Monday, January 11, 2010

CrossFit Catholicism

I am fat and out of shape. I've tried to get into different work out programs over the years but for whatever reason I stopped. Normally, the reason is that it's difficult to find the time. Working over night messes with the sleep schedule and slating a time to go to the gym is difficult. I'll be honest though---I just don't really like working out. I've never really been athletic and well, working out hurts.

An opportunity has come to me though to get my hind-end into shape. My buddy, Jim Keller, is a PT/DT instructor at the police academy. Keller and his fellow instructors are trying to start a CrossFit excercise program at the academy for police department members. They are starting with a pilot program and they are hoping that it does well and that it will spread throughout the department. I was fortunate enough to be picked for this pilot program. I expect I am the old, fat out of shape sergeant that they are hoping they can point to and say, "if HE can do it, anyone can!"

When I was asked to be part of the group, I jumped on the opportunity for several reasons both physical and spiritual. Obviously, I recognize that I need to get into shape. I have failed workout programs in the past but I am optimistic about this one because it is in a group setting and because I trust the instructors and because I think they have put trust in me to help their program to get started.

I feel that there is a connection between spiritual and physical well being though. There are several similarities. They are both difficult to get into. They both can be painful. They are both made easier by having something there to motivate you. Here is the number one reason they are both important though. As human beings we are both physical and spiritual beings. It is who we are and they are both gifts from God and should be taken care of accordingly. If I don't take care of my body there is a chance that my life on this world may not last as long as it would otherwise and I may not be able to fulfill God's plan for me. Likewise, if I don't take care of my spirit, I may also not fullfil God's plan for me and put myself in eternal jepordy. Fulfilling God's plan is why whe are here so we really need to take care of these two senses.

I also am interested in the CrossFit system. It seems very "catholic" to me in its universality. It's basically a different workout a day and doesn't focus simply on speciallized activities such as strength or cardio but on a broad and general system but targets the whole body. Likewise, Catholicism is not focused on specific part of our spiritual life but has such a fullness of faith to it that we could never be fully satisfied.

The 12 week pilot program starts on Sunday. I went through the introductory course this morning. I discovered I'm 230 lbs and have a 31% body fat. I will save you the horror of having to look at any "before" photographs but I ask that you pray for me that I succeed on this program and continue it after words.


  1. Oh I am cheering you on and you will feel so much better.....although starting to work out is just the beginning to making a life change. I lost weight going to Curves but soon realized that I had to continue with at least 30 minutes of exercise every day as well as make good food was all worth it once I made the can do this and we all will benefit the results as we read your blog from a healthy Roman Catholic Cop.
    Good Luck......:-) Hugs

  2. Good luck to you! You are going to love CrossFit. I have been a CrossFit Trainer for two years now, and it has changed me. Not just physically, but also in making me really examine the way I live my life and how my family experiences life. I have actually rediscovered my Catholic faith by this process. You are so right that the spiritual and the physical are tied together. You cannot get strong in one without the strength of the other, and by strength I am not talking about physical ability. The mettle of a person is their most defining strength.

  3. Good luck! I used to be in great shape...I have had a hard time getting back at it after my last baby (he turns 1 on Saturday!!!) But I need to get back at it. I'll keep you in my prayers...keep me in yours? I will need it to get going again!!

  4. Thank-you Pili. I've found that a spirtual advisor is very much like a trainer.

    Michelle--don't worry about losing the weight yet---didn't someone say you still had 3-4 kids left to go?? :-)