Dying to Exercise {and a GIVEAWAY!}

No one wants to start off the new year with a serious diagnosis. But in January of 2009, there we sat in the family waiting area of the hospital surrounding my wheelchair-bound grandpa. Because of a new series of treatments, he was lucid and we all talked and laughed like we may never do it again.

And then, not out of character for him but surprising considering his physical state, he straightened his arms, lifting his body weight with his hands gripping the arm rests and his legs extended in a pike position in front of him, and proceeded to do several tricep dips.

Exercise, weightlifting and cardio workouts, had been a regular part of his life for decades. And now, as it seemed his end was near, he continued a fitness regimen, of sorts. At least a modified one.

Just over two months later, he was gone to heaven, his body finally yielding to the irreversible effects of cancer.

So when I watch myself in the mirror exercising at the gym, why do I often exchange my image for the image of my grandpa doing those dips in his wheelchair?

Because I want to remind myself of my humble state; that I don’t exercise to live, but I need to exercise because I’m dying.

And so do you.

The most common New Year’s resolution made by Americans in 2017 was to increase their physical fitness and activity. It’s not surprising the same intention topped the chart again this year. And, odds are, it will next year as well.

Why are we so obsessed with the quest to get fit and look a certain way?

I believe for most of us, whether we realize it or not, it’s because we’re resisting the inevitable march to the grave. We’re trying to reverse the curse that with sin comes death, and we think if we can get our BMI low enough and our heart rate high enough, we can succeed in outrunning it.

We’re expecting too much from exercise and she can never fully deliver. Because exercise was never intended to make us live. Only God can do that.

So why should we exercise if we’re going to die anyway?

Because it’s a wonderful reminder that though we aren’t what we should be, try hard as we may, one day we will be what we were originally made to be – spiritually and physically.

Exercise should point us to the hope of our coming bodily resurrection and, with it, our redeemed and glorified body.

When we have the satisfaction that our gravity-succumbing bodies can hold a plank for longer today than they could a few months ago, and our first-position pliès in barre class get a little deeper, and those heavy weights in Body Pump feel a little lighter, we are experiencing a foretaste that this body of death will one day we restored to perfect health and strength!

Even our now groaning physical bodies can have eternal hope in Jesus!

So go to the gym this year. Enroll in those races and downward face those dogs.

But let’s do so in humility, remembering why we need to exercise in the first place — because we’re dying — but also expecting to see glimpses in our biceps, our flexibility, or our endurance, of a coming physical restoration!

It may get worse before it gets better, but one day we really will be what we should be!

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)

[{GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR ENTERING AND CONGRATS TO OUR WINNER, @RCOGINSKY!!!}] **GIVEAWAY!** I met my friend Kory through our local YMCA. She is a Christian, mom of 5, former Division I athlete, and entrepreneur. She started Inspired Apparel to combine several of her passions – God, athletics, and design.

To help you add some flair to your fitness wardrobe for the new year, I’m giving away one Inspired Apparel T-Shirt of your choice to the winner. I’m wearing my favorite of Kory’s designs in the picture below. (It is a looser fit and has held up like a champ through many washes and ugly and sweaty workouts!) Click on the hyper-link to see her varied selection of shirts and tanks.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

(You get one entry for each of the following, with a possible total of 3 entries per person.)

  1. Comment below and let me know how you’re increasing your physical activity this year. I love Les Mills classes so will keep doing those, but I’ve also added a barre class into my routine as well. What about you?
  2. After you comment, keep scrolling all the way to the bottom and subscribe to my blog via email.
  3. Find me and follow me on Instagram @ericasunshineowen. Then tag a gym friend, taco-eatin’ friend, or any friend who wears shirts and might like a new one! 🙂

Giveaway ends on Monday, January 15, 2018 at 8 PM EST and is for those in the US only, please. (Unless you live in Rhuddlan, Wales. Then you can enter. You know who you are!) Winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday morning, January 16, 2018!

Photo: First Coast YMCA

17 thoughts on “Dying to Exercise {and a GIVEAWAY!}

Add yours

  1. Hey there! Love the new site!! J and I recently added a series of Beach Body workouts to our 4-5 mornings a week routine. And we’ve resolved to do 30 days of yoga sometime this year and see what it can do for chronic back pain. We exercise so that we aren’t walking with a cane by 40 and because without it I don’t think I’d have the energy or stamina to faithfully dishcharge all our responsibilities!


  2. Good reminder. I just started back into my routine after being sick for two weeks and was feeling discouraged when I was struggling with a workout that would usually be easy! I need to remember that while it’s very good and responsible for me to exercise and eat healthy, my ultimate goal in life is to glorify God, not to be fit. 🙂 And to remember that this body is just temporary (woohoo!)


  3. Love that t-shirt- and love you!
    I’m back to running and doing barre 3 at home with online classes! My goal is to run in the Martian marathon in April!(10k or half marathon) missing you!


    1. Go Grandma, Go! 🙂 I love seeing pics of you loving those grandkids (I almost said grandbabies, but they are all growing so fast!) Thanks for reading, Erin! You have been a blessing to me many times over the years!


  4. Even though I think exercise is over-rated, I know that I need to do something, so I recently purchased yoga videos from Beachbody and this week I started Whole30! You look great Erica and I love reading your blog❤️


  5. Found you via your old blog and will switch you to my Feedly reader! I’ve started wearing a fitness teacher as of January to measure sleep, calories, and steps. It reminds me to get up and move if I sit for too long.


  6. Love this post! I get in the elliptical for 30 minutes 5 times a week. Hate getting up before work to do it, but I know if I don’t it won’t get done later!


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