Fit to Function


Its hard to believe I've been home (In the US) for over a month and at my at my home in NC for a couple of weeks already. Its a weird transition coming back to life here. Its odd getting used to not having a chow hall that accepts ID cards for food. Its odd going to Wal-Mart and for me aggravating when I hear people complain about standing in a line for a few extra minutes, if they only knew! Its odd driving, its odd seeing everyone in civilian attire, its odd seeing green everywhere....its just odd and weird. But, I'm not complaining.

One thing that I have not let go of from my deployment is my commitment to train physically. I get up in the mornings still at 0500 and meet my buddy Brian Burgess at a local gym and we punish ourselves with the latest W.O.D. or workout of the day from Crossfit or Sealfit. If you've not heard of these training systems/philosophies I highly recommend them. One of the latest fads is actually a really old Russian form of resistance training with the use of a Kettlebell. Brian is holding one in the picture here. Its like a cannon ball with a handle. The lifts primarily consist of swings, cleans, snatch's and other horrific and painful exercise that focus primarily on functional fitness, mimicking actual moves that we do in life. So many Americans these days have never done an honest hard days work swinging a sledge hammer or using a shovel. Kettlebell training can help out with that. I bought a little one for Tammy and the kids and then I got this 62# er. And that is not even the heaviest one you can get.

I sort of had my physical fitness epiphany while in Iraq. I realized that the harder I trained, the better I was at living life. Fitness is marketed in the US mostly to people who want 6 pack abs or tight bodies so they can feel better about themselves. In fact I went to a local gym to see what they had and the guy at the counter had a shirt that said, "Curls get the girls". I walked out. There's nothing wrong with being content in our physical appearance, but if that is the only reason I train, my foundation is faulty. And unfortunately I've been guilty of that in the past. Believe me, when you are an overweight 12 year old the words of your buddies can dig deep and leave indelible scars. These scars carried over into my adult years and I began to train to find value, even identity. This is a perilous road to wander. Even after finding identity and life in Jesus, these old wounds still come creeping in.

But, I am learning and through my experience in Iraq have learned that fitness can be so much more than the way we look. When on missions soldiers rely on their physical prowess to survive, but its so much more than that...when I say fitness. I like to be intellectually fit, reading good books that challenge my previously held presuppositions. I like to be emotionally fit and I do that through the relationships that God has given me, my wife, kids, and dear friends like Brian. I cannot convey in words the value of being able to talk openly with those that I love. I want to be spiritually fit, walking day to day with my Savior, trusting Him, listening to Him receiving life from Him, the life I so desperately need.

Mostly I want to be fit to live, functionally fit to be a soldier, a leader, a husband, a dad, a friend, and functionally fit and combat complete to follow Jesus wherever that leads.

All for now...got a Kettlebell to swing.

If you are interested in taking your fitness to a new level, let me know and I can point you to some resources.

Blessings!

Comments

Jim Pemberton said…
I've been reading Brian's tweets about working out with you. It's good to have a workout buddy, not just for physical training, but for mental and spiritual training. Discipline is better in groups. I covet the rare moments I can work out with someone.
Anonymous said…
CH Brad,

Go ahead and send some of those resources this way dear friend. Do me a favor? Tell Burgess I said hello, I miss him & I pray for him often. Glad to hear transition at home is going well & you're staying on top of your PT (kudos for doing so without a high speed CH Assistant to keep you straight). Just about time to tackle the pillow, I'm out.

Craig

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