Everyone knows that working out is something that people do to become healthier, stronger, more in shape, and even become more physically attractive to other people in society. However, to me, working out means much more. It is so much more meaningful to me than getting in shape. To me, exercising is a stress reliever and it's mentally alleviating. Along with that, getting in shape and becoming physically stronger are just added bonuses. Some of the things I do are lift weights, box, run, ride my bike, and many other activities depending on how accessible supplies are to use.
First of all, I’ll start with just the stereotypical reasons for working out: becoming healthier and stronger. Doing things like lifting weights and running help a person to slim down, get in shape, become healthier, and get stronger. When doing things like running, your heart rate increases, and your body starts to burn calories and fat resulting in slimming and becoming more in shape. When lifting weights, the main focus for most people is gaining muscle, losing fat, and gaining muscle definition. So, when doing general exercising like lifting weights and running, the main goal for most people is just to get in shape or become healthier. Although I do enjoy those benefits of working out and exercising, that’s not why I do it.
Why I Run
Yes, running does all those sorts of things like raising your heart rate and burning fat. However, that is the least of my concerns. Whether I run in the morning before the dreadful days start or in the afternoon once the day is finished, it serves as a great way to relax and connect deeper with yourself and your surroundings. Some may say, "Running in itself is stressful because it's so much work and it makes your body work more than it should!" Although people may have their opinions, to me, everything can be looked at differently based on outlook. I see running as a chance to take my problems, anxiety, fear, and anger and release it all while pushing my body to the limits. It's almost like every time I take in a breath full of air and blow it back out I'm pushing my problems out.
Finding Hope in a Dark World
The world we live in today is very corrupt. Everyone has to watch their back everywhere they go. I have been taught to be aware of my surroundings in every situation. That has paid off positively. When I go run, I pay attention to my surroundings. Not just looking out for possible harm, but finding the good in every situation. When I go to run, I look at all the trees and flowers, the birds and animals, the sunrises and sunsets. I take the negative connotation of "paying attention to surroundings" and turn it into a positive outlook on God's creations.
Boxing: Building Strength Mentally and Physically
Boxing is definitely not an activity for the feeble minded. Physically, boxing requires tremendous upper body strength and durability. All the way from your hands and arms delivering blows, to core strength holding a perfect stance, practice definitely makes perfect. Although physical strength is important, mental toughness is key. Rapid, repeated punches are my way of releasing the stress of the day. Every swing of my fist, every pound of the bag, is me forgetting my stress and worries and focusing on pounding that bag harder and harder.
Listening Ears Create Strong Minds
Everyone knows that music and the lyrics involved are very influential on a person. What does that have to do with working out? The majority of people listen to music while working out to focus and work themselves harder. I do listen to music while working out, but I pick the music strategically. My workout playlist contains strictly Christian rap music. The fast beat of the music keeps me moving at a constant pace and it also keeps me going fast so that my workout is more effective. Although I am working out in a very tense environment, I consider my time as I push myself to the limits to be worshipping God. Very contradictory, right? Worship is usually in song or in silence. However, when I use the beat of the Christian rap music for speed and consistency, I always listen deeply to the words that are sang. I listen to the lyrics and I consider it part of my time with God worshipping. I listen to the words, think about how they connect to me, spend time in prayer, and sometimes even sing and dance a little bit.
Physical Appearance DOESN'T Rule
Being in shape and physically attractive to the outside world is something that most everyone strives for at some point in life. That is the LEAST of my concerns. I love to workout, but not for the outward appearance. I workout for ME, not for everyone else. To me, working out is more than gaining muscle and losing fat. Working out in itself serves as a stress relief for me and it also helps me to get rid of all the worry, anxiety, and fear from the day. More importantly, working out serves as a peaceful time to reflect on myself and grow in my relationship with God by worshipping through music.