Running the Race

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A few months ago I decided I was tired of being tired. I had put on weight since my wedding…ya know, the whole “fat and happy” syndrome, and I felt sluggish and not my usual athletic self. I sought out my own routine – I tried Jillian, Insanity, going to the gym, and every tip I could find on fitness blogs, but I just couldn’t seem to get in a rhythm that stuck. A few ladies in town told me about a fitness group called Camp Gladiator, so I decided to check it out. What I found is that CG provides 60-minute intense workouts at many locations throughout the week in my area (including one across the street from my house…which makes it nearly impossible to find an excuse not to go **face palm**).

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They have certified trainers that write full-body workouts and provide accountability for its members. After the first month, I realized that I felt better, lost weight and most importantly, found a routine. I found a community of women that push me to run faster, go further, and show up to workouts at 5am. Long story short, I am now four months in, 15 pounds down, and feel better than ever.

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This is me and my trainer Heather the day I signed up for CG.

At the end of the summer I will be participating in a competition called CG Games. It is a unique physical test unlike any other that challenges its participants in endurance, speed, agility, strength, and all other areas of physical fitness. In many ways, I’ve realized that training for CG Games is like running the “race” God calls us to run in life. As I have prayed through what the future holds for this community of women, I continue to come back to lessons I’ve learned in physical fitness.

  1. Run with a purpose – don’t run aimlessly.

One reason training for CG Games has been good for me is because it has given me a purpose to run. I’ve never been much of a runner, but now when I pop in my ear buds and throw on my tennis shoes, I am running with a specific goal in mind. When running aimlessly, we tend to burn out quicker, stop short when our bodies could continue, and lack purpose. Just like training for a race, I believe that the Lord calls us to do all things in life with a purpose and to the best of our ability. In 1 Corinthians, Paul says,

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

As Kelsey, Andi, Amanda, and Lauren have previously stated the past couple of weeks, there have been many things… good things, like babies and changes in ministry contexts and new jobs… that have taken our time and attention the past few months. For this reason, we have not been able to invest the adequate time into GLOW to allow it to be all that it can be and reach its potential. After much prayer and deliberation, we believe that, for a season, we need to pause, exercise self-control, and take a break from GLOW to fulfill our other responsibilities to the fullest. Our plan is to return at the start of 2017 fresh, rejuvenated, and full of energy and passion to move forward.

  1. Slow and steady wins the race.

When I started my workout regimen a few months ago, it was tempting to eat far too few calories to jumpstart the weight loss or even worse, eat far too many calories because it felt like momentum wasn’t in my favor. If girls at workout could lift more than me or run faster, it made me want to either go to the extreme and workout twice a day (which is unrealistic with my schedule) or quit working out all together. Neither one of these are good options. What I realized through my training was that sometimes it’s better to jog for a long distance and finish, than it is to sprint a short distance and stop before I’ve reached my goal. It’s better to consistently work out and eat a balanced healthy diet over time than it is to workout excessively for a short time. With GLOW, our team has decided that it would be best for us to take a short break now to allow rest than it would be to continue “sprinting,” leading to a burnout. Each of us on the team has a heart for this blog, this community, and sharing our hearts for the sake of His glory. We believe that taking things slow and steady will lead to a win when we launch again in January.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise.” Ephesians 5:15

  1. Balance is crucial.

In physical fitness, balance is key. I’m not just referring to literal core strength. The balance in nutrition (goodbye carbs), time spent working out, and consistent sleep patterns directly affect weight loss and muscle gain. I believe this to be true in life as well. I had to learn some hard lessons regarding balance the last few months. I bit off more than I could chew and found that I was consistently stressed out and feeling inadequate since I couldn’t do any one thing on my calendar to the best of my ability. I felt like a juggler, juggling so many balls that I would have just enough energy to catch one and throw it back in the air in the knick of time before it hit the ground and ended my performance. I decided I needed to cut back on writing weekly for GLOW for a few months until other commitments ended and I was able to get control of my schedule again. While I was still very much a part of the operations behind the scenes, I wanted to thank each of you for being patient with me and allowing me the break that I needed. At this time, our team has decided that as a whole we need to exercise balance as well. Said balance means that we need to take a short break from GLOW to allow everyone to fulfill their current commitments well.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven- A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

What will the next few months look like for me? I will continue my job at the seminary working in marketing and communications. This will include some travel to conferences and other events. I will also be taking seminary classes to continue my Masters in Theological Studies. Mike and I have been very busy with our church and, as a team, our passion to love God’s people grows each day. We have several trips planned to see family and I look forward to spending time with my nieces and nephews. While I have largely put my photography business on hold (as a part of that whole exercising balance thing I mentioned earlier), I have a few projects on the horizon this fall. Considering the topic of today’s post, I guess I should mention that I will continue to workout and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for tuning in every day to read. If you are a contributor or desire to be a contributor, please feel free to continue sending us blog posts via the instructions on the Submissions page. Our goal is to start fresh with many blog posts in the “bank” to be published after the new year. Check in with our media channels as they will be updated closer to the time of our new launch in January. Please be in prayer for the GLOW team and continue to keep in touch.

Just as Camp Gladiator offered a community of friends that provided encouragement, accountability, and consistency in physical fitness, GLOW provided those same things for me in my spiritual walk. GLOW has been an encouragement when times were tough, it kept me accountable to spend time in God’s Word, and it was a consistent source of “real talk” written by women who want to know God more. We want our team to be that for you, too! See you in January, friends.

  • Chelsy Phillips

    This is such a bittersweet post!