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Faith and fitness

Nothing to Prove

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Nothing to Prove

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?  Or am I trying to please people?  If I were trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ?”  Galatians 1:10

Have you ever been caught in that trap where you feel like you have to prove yourself over and over again to yourself, God and others?  It feels like my whole life I have been on that hamster wheel of proving myself by performing and proving myself. 

DRIVEN BY GOALS

At the beginning of the cycling season I mapped out four different races that I was planning on doing over the course of four months.  I completed a 100 mile gravel race in May.  A 110 mile gravel race in June and had my sights set on another 100 miler in July and August. 

Due to some schedule changes and a new puppy in my life, I decided I would do a self-supported century on the local Fort Collins bike trails.  I set out early Saturday morning for my planned 100 mile ride.  I really didn’t think much of it.  I am trained and fit and was prepared for a fairly easy, albeit a long day in the saddle.  My goal was to finish in about 6 ½ hours. 

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As I was heading out, I was feeling strong.  It wasn’t too hot yet and the wind seemed fairly calm.  Then I noticed the wind starting to pick up and when I turned around to head back to Fort Collins I ran smack into a 17 mph headwind.   At this point the temperature was climbing steadily into the mid 80’s with a higher than normal humidity in Colorado. 

“You Have Nothing to Prove”

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As I got about 50 miles into the ride, I started questioning my why.  I wasn’t feeling all that great as I had been fighting a cold all week.  I was feeling dehydrated and quite honestly I was exhausted.  As I think back to all of my training rides and organized rides, I can’t recall many that I have cut short.   I kept telling myself to push through and then this deep sense inside my soul said, “You have nothing to prove.”

Those words reverberated in my heart.  It actually brought tears to my eyes.  I have been trying to prove that I am enough my whole life.  Mainly through sports, bodybuilding and now endurance cycling.  I felt the presence of God when he spoke those words into me, “I have nothing to prove.”  To God or anyone for that matter.  I am enough.

I decided to call it quits after 60 miles.  I felt the beginnings of heat exhaustion.  I read the day before that a former professional football player died from heat stroke from working outside all day. 

What was different for me, was I didn’t feel guilty or less than because I cut my ride short.  In fact I felt really good about my decision.  The words ring true that I have nothing to prove. 

LIVE FOR AN AUDIENCE OF ONE

How about you?  What are you trying to prove?  Who are you trying to impress?  I am learning to live for an audience of one.  God already approves of me and loves me unconditionally.  I don’t need to earn anything.  Through his grace and mercy I am deeply loved.  Oh how easy it is to forget this. 

Let’s rest in the loving arms of Jesus and leave the performance based need for approval behind.  Rest easy my friends.  It’s not about accomplishing certain tasks, it’s about who we are becoming on this journey of life.  God loves you just the way you are.  When you start to see yourself the way God sees you, you will fully step into the person you are created to be. 

MY MISSION

I am on a mission to build a movement of men who are willing to go on this journey with me of becoming a Spiritual Warrior.  My vision is to impact one million men’s lives through this tribe of Spiritual Warriors.  The journey to one million men starts with one.  Will you be that one who is willing to take a chance on yourself so you can live the life of your dreams?  So you can live a life of purpose feeling fully alive. 

The first step to being part of this community is to sign up for my Spiritual Warriors Unite Newsletter and becoming a part of our Spiritual Warriors Unite Facebook group.

One thing we must never forget that what is done for ourselves will quickly be forgotten, but what we do for others will be remembered for eternity.  The choice is yours.

Troy Ismir, MS

Speaker, Author, Podcaster and Spiritual Warrior Coach

facebook.com/groups/spiritualwarriorsunite/

https://www.troyismir.com/

 

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It’s NOT about the Fitness

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It’s NOT about the Fitness

It’s NOT about the Fitness

I love to work out.  It has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember.  In elementary school starting around 5th grade I would get up two hours before I needed to be at school so I could run 5 miles before starting my school day.  

I would lace up my Converse shoes with the theme song from Rocky thumping through my brain.  I would get that runners high, even in elementary school.

Fast forward about forty years and I am still as passionate about fitness as I was when I was ten.  The only difference now is that it isn’t about the fitness. 

Now my time in the gym, my time on the bike, my outdoor adventures are all ways to draw closer to God.  To spend time in prayer.  To train my mind and spirit to be more like Christ.   Working out has become so much more than the way I look, which is a side benefit, but not my main priority. 

Pushing myself to my limits connects me to what Jesus has done for me on the cross.  A little suffering is good for my soul.  It makes me feel fully alive.

Now I recognize, not everyone loves to work out like I do.  In fact some people can’t stand it.  A lot of that has to do with our perspective on exercise and why we do it. 

We have made exercise so much about weight loss, burning calories and how we look that it becomes a very superficial experience.  Trust me I get it.  Bodybuilding for me was always about appearance.  I am so glad that I am moving away from the superficial and moving towards my health and physical well-being as being a vital part of my spiritual growth journey.

It’s NOT about the fitness.  It’s about being my best self physically, mentally and spiritually.  It’s about being more like Christ.  It’s about honoring God with every rep I do in the gym.  It’s about connecting with God in prayer and meditation when I am on the bike. 

What about for you?  How can you have a deeper spiritual experience through movement and fitness?  What if exercise wasn’t really about exercise, but about feeling fully alive.  About our lives being completely transformed from the inside out. 

So many people struggle with their health, weight and fitness.  I want to challenge you to think of fitness differently.  It’s really NOT about the fitness at all. 

It’s about honoring God with our body.  It’s about treating our body as the precious vessel that it is.  It’s about pushing our limits and becoming the best version of ourselves. 

My hope and prayer is that we become passionate about fitness, not just so we look a certain way, but because it will give us the abundance of energy that we need to do the work that God is calling us to do.

When we use our exercise time as a form of worship, it puts a whole new perspective on our why behind fitness.  In fact it’s really NOT about the fitness at all.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

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