What really lasts forever? The opposite of temporary is spiritual. We toss around words like permanent, forever, and everlasting without considering their true meaning. Look around. Everything you see is decaying or dying. As morbid as it may seem, everything in this physical realm is, has, or will past away. Only the spirit will endure the physical death, then comes the judgment. Then will come the reward for what we've done or failed to do in our life on earth.
Is there anything more? This is the question of the man who rises and stands on the top of the heap. Hard work and discipline will bring success in many things, but the soul will still be restless in the end. This is the condition of us all, and only those with a burning heart find the way to life. This is a heart that isn't satisfied with what can be seen in the mirror or held in the hand. The restlessness of the burning heart can only be satisfied with the living God. Behold, He stands knocking at the door of your heart.
Revelation 3:14-22 (NKJV):
"And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: "I know your works, that you are neither cold not hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold not hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' --and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-- I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'"
We are bound in this life to time. Days, months, and years pass on until we meet our end. The deceptiveness of the wrong path is that for a time all seems well, then suddenly destruction comes. How then are we to separate the wheat from the chaff?
Do not look with envy upon those who prosper from doing wrong, for no one escapes the justice of God forever. It is hard to tell how far into the pit we will fall. Some will turn after getting a little skinned up and scarred. Others continue head long into being totally strung out and diseased.
Be not blinded by the brightness of superstars when they are 20 or 30 years old. Look at what they become at 50 or 60 for a more accurate assessment. Only by looking at their path from youth to old age, can you know whose path you should follow.
Life is but a dream. I will be satisfied when I wake up in eternity, made over in the image of my Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 16:27-31 NIV
"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'
""No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
"'He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
When the music stops and the bell rings, we can only hope that we've spent more time working, training, and sweating than we've spent parting, dancing, and having fun.
Take an honest look around you. The default setting in this part of the 21st century will make you poor, fat, and diabetic. Wake up and fight I say. Most of the people who want your money also want to keep you in denial of this fact. The slide into the default setting is easy to deny because it often happens so slowly. There are many warning signs along the way, but most will ignore them until they cause some major problems. Prediabetes is one such warning. If this describes you, there may be some free help available. Check the video and link below.
I walked up to the cash register at Walmart today just in time to over hear the cashier say something about her dad turning 86 years old a couple of days ago. Once the old guy she was talking to got his change and moved on, she told me that he was 90 years old. I never would have guessed that. He looked like a 60 year old in good health. He was shopping alone from what I could see. He wasn't riding around in one of those scouter carts, and he didn't even have a cane. Big, drug-free muscles are nice, but I got to tell you, that's what up. I want to be able to drive my sports car to Walmart at 90 years old, and go shopping for bubblegum!
It got me thinking about how the body was meant to last a lifetime. You have to take better care of your body than you do you car, because unlike a car you can't ever trade it in for a newer model. And just like a car, it doesn't matter if you have a no frills economy model or a super deluxe luxury sports edition, it will break down when it gets old enough if all you do is abuse it.
Do not fear the clouds. Find something positive to focus on instead. Bring the boom of thunder by taking action, and in the flash of lightening you will be able to see the sliver tint of every cloud of doubt. Vision is not seeing what stops you, vision is a belief that moves you. The flash of lightening may be missed in the blink of the eyes, yet the clap of thunder which follows is sure to shake everything right down to the bones. Hold to the vision and work for the boom. Trust God, and He will send the thunder in His perfect timing. Oh yes, the boom cometh!
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." --John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)
I'm feeling funky this morning! Missing my afro, platform shoes, bell bottom polyester pants, butterfly collars, and pork chop side burns. Some things change, but some things won't: It's better to get started on the good foot, than have to get right after having started wrong. It is better to get on the good foot, than continue on the wrong.
I ran into this old guy as I was walking into the gym this morning (at my age an "old guy" is only someone who is older than me). I used to see him in the gym often, but it's been a while sense I've seen him. "This is the first time I've been in the gym in 2 months," he told me. Before I could even ask him why, he continued, "I had a heart attack. It happened because I was pushing it too hard for much longer than a should have. I got home and started breaking out in a heavy sweat. I had this terrible pain in the middle of my chest and with tingling running down my right arm. I told the wife to call 911 and they rushed me to the hospital." I don't remember too much of the rest of what he said after that. My mind was too occupied with thinking about how this guy was only a few years older than me. About how I was just about to go into the gym and push it to the max once again. He seemed to be in reasonably good health, could the same thing happen to me? Needless to say this is not an ideal mental state to walk into the gym with and expect to have a good workout slinging heavy weights around.
Today my warm-up routine was worth my weight in gold. I do a series of dynamic mobility drills followed by 10 minutes of jump rope as a warm-up for every workout. I've been doing this warm-up for years and it prepares my body for harder work while the totally familiar routine frees my mind to make the transition from thinking about all the cares of daily life to focusing on the work at hand. I certainly needed the time to discharge all the thoughts and feelings caused by the encounter with the old guy. I had lots of fearful imaginings to cast down. I know Him in whom I believe though, and I rely on His love. Here are the words that pressed up from my heart: Having "no fear" is not desirable. Fear what should be feared. Face what shouldn't be feared. Knowing when to fight and when to take flight, that is wisdom. With that my warm-up was complete. I had a lite sweat going and was mentally focused in fight mode.
Heavy deadlifts on my schedule today. The past year or so I've been doing a lot of Olympic style power moves and haven't done plain old heavy Ds in a long time. I was pleased to get in four work sets with 315 pounds for 3 reps each set. Some who read this may use 315 as a warm-up, but with no belt, no wraps, and such a long time since I've done them, I was very thankful.
After deadlifts I did supersets of 5 box jumps, 10 thrusters, and 15 sit-ups crossfit style. I got two and a half supersets in the allotted 8 minutes. After taking a few minutes to catch my breath, I pulled out my resistance band and got a quick pump for my biceps and triceps. From a shaky start it turned out to be an awesome workout in every way. Peace to you my friend, unless of course, it is time for you to fight.
Sooner or later every believer will reach a point where he or she must take a leap of faith. God will bring you to a point where the only choice is to either shrink back in unbelief, or push ahead and stretch past the present limits of your tiny belief muscles. Do not think this strange. Do not think you are unique. Even our Lord Jesus was tested in the wilderness. Let our mutual faith be an encouragement to each other. Practice the faith as you have been taught and let go of the fear. Rely on the love God has for us. God is faithful. He will not allow us to be tested beyond our ability to endure.
Romans 1:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
1 Peter 4:12-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
Luke 8:4-15 New International Version (NIV)
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ""though hearing, they may not understand."
This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
1 Corinthians 10:13 New Living Translation (NLT)
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
1 John 4:16-19 New International Version (NIV)
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us.
1 Peter 5:6-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The video clip below portrays the reality of the point of this entry perfectly.
*An except from the third book in the Fitness Devotional series..
I loved today's workout. On paper it didn't look like much, but after the first round it proved to be a good challenge. I'm used to working hard, just more of a slow Band-Aid removal style. You know, work hard on a set and then take a break before working hard again on the next set. Crossfit isn't designed that way. It's more like ripping the Band-Aid off quickly in just one shot. You go hard until it's done. Just this one WOD has made me a big fan of this style of training. It certainly won't be all that I do, but I certainly don't want to be totally without it from now on. Today's WOD:
Three rounds for time.
1. 100m Farms walk. I choose two 40K kettlebells. The gym is on a converted basketball court so I figured down and back covered the 100m. I've never really done this as an exercise before. Not only is it good for grip work, but having to fight the downward pull on the shoulders has to be good for posture strength as well.
2. Burpees X8. I was glad it only called for 8. This exercise has a huge potential to really suck if you want to take it there.
3. V ups X16. I haven't done this one in probably about 20 years and it showed. My form smoothed out a little, but this exercise brought the most pain today.
4. Full Sit-upX24. First set was easy, 2nd set not so much, 3rd set really hurt only because I was trying to shave a few seconds off my time.
Completed all three rounds in 12:19. I was dripping with sweat, and breathing hard. And It took less than 15 minutes.
I brought along my 3 pound Indian Clubs, just in case the WOD wasn't enough work for me today. After I caught my breath I decided to go ahead and use them. I should have brought the 2 pound clubs. Ten minutes with the 3 pounders proved to be more than I could handle today. Took my hands and shoulders to failure a couple of times. The Indian Clubs are a lot different than your standard weight training exercise for the shoulders. Bars and dumbbells work mostly the large deltoid muscles. The circular motion with the Clubs works the entire shoulder girdle. Here's one of my older videos with me swinging the 2 pounders:
All in all, it was a good training day. Crossfit style earned some points with me today.
Easy 20 minute recovery run on the schedule for today. Not nearly as hard as last week. I could've run harder and further, which is pretty encouraging. I ran some of the back trails on Fort Bragg that I used to run all the time back about 10 years or so ago. A lots changed since then. Including the Vivobarefoot Achilles scandals that I'm wearing these days. These babies take some getting used to, but I fully expect to be able to put out volcanos with my bare feet in a few weeks of running in these things.
Awesome workout today. I didn't miss the usual pre-workout supp at all. Coming off a full day of rest yesterday I was ready to go this morning. WOD called for deadlifts, then as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes of 10 reps push-press/10 reps air squats. I decided to modify with hanging full squat snatches instead of the push-press. I started with my normal dynamic warm-up followed by 10 minutes of jump rope. Then:
Deadlift: I decided to use the smaller 25 pound plates to increase range of motion. I wanted to keep it light just because I'm so new to Crossfit I don't want to go too heavy or too hard and gas out before I can complete the workout.
1st set: 95 lbs for 10 reps
2nd set: 145 lbs for 7 reps
3rd set: 195 ibs for 5 reps
4th, 5th, and 6th sets: 245 lbs for 5 reps
The smaller plates gave me a good 3-4 more inches to move the bar at the bottom of each rep. This was tougher than I thought it would be. Still I completed all with only a little tightness in the lower back. Decided to grab a PVC pipe and stretch a little before the next part.
For the hanging full squat cleans I decided on using only 88 lbs., which had been the weight I was using to start my warm-up with when I was doing straight Olympic style lifting earlier this year. The WOD called for 10 reps though. I've never really done more than 3 consecutive reps for snatches. I figured that wouldn't be much of a problem with such a light weight.
1st set of Hanging snatches: knocked out the 10 reps and I was breathing hard already. Paused for about a two count and went into the air squats with no problem. The air squats were easy, but I was still breathing hard.
2nd set of Hanging snatches: I got to 5 reps and had to put the weight down. I never would have guessed a little 88 pound barbell would have had me punching out on only the second set, but I'd just couldn't maintain the form. I moved on to my 2nd set of air squats. Breathing real hard, but had no problem knocking out the 10 reps. Bent over to try to slow my breathing and heart rate a little. After about a 5 count I got on the bar and knocked out the remaining 5 reps of the hanging snatches. I dropped the bar and looked at my timer. I still had about 6 seconds left. I let that 6 seconds go. After the deadlifts and 4:54 seconds was all I wanted.
After I walked it off a little bit, I decided to do a little bodybuilding. I think the Crossfit "it doesn't matter what you look like" is ridiculous. The WOD gave my legs and back a good workout, but nothing for my arms. I grabbed my red elastic band and did three pump sets each for the bi's and tri's. Solid pump on the guns, WOD completed, and I left the gym happy.
Crossfit seems to only create love or hate from most people. I think this is because Crossfit has some really good points and some really bad points. This naturally lends to the polarization of most people depending on which they value more, Crossfit's good points or its bad. In it's short term in existence as compared to bodybuilding, in my opinion Crossfit has already reached the same type of popularity peak. The extreme is no longer shocking enough to maintain the interest of the masses. So like bikini and men's physique, we are starting to see spinoffs from the more traditional Crossfit box mentality. I found what I would call a sanity filtered beginner's level Crossfit program. It is from a book I purchased on amazon.com called "Fire Your Gym." Clearly not the best title choice as you will still need a gym or you will have to buy the equipment necessary outright. I started the program last week and so far that is the only shortcoming that I see.
What I've learned from the first week is that Crossfit isn't a whole lot different from what I grew up doing in the military. Grant it, when I was in the military it was mostly just bodyweight exercises and running, but it brought the same "butt-whipped" feeling after the working.
The biggest change this week has been me starting to run again. I promised myself when I retired from the military four and half years ago, that I wasn't going to run any more. Before this week I haven't run further than 100 meters at a time since I pulled off my uniform for good. I was convicted of what a stupid promise "to not run any more" was as I was running through the neighborhood on one of last week's scheduled recovery runs. I passed this lady walking her dog. She turned to me and said, "I wish I could run." "Walking is good enough," I replied. As I turned the corner though, I couldn't keep from thinking about how ungrateful it was of me to be thinking only about how much I would rather not be out here sucking wind, when there are plenty of people who wish they could be running and sucking wind, but can't.
Even though I can't yet say that I've come to enjoy running, I do think it has been a missing link in my training. The fact is that from the time I was about 25 years old to well past 35, I was a solid 187 pounds and ran nearly everyday. I was also on a seafood-like diet. Any food I saw that I liked, I ate it. By the time I was in my early 40s life had slow way down. I was running less, eating the same, and my overall physical activity was about half of what it was at 30. Needless to say it didn't take long before I plumped up like a butterball turkey and pushed the scale to 230 pounds. Anyway, the way back from all that is a different story. The only point I'm making is that running, and being 25 years younger, was a big part of what kept me lean back then. Nothing I can do about my age, but I can start running again.
It only makes sense really. The body is designed to get efficient at whatever you do consistently. So it makes sense that running would signal the body to drop excess weight so that running will become more efficient. My only concern is finding the sweet spot where the fat goes and all the muscle stays. I believe running in moderation along with continued resistance training to be key for getting lean and sparing the muscle. By moderation I mean no runs more than a 10k (6.2 miles). That is going to be a long run for me. My longest run last week was a slow and painful 5k (3.1 miles). You can always tell when I'm going through a tough spot in my workouts. Those are the days when my "fit status" will be me preaching to myself to take the pain and not to quit.
I had planned on creating a custom training program to record these Crossfit workouts, but the bodyspace tool for programs and workout tracking was just too time consuming for me. It seems to me they are geared for the set programs bodyspace offers. So if anyone is interested in following, let me know. I could post each workout here in my bodyblog.
It isn't often that I feel the need for something to get me started, thankfully. Today was one of those days. I went surfing on the Internet looking for something to inspire me. The videos below did it. You don't get to be like the folks below by feeling sorry for yourself or sitting on you butt. Check them out...I'm out of here to get some work baby!