30 April 2021

The Time Jesus Came to CrossFit

While I played CYO basketball and volleyball growing up, I have never really considered myself an athlete. It wasn't until my first marathon that I thought to myself, "My gosh, my body is capable of doing hard, amazing things."

For some time, I have wanted to try out CrossFit. I have thought about it on and off for the last year or so. The easiest way to describe it is high intensity workouts with basic movements using your own body strength. In any given workout, there are different levels of fitness of folks in the class.

One of the things about Joe, is that he notices and sees things about me that other people or men I have dated have not seen about me before. He challenges me and reminds me of things like, "You are much more capable than you give yourself credit." or "You are much stronger than you realize."

About a month and a half ago, Joe offered to pay for me to try out CrossFit for a month to see if I like it and try it out. I Started and March and finished my trial right before Easter. I was going to 3 classes a week.

While it initially felt a little bit intimidating, I was surprised how quickly I began to love it. I began to notice my arms and legs feeling stronger. I started to set some new goals, believing I could do things I used to think I couldn't, like do a full body pull up or climb up a rope.

I began to realize in a new way, how good and capable my physical body is; the real difference it is to feel more physically strong. I am not working to become an Olympic weight lifter. However, I do want to become stronger and feel more at home and peaceful in my physical body.

There was one particular morning about five weeks ago and I had just finished doing leg up's on a high bar. I looked down at the callouses starting to form on my hands. I had this insight into how amazingly awesome it is what my physical body is able to do. In some way, it felt like Jesus was standing off to the side watching his Pattykins learn and absorb something new about herself.

I started thinking long and how hard about the sacramentality of our bodies, how good it is that God gave us our physical bodies to experience, taste, touch, feel, and see the world and people around us. It struck me that it matters to God that we take care of our physical bodies.

I have not always taken care of my physical body, caring for it with good food or exercise. It is interesting to me as I continue to attend CrossFit, the deeper reasons I am sticking with it. I am not sticking with it to lose 20 pounds or be able to wear a bikini. I am sticking with this intense, sometimes culty workout plan because I want to get stronger and feel even more at peace/at home in my body.

Just as I take care of my emotional and spiritual health, taking care of the physical body that God gave me matters. One is not more important than the other, and I think sometimes I used to believe that it was better to always prioritize my spiritual health first.

That 5am class I looked down and saw those worn hands from barbells and high bars were such a spiritual insight for me. It matters to take care of my body for the mere reason that God gave it to me because it is good, very good.

I am continuing to go to 3 classes a week. Sometimes I bring my Patty flair and wear my real pearl earrings (Joe likes to point that out) because they make me feel happy and confident. 

I am working on goals of adding more heavy weights, climbing a rope, and doing a full body pullup. 

Jesus will come and find you anywhere, even at a 5am CrossFit class.

PS I preached a fiery word on Instagram about these things rolling around in my mind if you want an audio version of this post. :)


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15 April 2021

Finding Your Way Back to Normal Habits in 2021

In 2020, I went from a vibrant social life life with family and friends and working outside my home, to working at home for months while having very limited physical contact with the people I loved most in the world. I had to learn new healthy coping tools while relying on my tired-and-true ones to help me navigate through difficult things. Some things had to look different for a time in my life, and I am sure that happened in your life as well.

As life begins to feel more normal than it has this past year, it might be a good time to look at some habits that have been neglected in the pandemic. 

What needs some adjusting or tweaking? What simple practices do we need to "begin again" in living our daily lives as life settles down a bit more?

Here are some of the practices we can re-discover in new ways: eating at the table, cleaning your room or making the bed, prioritizing your to-do list, and being friendly out and about in the world.

Read the rest over at Verily . . .

What habits are you re-discovering as life begins to settle and feel a bit more normal these days?

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25 March 2021

A Simple Self-Care Question for Hard Times

I didn't always know how to take good care of myself. For a number of years, I prided myself on being the woman who "gets stuff done," and somehow absorbed the lie that productivity mattered over a healthy relationship to my mind and body. I did not know how to listen to my spirit to find out what I needed to take care of myself in a given moment. I was too busy, well, too busy.

As I have grown as a person, I've learned to ask myself a simple question when I am stressed at work or by life scenarios. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, or life feels heavy, hard, lonely, or confusing, I ask, "What do I need right now?" It feels both empowering and freeing, and in many ways helps me trust myself and my intuition.

Looking at your own life, how can this question help you take better care of yourself, especially during a hard time?

Read the rest over at Verily to help apply this question to your emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

What types of questions help you take care of yourself better?

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