Yesterday, I began a series entitled Life’s Essential Ingredients, where I listed ten things I’d like to accomplish each day. Today, we will look at working out and worship. I have found a way to link my gym and devotional time that may open up some options for you, as well.
Working Out: Get to the gym (before 5:30AM)
In order to get to the gym by 5:30AM, I have to be in bed by 9:30PM the night before. Without a full night’s sleep, it is almost impossible to wake up in time for the gym. It is a constant battle of fitness vs sleep, and sleep almost always wins.
To help me get out the door quickly, I lay out my workout clothes the night before. Since I am currently sharing a room with our girls, I can’t be rummaging through the closet at 5:15AM, and risk waking them up. Also, I make sure I have a water bottle ready to go.
The biggest step to success is simply getting out of bed. My body naturally wakes up around 5:00AM to use the restroom. All I have to do is respond to that internal prompting and get out of my warm, cozy bed. Once I’m up, my success rate skyrockets to 95%.
Worship: Spend time reading the Bible and praying
Ideally, I would savor this time at home, in a quiet corner of my living room, with a steaming cup of tea, but with five children, that’s tricky in the morning (especially because I’m taking that first hour at the gym). So, I’ve come up with an alternate plan which has been working for me: I read my Bible on the treadmill. I do this during my five minute warm-up time when I first arrive. I like it because I am alone, I am ingesting Scripture directly upon waking, and it’s for a set amount of time (I can read about a chapter during that time).
Being on a treadmill can be a great time for prayerful reflection. could bring a prayer list along to the gym to reflect upon while I workout. One idea I recently read about is the idea of a fitness journal (or small notebook), where you keep track of the dates you work out and what you do while you’re at the gym. I could just have a page in there dedicated to prayer requests, etc. that I refer to on the treadmill or between sets in the weight room.
In addition, I listen to worship music on the treadmill during my cardio time, which engages my mind and heart toward God. There are times when I wish I could raise my hands up in praise or sing along out loud, but I have disciplined myself to worship in silence, so as not to frighten those around me:). Listening to a song that extols God’s greatness as the sun emerges from the darkness in vivid purples, oranges, pinks while I walk on the treadmill is as good a time of worship as any.
I understand that there are some who may not like my idea of combining my devotion time with workout time, because I am not giving God His due, but my time at the gym is quiet and personal (one of the few places in my life that is), so this works for me. If I choose to miss my gym time, it is a double loss, because I will miss that early time with the Lord, as well.