitness goals, health goals, etc. but we should strive for accountability in keeping ourselves physically and mentally healthy.
At Campus Recreation we offer programs that assist you to stay on track such as Personal Training, Group Exercise Classes, Intramural Sports, and nine facilities that are here to meet your needs and holistic well-being during your time at Liberty. So, this year, take 2021 by the reins, and seek to be your best self in all phases of life. To help with this, we are offering some great deals on all our fitness programming at LaHaye Recreation & Fitness Center, so check them out below!
Group Ex Classes
We offer over 70 Group Ex classes a semester, with a variety of free standard Group Ex classes and Group Ex Plus classes available with a Group Ex Plus Membership. Group Ex modalities include cardio, strength, mind and body, and combination classes –something for everyone. Some examples are:
- Cycle Coach by Color
- Barre Above
- Cardio Hip Hop
- Core & Glute Max Out
- HIIT 30
From January 1–February 15, all Group Ex Plus memberships will be offered at 20% off regular price. So, instead of $40 a semester, you can get access to all of our classes for just $32! This is an incredible deal that you and your friends can purchase together and make it a habit to go to classes together.
The team of Personal Trainers at LaHaye Rec & Fit is here to help you feel healthy and reach your fitness goals while also educating you about different types of exercises and correct form to prevent injury.
Interested, but not sure if a Personal Trainer is the best option for you? We offer FREE consultations to all students, staff, and faculty who are potentially looking to sign-up with a Personal Trainer. This is a great way to meet our team and discuss what your goals are before you sign-up.
You can choose from our available Tier 1, 2 or 3 trainers who will go over what you are wanting, create a personalized workout plan just for you based on your needs, and work with you every step of the way to achieve your goals!
As a special semester deal between Jan. 1–Feb. 15, all Tier 1 Personal. Partner, or Group Training Packages will be offered at a 10% off discount! Check out all the information you need to know here on our website.
Get to Know LaHaye Rec & Fit
Did you know that you can schedule a facility orientation request with our team? If you want to use the machines and equipment at LaHaye Rec & Fit but aren’t sure where to start or how to use them, you are able to schedule a time where a staff member will give you a “tour” of all the equipment and show the proper use of each one.
There’s no need to feel intimidated when you walk into the gym. LaHaye Rec & Fit offers a wide variety of high-grade equipment to aid you in every workout you do. Knowing how to use it correctly is even more important to prevent future injury and to achieve the best results.
From Group Ex classes to everything that our Personal Training program has to offer, we are here to help you meet your goals and to provide flexibility in your workout schedule as you see fit. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a Group Ex class this semester or schedule a free consultation with a Personal Trainer and show 2021 who’s boss.
Learn more at Liberty.edu/CampusRec.
October 8, 2020
Written by Nikki Kilian, Fitness Coordinator
During my sophomore year of college, I signed up for the advanced running class (Phys Ed 236). I had enjoyed running but wanted to learn how to be better at it. I was looking for a technical formula and concrete answer. What I gained was so much better. One of the many questions I had about how to improve my running was how to breathe. To unfold this idea, first you need to determine your goals: Are you doing interval training or distance running?
If you are conducting sprints, you will get out of breath. The key here is to get breathless, let yourself recover, and then sprint again. (Do not go breathless if your doctor advises you not to, if you have a medical condition, or if you are pregnant).
The benefit to doing sprints is that you will achieve maximum caloric burn in a short amount of time and doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) actually allows your body to continue burning calories throughout the day. This is because aerobic activity causes excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
When aiming for distance, a good rule of thumb is to run at a conversational pace, as advised by the legendary Dr. Horton. (if you don’t know him, take PhysEd 235 or 236—it’s a good time.)
Now to some, and to myself at the time, talking while running may seem like a malicious form of torture. But it works. If you are able to carry on a conversation with the person next to you, then you are able to breathe well while running. In a conversational pace, you should be able to run for a while (approximately 26.2 miles, speaking from experience).
If you are looking for a new personal record (PR) then you may need to increase the pace a bit, which would then make it harder to keep up a conversation. At this pace, make sure you can still speak 3-5-word sentences somewhat regularly. If you are gasping for air, then you are not at a maintainable pace.
Variables to Consider
Hills will make your entire body work harder from your cardiorespiratory system, to your musculoskeletal system. Therefore, anticipate breathing heavier on hills. Tip: In Dr. Horton’s running class, he advocated for walking hills. Dr. Horton explained that your heart rate running on flat road was approximately the same as power walking up a steep hill. So feel free to walk uphill!
Weather can also play a significant role in your respiratory capability. Humidity and heat, specifically, can make breathing evenly a bigger challenge. On these days, try to run in the morning before the heat or humidity, indoors if that is an option, or alternate walking and running.
Lastly, you will be a variable. You will feel different every day. Some days you may get out of breath faster, and that’s okay. Give yourself grace and do not be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself the freedom to walk if you need to. Listen to your body and respond with what it is asking you to do.
September 10, 2020
Written by Lauren Shaw, Assistant Director of Operations
Over the last six months, you have probably become quite familiar with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, as well as the importance of social distancing, hand washing, and wearing a mask. You’ve probably heard the phrase “the new normal” and thought to yourself, “What does this mean to me?”. According to the writers of the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase has been defined as “a previously unfamiliar or atypical situation that has become standard, usual, or expected.”
As we continue to navigate the Fall 2020 Semester at Liberty University, operations and policies at LaHaye Recreation & Fitness Center and David’s Place look a little different than they have in the years past. Our “new normal” includes abiding by the state executive orders and the Virginia Department of Health’s coronavirus guidelines for all fitness and recreational facilities. In this post, you will find what we are currently doing as a facility to preserve the health and safety of our Liberty community — including students, faculty, staff, and guests. Current modifications for safety include limited capacity, spacing of participants and equipment, enhanced disinfection, navigational flow, and reduced recreational play.
- LaHaye Rec & Fit and David’s Place are both operating at a limited capacity.
- LaHaye’s busiest hours are between 4 – 6 P.M. — during this time, we encourage you to visit David’s Place Fitness if you do not want to wait in line.
- Due to the increasing amount of traffic at the front of LaHaye, there are designated entrances and exits to improve traffic flow.
- An active membership to LaHaye Rec & Fit, utilizing a Flames Pass or temporary membership card, is required to utilize LaHaye Rec & Fit and David’s Place.
- Due to capacity limitations and operational modifications, LaHaye will only be offering guest passes to immediate family members of Liberty affiliates until 3 p.m. daily. LaHaye will not be offering alumni memberships at this time.
According to the Liberty University Coronavirus Guidelines, masks are required inside any campus building — this includes when entering and exiting LaHaye Rec & Fit and David’s Place. Masks are encouraged to be worn at all times, except when swimming, using cardiovascular equipment, and during group exercise classes.
Members must distance themselves six feet apart from others in lines and while walking through LaHaye and David’s Place. Members additionally must stay at least ten feet apart during exercise.
Members must take an active role in wiping down equipment before and after use, frequent hand washing/sanitizing, and following directional signage to ensure a safe environment for all participants and staff. Staff is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces, equipment, and each area of the facility.
Fitness and Cardio Floors
- Equipment and machines are spaced to meet distancing protocols.
- The indoor track is open and all walkers and runners are encouraged to maintain ten feet of physical distance.
- Hand sanitizer use is required when entering or leaving a class. Each classroom has floor decals spaced 10 feet apart indicating where participants can stand.
- Participants must wipe down their equipment before and after class.
- Instructor will wipe down equipment while wearing a mask and gloves after participants leave.
- Trainers will wear masks while training clients and maintain at least 6-foot distancing except when spotting or assisting.
- Trainers are responsible for disinfecting equipment before and after use
- The Personal Training Lab capacity is limited to 4 people.
- To promote safe distancing, the LaHaye Rock Wall is on a reservation system that allows one person to reserve one of four zones in the bouldering area.
- Each zone consists of two bouldering walls, and members can reserve their section for an hour time slot.
- The holds and wall will be cleaned between reservations.
- The tower and roped area are closed.
- Equipment checkout is closed. Street shoes will be allowed.
- Individuals are permitted to bring in their own equipment but are encouraged to not share their equipment with others.
- All programming at the LaHaye Rock Wall will be limited to keep groups small.
- LaHaye Aquatic Center
- Members are encouraged to wear masks prior to entering the water.
- Members must shower before entering the water.
- Lane capacity is limited to 3 members.
- Swim equipment must be disinfected between members.
- Hot tubs, diving board, and recreational sports are not permitted.
- David’s Place Pool
- David’s Place Pool is operating at a limited capacity.
- 10 feet of distance must be maintained at all times between non-family members.
- Chairs on the pool deck cannot be moved.
Sports & Recreation
- To maintain social distancing, all unorganized play will be limited to individual play with one half-court or half-field assigned to each member.
- Organized sports, including university athletic teams, club sports teams, and Intramurals, will be permitted to play under new policies and procedures upon scheduling approval. Organized sports will be regulated through symptom screening and/or temperature checks prior to each practice or game.
- Equipment checkout is closed. Towels are still available.
- Individuals are permitted to bring their own equipment but are encouraged to not share their equipment with others.
The Virginia Department of Health and Executive Orders from the Governor are continually reviewed and have changed frequently. As changes occur, updates about policies will be communicated through our website and social media platforms as well as relevant signage around our facilities.
Thank you for your cooperation with our rules and regulations. We are excited to continue to offer recreational fitness opportunities this semester. For hours of operations, please see the LaHaye Rec & Fit page and the David’s Place page.
August 13, 2020
June 26, 2020
Written by Nikki Kilian, Group Exercise Manager
Many people view running as something instinctive that anyone can do, and to an extent, they are correct. Even in our toddler stage of life, we have the ability to just go run. However, when it comes to running for fitness, things can get a little more complicated.
According to the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, as many as 79% of all runners will sustain a running-related injury during any given year. Therefore, learning proper form for running is imperative to help prevent injury and also aid in optimal performance. Running with improper form could lead to a slower pace or shorter distances.
To begin critiquing running form, think of proper standing body alignment from head to toe:
- Neck—neutral, not jutting forward or sinking back
- Shoulders—over the hips
- Spine—should not excessively arch (anterior tilt) or come forward (posterior tilt)
- Hips—over the ankles
- Knees—relaxed and not locked out
- Toes—tracking in the same direction as knees
When running, you want similar posture alignment, but less rigid.
Start with Your Head
Again, the head and neck need to be neutral, neither jutting forward nor sinking back. Also, pay attention to your eyes. Keep your gaze forward and not looking down. This will help prevent in any neck soreness.
Make sure your shoulders are neither elevated nor depressed when running. Tip: when running long distances, roll your shoulders forward and backward every mile as a reminder to keep them down and to alleviate any stiffness.
Don’t put too much emphasis on keeping your core engaged while running. If you draw your belly all the way to your spine to engage your core, it will be difficult to breathe when you begin running. Most experts suggest your core being about 25% contracted while running.
Legs & Feet
You want to make sure you are running on the balls of your feet rather than your heels or toes. However, when running uphill it can be beneficial to shift your weight slightly onto your toes.
Tip: The surface you are running on can make a difference.
- If running outdoors on a paved path for a long distance, switch up the side that you are running on.
- This may go against the etiquette of running on the left side of the road toward incoming traffic; however, paved paths typically have a slight curve on either side which has potential to lead to improper form or misalignment.
- If running only on concrete, switch it up and run trails because they are softer on the joints which may help in preventing injury.
If you are worried that you may have a postural misalignment or improper running form, have a friend watch your form to give you feedback. If you notice improper form, what do you do about it?
- Identity the root cause. Is there a biological cause inhibiting your form, such as scoliosis? If there is a biological cause, speak to your doctor.
- If there is not a biological cause and the improper form is the result of a bad habit, try corrective exercises or cross training.
Adding resistance training into a running program can make the world of a difference. Strengthening specific running muscles, which is most of your lower body, can help strengthen your form as well. For a specific corrective exercise prescription, speak to a personal trainer, certified corrective exercise specialist, or physical therapist.
- Form could be inhibited by sore or overworked muscles. For sore muscles, make sure to incorporate stretching at the end of your workout.
With especially sore muscles, incorporate foam rolling. Most runners tend to have significantly tight hip flexors and iliotibial (IT) bands. Rolling out these muscles can aid in proper form during the next run.
For overworked muscles, analyze your training schedule. Are you over-training? Do you allow adequate time for your body to recover? If not, allow more time off in between your running days. Your body is not a machine; it needs time to rest and recover.
If you have a hard time taking rest days, try changing your mindset to actively working on something else that day. This can be a hobby you enjoy, like painting, or something more internal, like improving your mental health or prayer life. We are not just bodies; we are souls and beings with bodies, and all parts of us need to be exercised and nourished.
April 17, 2020
Written By Cricket Jurgovan, Personal Trainer
Finding the right app to help keep you accountable in workouts, meal-planning, and health goals can be tricky, especially when there are thousands to choose from. I chose my top 8 free apps to share with you that have proven to be a great resource when it comes to accountability in so many areas of my life!
Have you heard the idiom, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym”? This app is specifically made by nutritional experts and data scientists to get you results! It’s a diet coach in your pocket—whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain an athletic physique at peak performance—it’s all there! For each meal, you get to choose from a long list of healthy options, and the app tells you exactly how much you need of each food item to be on track with your goals.
If you struggle with drinking enough water like me, this is a simple app that sends you reminders and helps you track your water intake! It’s easy to use and intuitive, and best of all, FREE! It will give you a water amount based on you water weight or you can set your own goal within the app.
Mental health matters! Understanding what activities and moods trigger various things is important in understanding yourself better. This app is extremely helpful in keeping track of your mood and your activities. If you consistently chart, you’ll be surprised to see the patterns you follow that you have never realized before!
This meditation and sleep stories app is a lifesaver for those who have issues sleeping or well with anxiety the second their head hits the pillow. Explore the various music, stories, and videos this app offers for less stress and better sleep!
Motivation provides you a calendar designed to keep track of your training sessions by showing you your completed days. Keep up with your workout days and what type of work outs you have planned ahead with this app’s simple layout and notifications!
This app is a beautifully designed app to help you keep up with your work/rest intervals during your workout! This is perfect for HIIT, Tabata, running, and any workout that requires timing!
If you didn’t know by now, Liberty has an app that has a section called LU Fit. This app has been filled with workout videos from our Fitness staff that you can utilize to understand how to incorporate all the equipment at LaHaye into your workouts! This app also includes a stopwatch, map of LaHaye, hours, and a general overview of the various spaces offered in LaHaye!
Being outdoors is great fun, but sometimes it’s hard finding trails when you’re in a new area or if you’re looking to find a trail you haven’t explored yet. You can browse hikes and walks in your area and read others reviews and pictures. The app will guide you straight to the trailhead and advise you in which hikes are dog, kid, or wheelchair friendly. You can even save the hike for later or track your progress to share with family members or social media!
This is a one-stop-shop for all of your fitness needs! It’s a great app that helps you create and manage your routines and gives you access to pre-made workouts designed by professionals for wherever you go! Due to world-wide circumstances, the makers have made all at-home workouts FREE. Track your progress as you go, and the app will keep up with your measurements and history and provide you with a wide library of animated exercises to follow as well as verbal cues!
March 26, 2020
Written By Alivia Chenoweth, Marketing Manager
So, you’re back at home and desperately missing LaHaye and the motivation to stay fit. We get it. Did you know that in addition to the Wednesday Workout videos that are posted on the Recreation Centers Facebook page, there is currently a library of workouts available for free to students through the Liberty Today App?
How to Get to Our Page
- Download the Liberty Today App on your phone (Apple, Google)
- Click the three grey bars in the top left-hand corner
- Scroll down to LU Fit
When you get to the LU Fit page, you will be able to see all of the LaHaye Rec & Fit and David’s Place workout spaces that are offered. On the bottom of your screen, you’ll see access to a map of LaHaye, a Stopwatch feature to use during workouts, and then a Workouts tab.
Featured in the Workouts tab are Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced workouts taught by our very own professional fitness staff. Under each of the workouts is an overview of each set, a description of the length of the workout and how many repetitions are needed for the circuit. The workouts range from the following:
- Full Body
- Legs & Core
- Lower Body
- Upper Body
With a wide range of workouts to choose from, it makes working out at home, or even in a gym, a whole lot easier. Download the Liberty Today App today for free and stay tuned for more workout videos on Facebook, Instagram LIVE, Spotify playlists, and more!
March 12, 2020
Written By Kevin Cobb, Personal Trainer
New Years is a great time to make a change. People often set high goals but end up keeping little to none of those goals. Are you one of the many people who feel that you have given up on your resolutions and goals already? Do you feel like you are still on pace to keep your goals but running out of motivation? I’m going to give you 5 simple steps to keep pushing so that you can succeed in maintaining your New Year’s resolutions.
Find the Why to What You Do
Many people know what they do, but only the most successful people have identified their why. We drive off of having a purpose. Without a purpose, what’s the point of doing something you don’t feel like doing? Motivation is something that constantly changes. When you know your why to what you do, you can develop discipline to be consistent even when your motivation levels are low. In order to develop a hunger to be more consistent and disciplined, you must change your way of thinking. Instead of thinking about how hard you must work—think about the happiness you will feel from fulfilling your goals.
Make Realistic Goals
I have a lot of friends who know that I am a personal trainer, so they often tell me their fitness related resolutions. Most of them tell me that they are going from being a couch potato to working out every single day! During the first few weeks of the year I usually see them every single day at the gym. Once the enthusiasm runs out, they are right back to where they started. Why? Because they set unrealistic goals for themselves. While some people may think that drastic change works, the majority of people do not have that type of will-power to sustain such a dramatic change. When it comes to making goals, we should remember to keep them S.M.A.R.T.
Specific: In order to achieve something, you must know what you are trying to achieve.
Measurable: Track your progress so you can see if you are going in the right direction.
Attainable: You want it to challenge you, but it should also be possible.
Relevant: When you achieve this goal will it be worth it?
Timely: Having a time limit will give you a sense of urgency to keep pushing.
Let Yesterday Die
There is a reason why we have days, weeks, and years—it is to signify beginnings and endings. It is dangerous to let yesterday’s failures or successes dictate what you do today. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” This is a prime example of not letting the fear of failure dictate your next move. He took his failures and used them as fuel to better himself. Not only do you need to let yesterday’s failure die, you also need to let yesterday’s successes die as well. Often the biggest setback to progress is past success. Don’t think just because you did something good yesterday that you’re done for today. Always strive to improve, because no one else is your competition. You are competing to beat your best self.
Know Yourself and Know Your Worth
There was a point in time where I didn’t know who I was. I tried to find my identity in football, then school work, then a relationship. And they all failed me. I was at an all-time low and didn’t feel like there was any hope for me. But, when I asked the Lord to fulfill me, everything changed. Instead of trying to find my worth in what I do, I now find my worth in who He is. When you know that you are a king/queen in Christ, the thought of failing does not bother you because you know that what Jesus did on the cross has made you victorious before you even fight the battle.
V-check is something I have been saying since I had this revelation, and it stands for victory check. I say this to myself every time I go into a situation that I feel like is too much for me. I know that my victory has been won through Jesus at the cross, so no matter the situation I win! I don’t fight for victory, but from victory! Adopt this mindset in everything you do and remember that the only reason why we have victory is because we put our faith in Jesus.
Set Your Priorities
Feed what you want to grow. Every day you should feed your passion in some type of way. Your passion is what God created you to do, so do it to the best of your abilities and show God’s glory through what you do! As college students we are in a great spot to feed our passions because we can lock in on doing what we were called to do. This might mean you have to sacrifice some fun and sleep in order to pursue your goals, but it will be worth it in the end. Look at what you are doing every day and ask yourself, “is what I’m doing helping me reach my goals?”. If not, then you need to realign your priorities and do what is going to benefit you in the long run. You can still take a break and have fun, but you need to make decisions that will shoot you toward your goals!
March 5, 2020
Written By Abbey Hayes, Group Exercise Instructor
Hi, my name is Abbey Hayes and I love to run. This is a phrase I never thought I would write. Like ever.
Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to three years ago. I was unmotivated, unhappy, and couldn’t run to the end of my block without wanting to give up. I had been over-weight my entire life and saw running as something that would cause humiliation, rather than something that could change my life.
However, I was sick of feeling like this! I wanted to stop dreaming about changing my life AND ACTUALLY DO IT! I began to train for the Virginia 10 Miler and was absolutely terrified. Long story short, I ran the race. I’ve run it three times since and been in the top 10% of women the past two years. After discovering a passion for running, I developed a passion for all things fitness—especially running and HIIT. Now, I teach fitness classes and love working out.
Did you think this blog post was going to tell you the best places to run on Liberty’s campus?
I have something far more important to share with you: the lessons that God taught me as I’ve ran around Liberty’s campus over the past three years. Although, I would be happy to share with you that running from East Campus to Chili’s and back is exactly 2.5 miles, and there’s a phenomenal 5K loop starting at LaHaye, going around Thomas Road, running by the Circle, and running all the way back to LaHaye. But, we are here to talk about something far more important. Endurance.
If you hate running, that’s okay. I did too! But guess what? God created it, and that means He can teach us things through it. I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s pretty exciting. So, open your Bible, put on your running shoes, and let’s dive in.
Endurance Brings us Closer to Jesus
Hebrews 12:1b-2a: And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (NLT)
This is pretty much the reason I work out. Now, why is this so important to me? Well, I realized that first-world countries have very little need for endurance. Everything is at our fingertips. Pain can be temporarily escaped with ease, and we never really have to force ourselves to endure anything. I believe that God gave us running, or any type of physical activity, to practice endurance. He gave us this gift to learn what it is like to power through something that feels impossible, and to realize that there must be something or someone bigger than ourselves to carry us through the unsurmountable. And that someone is Jesus. I know it may sound silly to think that you can find Jesus on a one-mile run starting from Commons 2 and ending at the gym, but He’s there.
With Every Mountain Comes a Valley
Hebrews 10:36: Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (NLT)
Have you ever noticed how long and awful the hills are when you run? Three minutes uphill feels like hours of torture. We result to walking 30 seconds in, feeling absolutely incapable of making it up the mountain. But I have good news for you! Every time you get to the top of a hill, there is a downhill!
So, you may be asking, how does this apply to my life as a Christian? Creation shows us that if there is a mountain, there must be a valley. As you run, keep this in mind. Don’t run up the mountain in fear of stopping, or worrying that it will never end, but knowing that relief is coming. The Lord is preparing you and developing your endurance for the future AND because it is so hard in the moment, you will enjoy the downhill that much more.
When You Feel as Though You Have Nothing Left, God Created You to Glorify Him
Psalm 150: 6: Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! (NLT)
We have all had those moments on a run where everything in us wants to give-up. Even though I try to focus on worshipping and praying as I run, sometimes I have nothing left in me. I become frustrated with my exhaustion, which can turn into becoming frustrated with God. This typically happens when I’m unhappy with circumstances in my life. I think to myself, “How can I worship God right now? Everything in me is tired and I can barely take a step forward.” And that is when I am reminded that I don’t have to do anything, God created my body to worship him. That truth gives me so much relief and freedom. Even when I am at the end of my rope, God still created my body for worship. He is so kind to us. He will carry us when we can’t continue. When we are weak his is strong.
With these three concepts in mind, I have completely changed the music that I listen to when I run. Instead of pumping trap music through my ears, I choose to listen to worship music. I know it may sound crazy, but it has made my running time faster. There is nothing more motivating than the truth that Christ has set me free! I hope to see you running around campus. Remember, this is beyond burning a couple hundred calories (even though that is an awesome benefit). This is worship.