Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back to the Future

Just like the life change created when George McFly stood up to the bully in the classic 1980s flick, the choices we make now definitely shape our future.

Yesterday’s Forum speaker, Tom Hafer, physical therapist and ordained pastor, started his presentation by complimenting current student-supported sustainability initiatives. He then went on to compare sustainability with wellness. Both efforts are in effect taking steps today to be better prepared for the future. His stated topic was “Fitness as a Spiritual Discipline.”

“We all know what we need to do,” he said. Very true. How often do we talk about eating better? eating less? exercising more? “reducing our carbon footprint?” recycling? reusing? We have the head knowledge. What we need is the motivation to actually put that knowledge into action. And by we, I mean I.

Instead of “getting in shape” for self-centered reasons, to feel better, to look good in a pair of jeans, Hafer challenged the full Founders Hall crowd to take steps to be healthy in order to better care for those around us.

I’ve often heard how important it is to care for yourself so that you can care for others. Just like directions given by airline stewardesses to put your own oxygen mask on before helping those around you in an emergency. (If you pass out for lack of oxygen, who are you going to help then?)

Consider a torn rotator cuff which often requires surgery and physical therapy. Hafer said there are four muscles that support the shoulder. If those four muscles are strong it is less likely that you will have a torn rotator cuff. The same is true for knee and hip problems. OK, you’ve got my attention.

It’s never too late to start caring for yourself, for showing by your actions that you believe the body to be the Temple of God, for seeing fitness as a spiritual discipline. By staying strong and healthy in order to care for others, we are in effect expressing gratitude to God for the body and the abilities He gave us.

Now that is motivation.

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