“Watch this!” Steve exclaimed with sheer delight, “I haven’t been able to do this in years!”

I had met Steve less than an hour before when I offered him assistance with a treadmill in the fitness center that my husband owns and operates. As a head custodian in a local public school, Steve was participating in a program geared towards helping at-risk students, faculty, and staff make healthy lifestyle changes. He had told me upon our initial greetings that he was so thankful for what my husband, Ché, was doing for him and the other participants. Now, after having completed his work on the treadmill, he was bubbling with the joy of meeting a couple of his top goals. His first: to walk a mile “without stopping”. He quickly let me know that not only had he achieved this, but was now jogging a little “here and there” throughout his mile so that he could eventually run the whole thing. His second, which he proudly and promptly demonstrated: to bend over to pick something up off the floor. “Two weeks ago I would have had to put a knee on the ground and then do some work to stand myself back upright, but now, look, I can do this all day long, ” he went on, beaming with pleasure, as he repeatedly squatted to pick up some imaginary object from the floor. “It might not seem like much to some people, but believe me, it makes a big difference in my line of work!”

The Ultimate Homespace

With the newfound abilities and functionalities of his body, Steve had experienced a sense of accomplishment that is incomparable. Our bodies are the homes to our souls. Throughout our time on this Earth they are our primary and permanent homespaces, if you will. It is disheartening that in this age of obesity and innumerable other life-threatening illnesses we focus so little on the cultivation and maintenance of our health. Don’t get me wrong, we are overly concerned, some even obsessed, with the outward appearance of fitness and wellness. How many people do we know whose goal every New Year is to get back in shape to look good in a bathing suit for the upcoming warm season? I admit, the thought of prancing around half-naked in front of family, friends, and strangers alike is enough to motivate anyone to cut out some sweets and give the gym a few visits! The disappointing part is that we are often setting ourselves up for failure. When we focus on the superficial aspects of fitness… looking good in a bathing suit, losing just 5 more lbs., we inevitably set immeasurable goals and choose methods to reach them that we know we can’t maintain for any substantial length of time. Are we really going to eliminate all carbs for the rest of our lives? Never again eat sugar? Is it reasonable to commit to several hours a day in the gym? Forever? Not likely. So why do we continue to do this to ourselves? What if we begin to see the maintenance of our ultimate homespace, our body, as an outward expression of our soul?

walking on trail

Photo credit: Lindsay Torry

When we focus on the spiritual and profound implications of a healthy body, we experience changes that are indescribable. If we approach nutrition and exercise from our inner selves and focus on the functions of our bodies, health and fitness become authentically integrated into our lifestyles. Ask the 80-yr-old man who just walked up a flight of steps for the first time in ten years, the 50-yr-old physician whose exercise halted her menopausal symptoms, or the 25-yr-old who was just taken off of medication for high blood pressure. Setting and reaching fitness goals will inevitably change your physique for the better, but the real change in your appearance will be in your spirit. It will light up your face with joy, you will radiate positive energy, you will approach life with determination, you will exude confidence. And you won’t quit! How many people do you know who train for one 5k and then never do another one again? Not many, because when the motivation is from the inside, it grows and multiplies. As you approach meeting one goal, like Steve, you will already be planning your next goal!

What’s your goal?

Young girl climber

Photo credit: Lindsay Torry

So the question is, where do you want to start? Swim 100 meters? Walk a mile? Run 3 miles? Bike 10 miles? Set a goal for yourself! Make nutritional changes to help fuel your body to reach it. What if you replace 1 soda a day with a glass of water? What if you add an extra fruit or vegetable to one meal a day? Yes, your body will change, but MOST importantly, your life will change!

Happy training!


Toddler on excercise equipment

Photo credit: Kelly Walsh

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Lindsay Torry

About Lindsay Torry

Lindsay lives in Roanoke, Virginia with her husband and three young children. She works as a high school Spanish teacher. Inspired by references to the language and culture of her father’s childhood in Costa Rica and Bolivia, Lindsay values diversity and strives to teach her students cultural tolerance and respect. She enjoys traveling, reading, bible studies, relaxing on the beach, and dancing with her children. Always awestruck by the capabilities of the human body, today Lindsay has a passion for health and fitness thanks to her husband, Ché, who is completing his doctorate in exercise physiology and owns and operates LifeWise Fitness, Inc. Together, Lindsay and Ché try to make health and fitness a lifestyle not only for themselves, but for their children as well.

8 thoughts on “

  1. I so enjoyed reading this and learning more about you, my dearest oldest niece!

  2. We are 3 part beings; the body, soul, and spirit. God’s Word has plenty to say about the whole person He created.
    In regards to the body I can think of an important factor. That it is a temple. A temple for what? For the Christian, our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and makes us ONE with Him. While not being the most important part of who we are, Paul has something to say about it in 1st Corinthians 6: 17,19,20. But the one who joins himself to the Lord (a decision) is one spirit with Him. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
    The reason I say that the body is not the most important part of who we are is because the body is only temporary. 1st Tim 4:8 states,” for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” Bodily discipline is only a little profitable since we live on this earth only a little, but it is still profitable. A decrepit body does not glorify God.
    The second part of the trinity of the body is our soul. Our soul consists of our mind, will and emotions. Our emotions give is the ability to cry when we‘re hurt, laugh as a medicine, grieve over loss, have joy when a baby is born… Our will gives us the ability to make right and wrong decisions. It can be swayed by devils, angels, propaganda, emotions, survival, other people…Our will can be surrendered to a particular value system whether good or bad. Like the will, the mind is bombarded with influence for either our welfare or destruction. We can choose with our God given will how to think, what to believe. We can be left to our own devices, personal opinion, trends, and the opinion of philosophers, clergy, doctors etc. God has some things to say about our thinking. Again, it’s a choice.
    And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom. 12: 2 He wants us to think as He does. To think as He does we must read His Book. How many times has our own understanding backfired on us? Lots and lots of times we miss it! Some take that opportunity to blame God. Remember, He gave us a will. We can choose to seek Him, His wisdom, His understanding, and His knowledge. He lovingly tells us, “ Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (reverence) the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones,” Prov. 3: 5-7.
    The 3rd part of our being is our spirit. Our spirit is the real us, the part that lives forever, the part that communes with God and He with us. “They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Acts 7:59 On the cross “Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit,” While we choose to do many acts of righteousness using our soul and body, we can worship Him ONLY with our spirit, (John 4:24). There will come a day when our spirit, the real us, the ones who have chosen Jesus, will no longer lives in a body that decays. This life is the shortest trip we will ever take. “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immorality. 1 Cor15: 52,53. While on our short trip we must choose Jesus.
    Prayer is nothing more than you talking to God and God talking to you. He desires a relationship, not religion. We don’t need a list of good works good intentions or a priest to get to heaven after the short earth trip. We need a heart and a mouth, which we have. “that if we confess Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation, Romans 10: 9,10.
    A Salvation prayer
    Dear Jesus, please come into my heart. Thank you for paying the penalty for my sins. Take charge of my life. Thank you for sending me the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth. Thank you for revealing your Word to me and for preparing my place in heaven. I choose to worship the Creator and take pleasure in your creation. Amen

    • Lisa, I believe Lindsay would echo your sentiments completely. Your words and descriptions are beautiful. Thanks for “tuning in” here instead of on Fox News!!!!

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